Gifts to the Starman: a call for creative works from young adults and children!


In the words of David Bowie’s Starman ‘There’s a StarMan waiting in the sky, He’d like to come and meet us but he thinks he’d blow our minds’

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory asks what we imagine we can offer as ‘Gifts to the Starman’ should Earth be visited by an alien Starman or light being …

Taking inspiration from David Bowie’s “Starman” and to celebrate the success of the Starman single released by CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory with Jack Lukeman, the National Children’s Choir and the Trinity Orchestra, Blackrock Castle Observatory invites entries to the “Gifts to the Starman” creative competition.


Using the lyrics of David Bowie’s iconic anthem ‘Starman’ as a starting point for exploration of the Universe and our duty of care to planet Earth, students of both primary and post primary level are invited to create work (written word, photography, mixed media, textile, drawing or painting) to be considered in the selection process for an upcoming exhibition at Blackrock Castle Observatory and at Dublin Bowie Festival 2019.

The winning selections will appear alongside a handmade rice paper serigraph (36×24”) of a Star image which Bowie made for a friend as a Christmas gift in 1975 and which is on loan to the Starman Project for the duration of the exhibits. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hang out with David Bowie!



Images above and below left created by Transition year students in Coláiste Dún Iascaigh, Cahir, Co. Tipperary


Competition Description, Guidelines and Rules of entry can be downloaded here.

Guidelines for entrants

Work may be no smaller than A4 and no larger than A2. Work should not rise more than 5cm from canvas or paper.

Work may be written word (poetry, lyrics or short story max 1500 words)
Work may be created using pencil, ink, pen, charcoal, pastel, acrylics, oil, watercolour, poster paint, marker, crayon or gouache. Work may be collage, mixed media or textile. Work may be printed using lino or other hand printing methods.
Work may be created digitally using digital artwork software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Entrants should use David Bowie’s ‘Starman’ as a point of departure for work. Creativity makes our world a beautiful place and inspiration can lead an artist anywhere.

Number of entries:
Participants can submit up to three entries per person. Each entry must be accompanied with an entry form securely attached to the work. If work is not accompanied by an entry form it will not be considered for judging.

The work must be the unaided work of the entrant. Group work is not accepted.

Commended winners in each category will feature in exhibits with David Bowie’s ‘Star’ at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and at Dublin Bowie Festival. An overall winner will receive a Space Hamper.

There are 8 categories, a winner will be selected from each category with one overall winner.
Special Needs: Young Adults (12 – 18 years); Children (up to 11 years)
Young Adults: 16-18 years; 14-15 years; 12-13 years.
Children: 9-11 years; 7-8 years; 6 years and under.

Closing Date:
Entries must be received by Dec 10, 2018. Any entries received after this date will not be considered for judging.

Rules of Entry
1. Works submitted must adhere to the entry guidelines.
2. Entrants must be under 19 years on Dec 10, 2018.
3. All entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form which is attached securely to each piece of work submitted.
4. Individuals may enter up to 3 pieces of work.
5. Entries must be the work of a single individual; group work will not be considered.
6. Original artwork must be submitted, scanned images or photographs of original artwork will not be considered. In the case of digital artwork produced using digital art software or digital photography, this may be submitted by email.
7. Artworks may not be submitted framed under any circumstances. Work must be submitted flat. Works may be mounted on board or on canvas.