An exhibition of work from the ‘Felting the Landscape’ project was launched at the Market House in County Cavan.
In 2023, the Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark received funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s National Lottery Rural Engagement Arts fund to deliver a 12 week Felting the Landscape course. The project aimed to bring together local people living in rural areas to create an artistic response to the Geopark landscape through the medium of wet needle felting. Local artist and Geopark Guide Morag Donald facilitated the project, assisted by Geopark staff. Eight participants were brought to three of the Geopark’s most stunning locations – Tully Castle, Killykeegan Nature Reserve and Cavan Burren Park – to gain inspiration for their artwork. On location the participants had the opportunity to practice basic photography and sketching techniques, along with learning about the history, geology and biodiversity of the site.
Gilly Campbell, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented, “the Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to make this funding available to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council for their Felting the Landscape project. We know that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, boost confidence and motivation, as well as alleviate isolation and loneliness.”
“Thanks to The National Lottery players, the National Lottery Rural Engagement Arts Programme has supported 135 arts projects in rural areas with total National Lottery funding of £898,780 since its establishment in 2022. The programme has been making positive impacts in rural communities by increasing opportunities for people to engage and participate in meaningful arts activities, enriching their lives for the better. The Arts Council believes that arts, and coming together as communities, can all make a vital contribution to building wellbeing, confidence, and healthy, integrated communities.”
Gráinne O Connor, Geopark Manager commented, “the interpretation and expression of intangible heritage is integral to the ethos of UNESCO and the wider Geopark. This project has allowed local people to gain a greater insight into the landscapes that surrounds them and through their artistic response has given us all an opportunity to experience these landscapes through the medium of felting. This is only possible through the funding from Arts Council NI and the dedication and enthusiasm of the facilitator Morag Donald and all the participants.”
Source: Cavan County Council