Following months of discussions, Creative Places Athy in collaboration with artists, businesses, the elected members of the Athy MD, and feedback from communities across Athy, has created two murals in the town, in response to a brief to represent the local waterways and heritage.
The design concept supports Athy’s commitment to climate change, the importance of eco systems, natural habitats and the waterway amenities in the area. It also compliments the 2023 Kildare County Council Streetscape Enhancement initiative that will benefit shop owners, businesses, and street users over the coming months.
The mural on Garter Lane was hand painted by artist Paul Woods and represents the abundance of indigenous species found in the River Barrow. A native of Dundalk, Paul’s work is well known for focussing on the theme of evolution and the environmental impact of humanity on nature, which has resulted in a series of public murals that explore the beauty and fragility of nature.
Paul explained, “murals create important conversations, expand thought and act as collective thinking spaces. They can create dialogue around a subject or community issue through what they depict. Getting feedback from the people in Athy and the many anglers who stopped by was an important reference point.”
The Garter Lane mural is part of a project that will look at the importance of the lane as a location, a route and the history down through the ages.
The mural on Stanhope St., also represents biodiversity, habitats, wildlife, flora and fauna by showcasing the beauty of the natural and built environment along the Barrow. Originally from Sligo, artist Marian Noone AKA Friz, with support from artist Gerry Norman, create work that is well known across Ireland, the UK and as far afield as Mexico.
Friz explained, “my work is a study of identity, who we are, where we come from and our connection to the natural world. I was delighted to work with the communities to get a sense of what was important for Athy, including their commitment to diversity and inclusion which resulted in the overall image.”
Both projects have generated conversations on the street and amongst local businesses about natural spaces for recreation and our impact on the environment into the future. Many people contributed to the realisation of this collaborative project and their support is gratefully acknowledged.
Creative Places Athy is funded by Kildare County Council through Athy Municipal District LPT with support from the Arts Council
Source: Kildare County Council