Monday 22 July 2019

Three artistic project get €60,000 in funding from the Enniscorthy M11 bypass scheme

Maria McKinney
Maria McKinney
Christine Mackey

Maria Pepper

Three artists have been chosen to carry out community visual art projects costing €20,000 each under the Per Cent for Art scheme which allocated funding from the Enniscorthy M11 bypass road contract.

The selected artists are Maria McKinney, Christine Mackey and an artists' collective comprising Ciara Roche, Astrid Newman and Becks Butler. All are visual art commissions and will run from February 2019 with public exhibitions due to take place between July and November.

Maria McKinney, a Dublin-based artist who has worked with Waterford Healing Arts Trust and recently completed a residency in the UCD School of Science, will work with the farming community in the Enniscorthy and Gorey Municipal Districts, on a project which will involve farmers' responding to memories of their own farms and animals while thinking about contemporary agricultural innovations and the future.

The project will link Teagasc, local farmers and the Cowhouse Artists' Studios in Rathnure where some of the sculptures will be made. The result will be sculptural works inspired by each farm and conversations with farmers, photographic images of the farms, an exhibition, a publication and a public parade or performance. Some of the work will be exhibited as part of Wexford festivals such as the Rockin Food Festival in Enniscorthy.

Christine Mackey is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design and Dartington College of Arts in Devon with a PhD from the University of Ulster in Belfast and has a special artistic interest in plant life, ecology and the environment.

She will work with local communities and bee-keeping associations in Enniscorthy and Gorey to raise awareness about the plight of bees or wild pollinators in a project called 'Safe Hold - Pollinating Pastures'.

She will focus on bees, their habitat loss, their relationship to food, places and people and will attempt to propose creative solutions. One of the outcomes will be a permanent pollinating pasture to be developed with local communities in collaboration with ecologists, Wexford County Council roads department and the local authority's biodiversity/planning officer.

The artist will also produce a film which will be publicly screened, a series of posters and a publication including seek packs.

Ciara Roche, Astrid Newman and Becks Butler will set up a pop-up Post Office in an unoccupied shop unit on Castle hill in Enniscorthy over a two-week period with members of the public invited to use the facility which will be run by three artists.

Inside the post office will be a conveyor belt (made with the help of the Men's Shed in Enniscorthy) on which a selection of objects will move in slow rotation, with the objects chosen by the artists to represent a wide variety of community groups with whom the artists have worked over the year.

The objects will be of personal, social, environmental significance and will be photographed by the artists and printed into postcards which will be on display in the post office.

Visitors will be invited to visit the post office, enjoy a cup of tea and a chat, select a postcard, write on it and post it to someone. A post box will be available and all postcards and postage will be free to the public to send to anyone, anywhere in the world.

The story behind each object will be documented and compiled onto an accompanying audio piece which visitors to the post office can listen to.

Ciara Roche, from Enniscorthy, is a graduate of the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art who along with the other artists, has met community groups interested in the project, including the Men's Shed in Enniscorthy, the Re-Enactment Society, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Strawberry Festival, Rockin Food Festival and Heritage Tours Wexford.

The selection panel for the Per Cent awards was chaired by county arts officer Liz Burns and consisted of Niall Carroll (bypass liaison officer), Cllr. Paddy Kavanagh, Cllr. Mary Farrell, Liz Hore (Enniscorthy District Manager), Amanda Byrne (Gorey District Manager), Aileen Lambert (artist), Remco De Rouw (artist) and Caroline Crowley (public art officer Fingal County Council).

Wexford People

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