WATERFORD WALLS X ACT WATERFORD X BLOOM | THE ART PROJECT
Location: Ballybeg, Co. Waterford
Key Message: At Home Energy Conservation - working as an individual and community to combat climate change!
A collaboration between Bloom | The Art Project, Waterford Walls and ACT Waterford to create a mural that could educate, inform, brighten and colour the Ballybeg area.
Safe to say our eyes lit up when we received an email from the gang over at Waterford Walls to participate in a community project funded by ACT Waterford. The project was going to be based in Ballybeg Co. Waterford, a disadvantaged area home to a long wall that was in dire need of some TLC. The theme of the project was “At home energy conservation” and while initially we were confused about how we might be able to run workshops and create a mural that spun off from this, we quickly got in contact with some professionals in the field, who educated us on the matter and how best it could be communicated.
So once we had educated ourselves on the issue and how it should be approached we made our way down to Waterford, once a week for one month to begin the conversation and design process with members of the Ballybeg community.
Over the 4 weeks we discussed challenges that got in the way of individuals conserving energy, how they could be more climate conscious in their choices and how they could work together as a community to strive for more eco-friendly neighbourhoods and fight for their rights and voice to be heard when it comes to decisions that may directly impact them and their future.
It wasn’t all heavy going though, we incorporated lots of painting, drawing, collage and games to help everyone bring their ideas together, relax, chat and enjoy the time they had to be creative and co-operate with their fellow community members. It was great to see different people, who may not have otherwise met, come together to create a piece of art work that would decorate their town so visibly and boldly.
After the series of workshops, we got to work on finalising the design that the participants had spent the last 4 weeks bringing together. Once complete we put in an order for spray paints and masks and got ourselves prepped for a week of painting.
Blessed with a gorgeous sunny week of weather, painting commenced. As might be noticeable from the pictures, the walls we were working on were pebbledash. This meant we had to use big, bold shapes with no shading and only spray paint. Participants from the workshop came throughout the week to add colour, contrast and life to the wall. Music played as members of the community walked past, stopping to chat about the mural, their thoughts on it and how it brightened up the area.
T’was not long before the wall was completely decorated. The final design included mother nature looking into a house, elements within the house represented different energy conservation techniques, turning off the tap, using energy efficient light bulbs, having double glazed windows and solar panels. Outside the house was a community working together to unplug a plug connected to the house, representing their collective effort to combat energy waste. Throughout the landscape, wind turbines and flowers plopped themselves against the blue backdrop.
We were delighted with how it turned out, but more importantly, delighted with the participation from the community and their interest, enthusiasm and passion for the project. We have our eyes on the second part of that wall now, so Waterford Walls Festival 2023 – watch this space!