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Public Art Workshops with artist James Winnett for Islandeady, Breaffy, Turlough and Parke Communities 19th June 2023

Date: 20-06-2023

The artist James Winnett will return to Mayo in July for a second week of community engagement with communities in Islandeady, Breaffy, Turlough and Parke. James is the artist commissioned for the N5 Westport to Turlough Road Project. His project The Touchstones will consist of a series of intricately carved stones located in Islandeady, Breaffy and Turlough – Parke. Each community will have its own distinctive artwork(s) incorporating imagery, narrative carving and text that will reflect the distinct character and qualities of the area where they are sited.

As part of the project James is undertaking research in each area; getting to the know the people and stories that have shaped it’s past and present. Through community engagement he will identify key themes, interests and ideas in each area that will inform the content and design of the final artworks.

James will be running Meet the Artist and Stone Carving Workshops from the 4th – 6th July 2023. The schedule of workshops:

  • Islandeady: Tuesday 4th July 2023, 4.30 – 6.30pm, Islandeady Community Centre.
  • Turlough and Parke: Wednesday 5th 2023, 6-8pm, Turlough Community Centre.
  • Breaffy: Thursday 6th July 2023, 5 - 7pm, Breaffy National School.

Locals are welcome to come along and meet the artist. This will be an opportunity to learn about his artwork, share your ideas for the project and have a go at carving your own mini sculpture. James is interested in meeting locals and learning more about each area's history, folklore and stories. He will be sharing his ideas and possible themes for the project and discussing potential locations for the artworks. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All locals welcome. No need to book, just come along!

The artist had a very successful week of community engagement in May 2023.  He gave a presentation to each community on his arts practice, process and research so far followed by a soapstone workshop where participants got to carve their own soapstone. James also ran a workshop with Parke Young at Heart Club and Turlough Foróige Club. As part of his research he also visited local heritage sites and explored the local landscape. Great hospitality and enthusiasm was shown by all communities. James is looking forward to meeting more community members during the workshop in July 2023;

“Over the coming months I'll be exploring the distinct identities of each area, gathering stories and deepening my understanding of the way that people have related to these landscapes over time. I've always been interested in the way that stories and memory reside in a place and in thinking about how a series of artworks might promote moments of curiosity and connection. It's a great project to be a part of and I'm excited to see how it develops.”

This project is part of Mayo County Council’s Public Art Programme, funded under the Per Cent for Art Scheme by Transport Infrastructure Ireland as part of the N5 Westport to Turlough Road Project and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

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