Biodiversity in Kilmacthomas
All the issues such as biodiversity, habitat loss and sustainable agriculture can be explored through the lens of water.
The community selected for this project is Kilmacthomas and the creative appointed is Kieran McBride. In order to give this project an immediate focus, water and river systems is the central theme. Explorations began with local water and river systems and expanded to include their catchment areas. These explorations include coastal areas, estuaries, lakes, streams, springs, bogs and peatlands, reed beds, fens, salt marshes, flood plains, wet alluvial woodlands, and more. Increasing the planting of trees and increasing renewable energy sources are some of the most well-known strategies to tackle climate change, yet in the popular imagination restoration of water and river systems is often overlooked.
Restoring river systems and their habitats can drive change across the entire catchment area. River restoration contributes to biodiversity and can include things such as re-meandering, creating green natural river banks, removal of man-made obstructions to open up habitats for migratory fish, planting of trees which provide shade and reduce water temperatures, and restoring upland wetlands to increase water storage and assist the prevention of flooding.
Kieran has been working with a diverse group of people running workshops such as ‘Slogans on Slates’, in which he discusses the theme and the issues and encourages responses in the form of slogans crafted on slates. The ‘For the Love of Water’ festival, which will take place in August beginning at the All Together Now festival, will feature a wide variety of workshops and events all related to biodiversity. Activities include seaweed foraging, hikes, ‘Guardians of the River’ mask making and permaculture workshops.
Kieran McBride is an interdisciplinary artist based in Waterford whose arts practice incorporates filmmaking, set design, script writing, performance and visual arts. He exhibited work in the group show Cycling Through the Rages, curated by Kelly Ratchford, at the Olivier Carnet Gallery, Dublin which explored the issues of urban transport and the challenges faced by cyclists. Kieran’s arts practice has organically gravitated towards the field of participatory and community-based arts and he is committed to the production of work that is socially engaged. Prior to the pandemic he studied community development under Amel Yacef at the CDETB. He has developed a series of voice and movement workshops for elderly women at the St. Andrews Resource Centre in Dublin and is currently a volunteer at Manor Chillout, a social space for LGBT+ youth run by Waterford Youth Services.
Energy Use and Efficiency in a Domestic Setting
Responding to a set theme, The Walls Project (TWP) is working collaboratively with the Ballybeg community in Waterford to examine domestic energy use and efficiency. They are taking a practical approach to energy efficiency and what people can do on a day-to-day basis in their lives.
They are paying particular attention to real and achievable changes that the community can make to combat climate change and examining local issues that impact people’s ability and willingness to take action.
The workshops are on-going and the painting activities will start on August 16th and run until the 20th as part of the Waterford Walls Festival. Artists from Bloom the Art project, Fiona and Aisling from Dublin along with Magda Karol, started working with the community members in the Cillbarra sports centre on Monday June 13th. The selected artists have extensive experience in inspiring communities through their murals and workshops; their main aim is to empower people to grow, overcome and look forward to a happier future. They are encouraging participants through a series of creative games to conceive sketches of the mural to be painted on the community wall in August.
The Walls Project CLG is a social enterprise which delivers large-scale public artworks and outreach projects. There are four main pillars to The Walls Project:
- Waterford Walls Festival impacts communities through artistic collaborations
- They deliver large-scale public and private art commissions across Ireland
- The work engages with communities and students via community and educational outreach workshops
- They engage in artistic exchanges and collaborations focused on connecting diverse people and communities both in Ireland and internationally