Rural Murals in Laois are an ideal opportunity to explore and represent architecture, heritage and community contexts. Commissioned murals within the Creative Ireland Laois programme enable us to revisit narratives, embed them into current culture whilst also contributing to the regeneration and place making of our towns and villages.
Artist, ADW (Adam Warren) created a mural inspired by the film ‘Into the West’ (1992) on the front of the Old Cinema, Market Square, Portarlington. ‘Into the West’ is an Irish magical realist film about Irish Travellers and was written by playwright, screenwriter, film director, and film producer, Jim Sheridan. The cinema scene in the film was shot in the Old Cinema as well as nearby Lea Castle also being used as a film location. The site-specific mural pays homage to the iconic film and for many local people who were ‘extras’ in the making of the film, holding a special place in the folklore and the hearts of the townspeople, as well as the opportunity to introduce this beloved and enchanting film to new and young audiences.
The mural was launched to the public on Sat June 15 as part of Cruinniú na nÓg with free screenings of the film in the nearby, Church of Ireland Hall. Locals that were ‘extras’ in the film were invited to come to the launch and share their stories about their involvement in the making of the film.
ADW, a Dublin native, living in Portarlington and well known 3D artist & muralist was very excited to be part of Cruinniú na nÓg and to have the opportunity to paint a landmark building in the town, that the mural will inspire and add some colour to the area while also appreciating its local ‘cinematic’ history. Pupils from Portarlington’s Sandy Lane National School and St Patrick’s Boys National School were invited to participate in the making of the mural – discovering what goes in to creating a large scale out-door artwork whilst also put to work with paint rollers.