A major public arts and community project on decarbonization has been launched in Enniscorthy, with the overarching goal of developing an ecological network for human-led climate action.
Led by visual artist Elaine Harrington, the Re-Imagining Enniscorthy initiative was launched to coincide with recent National Biodiversity Week but will run for next year.
The project will run until April 2023 and it is hoped that it will continue thereafter and leave a legacy for the local communities in the town of Enniscorthy and surrounding counties.
The public art project is funded jointly by Wexford County Council’s Creative Ireland Program and the Per Cent for Art Scheme.
A spokesman for the local authority’s arts department said the program will be supported by a steering group made up of arts officer Liz Byrnes, Wexford County Council’s environment and climate protection team, the culture team, Sustainable Enniscorthy and the 3 Counties Energy Agency.
The project is also supported by Cow House Studios, Rathnure and the Presentation Arts Center in Enniscorthy.
Over the next year, El Harrington, supported by local artist Ciara Roche, will collaborate with various communities of interest across Enniscorthy to create a place-based response to the current climate crisis.
They will work through a creative exploration of Enniscorthy as Wexford’s intended pilot decarbonization zone.
The spokesman for the local authority commented: “It aims to create a local ecological network through a multi-pronged community initiative for food production, biodiversity and decarbonization that will connect private, public and community green spaces in the city.”
“The project explores our relationship with the land and our impact on the environment through shared activities and shared experiences in making and cultivating, and will bring together a diverse mix of community groups and creatives through workshops, events and public art outputs throughout the year,” she says added.
The aim of the project is to raise awareness, encourage local participation and support the development of an ecological network.
Reinventing Enniscorthy workshops will be held in the town of Enniscorthy, starting at the new Community Gardens which are adjacent to the Sports Center in Cherryorchard.
In partnership with the Allotment Committee and local community groups, free public workshops and training are offered by the artists and a team of invited experts including GIY Ireland, Irish Seed Savers Association, Hometree Charity and Pocket Forests.
The workshops in the coming year will focus on growing food, biodiversity and planting native trees.
As part of the art project, a training and meeting room as well as a “Community Tools Library” will also be implemented to give local communities free access to gardening tools and workshops.
Ceramicist and artist by training, Elaine Harrington will offer free pottery workshops to Enniscorthy community groups, showing them how to make pottery to use for dining at community events.
These events include the presentation and celebration of harvests from the allotments, neighborhood growing programs and local producers.
There will also be links to local festivals in Enniscorthy in the coming year and an exhibition of some of the results is planned for the Presentation Arts Center in Enniscorthy in 2023.
There may also be some pop-up exhibitions at other locations throughout the year.
Artists connect with community groups through Wexford Local Development in Enniscorthy, Wexford County Councils PPN (Public Participation Network), Tidy Towns and Sustainable Enniscorthy.
The artist is now developing a website that will provide information about the projects and updates.
“The redesign of Enniscorthy will create a public space for discussion on issues of nutrition and biodiversity, regenerative farming practices and sustainable agriculture,” said the Department of Arts spokesman.
It will also examine the day-to-day actions that connect local people to the production and supply systems that feed into larger environmental and climate concerns surrounding decarbonization.
“It feeds directly into Wexford County Council’s Climate Action Plan and into the pilot decarbonization program for the City of Enniscorthy, with the aim of raising awareness and encouraging behavioral change in real and tangible ways through creative processes,” said the spokesperson.
A ‘Get Set, Grow’ event was recently held at Enniscorthy Community Allotments with GIY Ireland providing information on how to get started growing local produce.
Anyone interested in attending any of the workshops taking place over the coming year can find out more by contacting [email protected] or by phoning the Wexford County Council Arts Office on 053 9196369 and going to www.wexfordcoco.ie /arts- logged in. and culture