As part of this year’s Cruthu visual arts programme Longford County Arts Office in Partnership with the Longford Public Participation Network commissioned the design and creation of temporary public art pieces made from found and disposable materials. The pieces were only intended to last for the duration of the festival and the plan was then to dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner.
Street Artist Phil Atkinson worked with five local voluntary groups to design and create five imaginative objects that were used to decorate the streets of Longford and add to the festive atmosphere in the town during the arts festival.
The Edgeworthstown Development Association identified a large fallen oak tree in the grounds of Edgeworthstown Rectory. Given the age of the huge tree they speculated that it may have been there in the time of Maria Edgeworth the great 19th century writer. They therefore fashioned a beautiful bend which appeared to rest upon books and the back of which was designed as a salmon, symbolising the salmon of knowledge.
Lus na Greinne from Granard designed a very clever piece representing a spider in a web waiting to pounce upon an unsuspecting fly. This piece was very popular with children.
The Longford EDI Training Centre utilised their skills in upholstery and furniture repair to make two giant hands about to shake. One hand is primarily made of disused plastic drinks bottles the other made of upholstery off-cuts.
Cuan Mhuire and Granard Men’s Club made a scaled model of a traditional Irish cottage replete with cottage garden and pecking hens which was very popular with older viewers.
Finally the Longford Acorn Project created a beautiful Fairy figure standing upon a hill out of recycled soft drinks bottles.
Despite the initial intention to dispose of the pieces after the festival each group become so attached that they either kept the pieces of found an appreciative home for them.