Wednesday 25 April 2018

A tall tale among seafront shelters

The colourful mural at the shelter at the seafront in Bray
The colourful mural at the shelter at the seafront in Bray

Mary Fogarty

A new public art trail is currently being installed along Bray promenade. This project is the brainchild of local visual arts curator Donna Carroll and designed by award-winning children's author and illustrator Chris Judge.

The story was devised through a series of story workshops, facilitated by Donna and Chris, with children aged four to nine years old.

Almost 40 children took part in creating a new site-specific myth about Bray to be translated into a series of eye-catching images in five murals along the seafront.

Back in July, Donna approached Bray Municipal District about creating a children's art trail to give new life to some graffitied areas along the seafront.

In her previous role as Culture Night co-ordinator for County Wicklow, she had coordinated local teens in creating a 'Welcome to Bray' mural near Bray Harbour, which is still pristine and in place one year later.

When asked about the inspiration for the project she said: 'There are numerous examples of street art being used to make a positive impact all over the country; the idea of a newly created myth about Bray added a unique element that we hadn't seen anywhere else.'

After getting an enthusiastic response from Bray Municipal District, Donna reached out to Chris Judge, author and illustrator of popular children's books such as The Lonely Beast, Tin and Danger is Everywhere!

Chris came on board bringing with him the talents of Triskill Designs, which is responsible for the well-known historical mosaics in Bray Dart station.

Chris selected five highly visible spots for the murals, including the two brutalist shelters along the seafront and a location at the base of Bray Head. After the workshops, he took the children's ideas and incorporated them into the story of an adventurous Viking child searching for a new home for her people.

Once the designs were complete he passed them along to Triskill Designs to hand paint onto the walls. Funded by local contributions from the likes of Platform Pizza, Megazyme and Bray Credit Union as well as the support of Bray Municipal District, the work is due to be completed in mid-October.

The full story will be available as a free PDF and there will be an accompanying map available to download or as a physical map from Platform Pizza. Digital prints of the scenes as well as a limited edition run of archival prints will also be available for purchase from local sources.

So far, three of the five murals have been completed. Anyone who can't wait until October to see the whole story, can take a trip to Bray seafront and see the three murals telling the middle of the story.

Bray People