A new mural artwork celebrating the people and spirit of Rathdowney will be launched at this year’s Culture Night on Fri Sept 17. The launch event will take place at the Church of Ireland Parochial Hall, The Square at 4pm. The mural is designed and created by Portarlington based artist ADW who will also give a brief introduction on the processes and background to the project as part of the launch event. ADW began this mural project by getting to know and understand Rathdowney from a socio-cultural, historic and economic perspective. The mural is inspired by the people, culture, heritage, new communities and natural hinterland landscapes of Rathdowney, as well as creative imagination and artistic license.
ADW began dabbling in art & creativity while still in primary school. After ﬁve years studying animation in Ballyfermot College, Dublin, he moved to Britain to work in the computer games industry. In 2005 he returned to a booming Ireland. However, in the fallout from the economic crash of 2008, he was made redundant from his full-time job as a 3D artist. ADW took advantage of this time and returned to his creative roots and began to produce his own art full-time.
In 2019 ADW’s mural for Cruinniú na nÓg Laois garnered local and national attention and was inspired by the 1992 Irish film ‘Into the West’ where some of the film’s iconic scenes where shot at the Savoy cinema in Portarlington. The cinema had become old and drab in the hub of the town since closing over 25 years ago. His mural artwork has not just visually reanimated the old cinema but has becoming a talking point with local recollections of the shooting of the film and a new sense of pride in one of Portarlington’s landmark buildings. For more on ADW’s work, see Instagram photos and videos at www.instagram.com/adwart.
The mural artwork is commissioned by Laois Arts Office in consultation with members of Rathdowney community and in association with The Walls Project, a creative arts agency who specialise in the delivery of large-scale public and private commissioned artwork across Ireland and Europe. It is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council.
Special thanks to Cllr John King, Clodagh Kennedy (Art/CSPE/SPHE teacher at St Fergal’s College), Rev Richard Seymour-Whiteley, and Howard Coburn (Flynn’s Medical Hall) for their enthusiasm and contribution in realising this project.#
Culture Night takes place on Fri Sept 17 and for all information on Laois’s Culture Night programme, go to www.culturenight.ie/laois.
Culture Night is brought to you by the Arts Council in partnership with Laois County Council.
Further details from the Arts Office, Laois County Council at firstname.lastname@example.org