Ceramic Trail in Swan Park Buncrana
ARTLINK is thrilled to
announce the revival of its first public art project,
the ‘Swan Park Ceramic Trail’ in Buncrana. Originally
initiated in 1994, this trail was a remarkable endeavour
that blended art and nature, leaving an indelible mark
on the local community.
With the recent regeneration of Swan Park, Artlink is
bringing this beloved project back to life, creating new
ceramic pieces based on the original artwork and
engaging the community in a series of workshops and
Ceramic Trail at Swan
The Swan Park Ceramic
Trail was first realised through the collaborative
efforts of Aileen Barr, one of Artlink's founding
artists, and a local FAS scheme involved in repairs and
upgrades in Swan Park. Over an eight-month period,
Aileen worked with a dedicated group to design and craft
tiles for a seat and an environmental tile trail. The
aim was to enhance the park with captivating artwork
while providing an educational experience for children
to explore their natural surroundings.
Reflecting on the original project in Swan Park of
almost 30 years ago, Aileen said: "This was my first
public art project, installed in 1995 with the support
of the local council. It was pivotal in my artistic
journey, allowing me to venture into the realm of public
art and experiment with new ideas and techniques. The
project's success was deeply rooted in community
Ceramic Trail at Swan
Although some original
tiles remain on the paths, the seat was removed years
ago due to damage. Additionally, the tiles representing
the ‘Life Cycle of the Salmon’ theme were washed away
during the significant flood of 2017. Now, with the
revitalisation of Swan Park, Artlink aims to revisit
this meaningful project that left a lasting impact on
the local community.
The new project will involve the creation of a series of
ceramic tiles forming an environmental trail, telling
the story of the park's history, habitats, flora, and
fauna. Aileen, who has been based in San Francisco since
2002, has been invited back by Artlink to collaborate
with local artists, develop designs, and facilitate
presentations and workshops with community groups.
Participating individuals and community groups will have
the opportunity to create tile mosaics during the
workshops, which will be incorporated into the project.
Aileen plans to use the original circular ceramic mosaic
seat depicting the ‘Life Cycle of the Salmon’ as a
starting point for a new circular seat, further
enriching the park's artistic landscape.
Collaborating with Aileen on the new project are Sinead
Craig, Geraldine Timlin, Claire Withy (original Art in
the Park participants), Patrica Doherty Roe and Matthew
Porter. Aileen will be in residence at Artlink from
August to September 2023.
Local groups and individuals interested in participating
in the workshops are encouraged to contact Artlink via
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Artlink office at Fort
Dunree before July 14th.