Drop Down Menu

Swan Park Ceramic Trail revival 2024 17.05.24

ARTLINK is thrilled to announce the revival of the Swan Park Ceramic Trail, which celebrates the intersection of art, nature and community engagement. Spearheaded by Aileen Barr, the revitalised trail will be launched in Buncrana at 2pm on 24 May 2024.

Artlink’s first public art project ‘Art in the Park’ was initiated in 1994 by Aileen Barr, one of Artlink’s three founding artists. She worked with a local FAS scheme to create tiles for a seat and environmental tile trail throughout the park that blended art and nature, leaving an indelible mark on the local community.
Matthew Porter & Aileen Barr and detail of ceramic mosaic.
Reflecting on the original project, 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. Indeed, its overwhelming success was deeply rooted in community involvement."

Aileen, who previously studied ceramics at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, has since dedicated the past three decades to creating handmade tile projects for public spaces. She gained worldwide recognition for her remarkable tiled stairways in San Francisco where she emigrated to in 2002, created in collaboration with Colette Crutcher and the local Bay Area community.
Tiles for the ceramic trail produced by community and workshop with Aileen Barr.
The recent regeneration of Swan Park after flooding in 2017, prompted Artlink to bring back this beloved project to life. This involved creating ceramic pieces based on the original artwork and recreating the iconic circular ceramic mosaic seat, themed around the Life Cycle of the Salmon, as a focal point within the park.

"I simply can’t put into words how delighted I’ve been to be back home in Inishowen and involved in the revitalisation of the Swan Park Ceramic Trail" Aileen said. "Getting to work again with some of the original participants and fantastic local community groups has been brilliant, and we’ve now developed new designs and created tiles for the new bench. It has also been great to work with local artist Matthew Porter who joined me in crafting tiles for the environmental trail. Combined with the park's recent upgrades, it really is a wonderful addition to our beloved town treasure."

Matthew Porter added: “As a local artist and forager with a deep connection to Swan Park, I have been delighted to contribute to the new project which celebrates our natural heritage. Indeed, it’s not only about reviving a cherished facet of the park but also about helping to inform future generations about the abundance of natural resources within it and inspire them to cherish and preserve our local ecosystems."

Artlink project co-ordinators Rebecca Strain and Martha McCulloch, expressed their excitement about the launch of the new project. "The revitalised Swan Park Ceramic Trail is not only a celebration of art and nature but also a testament to the power of community engagement" said Rebecca.

Martha added: “The launch event for the new Swan Park Ceramic Trail will take place at 2pm on 24 May 2024, and I’d like to take this opportunity to invite the whole community to witness the unveiling of this inspiring project. After this event we’ll be retiring to the Anglers Centre in the park for some tea and cake. Everyone is welcome!”

For further information about the launch of the revitalised Swan Park Ceramic Trail or upcoming exhibitions and events at Artlink Fort Dunree during May and June 2024, visit www.artlink.ie .
:: Return to > Top Stories    > News    > Home