Clahane has helped to formulate conversations all across the country in recent months due to the eye-catching success of the Shore Wall Art project.
By Sarah Clarke
The Shore Wall Art project, beginning in May of this year is a display of painted rocks found in Clahane. Stretching to about 200m, there are over 1000 pieces featured. The Clare Echo spoke to Ann Vaughan, founder of the Wall Shore Project about how the project began and how much it grew.
Ann initiated this project during lockdown. “I’d said I would paint a few stones and put them down along the shore”. Although at the time the 2km restrictions were in place, Ann’s neighbours had a positive reaction to the paintings. She then decided to put a few notices up so more people could gain interest and participate in the project. “I wanted people to do it just to encourage people just to take their minds off of COVID-19 and the lockdown”.
Although the first to contribute to the project were children, it grew and encapsulated people of all ages. “I heard of an 87 year old woman from the local nursing home who painted her rock and got a taxi out to the wall and to actually place her stone down there. That kind of thing is all I want to see”.
Local reaction to the Wall Shore Project has been very positive with the exposure on social media leading to more contributions. “People got to know about it that way and that just encouraged people to put stuff up.” The paintings didn’t only gain attention from people living in Clare but all around the country. “It was like a carnival atmosphere down there all through the summer. Of course the staycations, local families of Ireland are just brilliant and the kids were putting stuff up all summer long”.
Luka Bloom also showcased the scenery to a wider audience as it featured in the music video for his single ‘The Beauty of Everyday Things’.
Ann noted that there have been some drawbacks with rocks stolen and storms taking other decorations. “It’s sad to see some beautiful stones being taken and some mothers were almost in tears to me. They had sat down around the table and done about 13 stones, one lady told me. They put them up the night before and I met her the next day and she said about five of them had gone”.
She is hopeful for the future of the project. “I’d like to see it continue. I’ve been very encouraged by the response I have gotten myself from it. So my vision is that it will just continue to encourage people. It’s something anyone can do”.