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Giant open air Spraoi artwork planned for Waterford later this summer

Following a national competition Spraoi and Waterford City and County Council have successfully attracted €59,022 of In The Open – Faoin Spéir funding to Waterford from The Arts Council.

The funding will be utilised to create a large scale temporary artwork and sculpture installation over Michael Street and the Apple Market in Waterford City. Both Garter Lane Arts Centre and WLR FM are creative partners on the project.

Spraoi and contributing artists will use a pallet of fabrics, visual art, music and spoken-word elements. Garter Lane is curating two accompaning soundtracks each themed for day and evening listening. They will be broadcast on WLR FM and will also be available on mobile phones via a QR Code so people can listen as they stroll through the area.

The artwork will offer pedestrians visual, musical and spoken-word experiences. It aims to start conversations about re-invigorating traditional and modern public realm spaces while enhancing audiences’ daily experiences of Waterford.

In The Open – Faoin Spéir is a Arts Council initiative that encourages a curated programme of multi-disciplinary, inclusive arts activity in public or open spaces in towns and communities around Ireland. Arts organisations and local authorities nationally competed for the funding.

“It’s fantastic to be working with both the Arts and Waterford Councils plus our friends and colleagues at Garter Lane and WLR to enable this opportunity for ten freelance Waterford artists, visual and musical, to imagine and make an artwork that enhances our city and even inspires conversations about its future look,” said Spraoi Artistic Director Mike Leahy.

Director of Services for Culture at Waterford City and County Kieran Kehoe added:”Waterford Council sees huge potential in working with artists to improve and reimagine Waterford towns, villages and city. This is a community-centred approach to re-building our places, our morale and our offering for a post COVID-19 world. We co-fund many such integrated initiatives in various sectors.”

Visual artists have already begun design work at Spraoi Studios and Garter Lane has commenced creation of accompanying soundtracks with musicians and a writer.

The installation is expected to be in-situ throughout August and September.

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