Tree Dragon, Plough Horse and other artworks to be unveiled at Buncrana's Swan Park

Final preparations are under way for a series of imaginative artworks to be installed in Swan Park, Buncrana, celebrating St Brigid's Day, Imbolc and the area’s rich cultural heritage.

An open invite has been issued to everyone to come along on Wednesday, February 1 at 11:30am to the official opening with a walk through Swan Park by the artists who will introduce their work. This will be followed by free refreshments at the Anglers Centre in the park.

The month-long ‘Art in the Park II’ group exhibition – facilitated by Artlink and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Donegal County Council – will see the works of eight artists showcased in Swan Park.

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The artists and their artworks selected from an open call in 2022 are Anna Stainsby (‘In Expectation’), Catherine Greene (‘Meridian’), Eileen Welch (‘Suile / The Eyes’), Fifi Smith (‘Lesser-spotted Tree Dragon’), Grainne McMenamin (‘Broinn / Womb’), Kevin Harkin (‘Walk On / Plough Horse’), Konrad Juscinski (‘Dark Matter’) and Paul Rosser (‘Take a Moment’).

Kevin Harkin's Walk On - Plough Horse.

Artlink Project Co-ordinator Martha McCulloch said: “February 1 is a very special date in the Irish calendar. For many it is the feast day of St Brigid (the ‘Mother Saint’ of Ireland) and marks ‘Imbolc’ (one of the older Celtic quarter days), while for others it simply announces the start of Spring.

“Here in Inishowen there is a strong connection to this day and the traditions associated with it. We are therefore delighted to be working with eight local and visiting artists to celebrate this day and present their imaginative and thought-provoking installations throughout Swan Park.”

"For example, Kevin Harkin will be installing his new ‘Plough Horse / Walk On’ piece that recalls a time when man and horse worked in unison – coming together to ‘break the soil’ in the springtime for the planting of the crops.”

“On February 1, Swan Park and our wider rural landscape will be beginning to emerge from deep winter and this fantastic outdoor group event will quietly awaken our senses.

Fifi Smith's ‘Lesser-spotted Tree Dragon’

“Establishing itself as an annual showcase in Buncrana, ‘Art in the Park II’ promises to be even bigger and better this year (with double the amount of participating artists).

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“Importantly, it provides opportunities for artists to refresh and realise their creativity and invites imaginative, open-minded responses from the local community and visitors alike.

“We are also hoping to instil a special sense of pride for local people in their culture and heritage and encourage them ‘to get out and about’ as we emerge from winter – with the added positive mental health benefits of experiencing the amazing natural features and rich resources of Swan Park!”

Artlink Project Co-ordinator Rebecca Strain added: “All of our site specific artworks have been carefully chosen for the whole family to observe, interact with, learn from and enjoy.

Anna Stainsby's ‘In Expectation’.
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“In particular, it was great last year to see the joy and excitement on the faces of children and their families who loved the interactive fairy village ‘Púca na Cranncha’. This year, children will be able to both search for and enjoy the story of a ‘Lesser-spotted Tree Dragon’, engage with exciting new interactive installations and much more!”

“We’re also urging people of all ages to take selfies with the artworks and share them on social media.”

“Artlink would like to take this opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to visit and admire this year’s innovative and memorable artworks which will be on display throughout the month of February and sensitively woven into the beautiful landscape of Swan Park.”

The ‘Art in the Park II’ group exhibition will be showcased in Swan Park from February 1 to 28. For further information visit www.artlink.ie or email [email protected]

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Lesser-spotted Tree Dragon.
Konrad Juscinski's ‘Dark Matter’.
Catherine Greene's ‘Meridian’.