New mural inspired by local waterways to be unveiled

Young people who attend Action Mental Health’s dedicated youth group are preparing to unveil a giant mural inspired by the natural bounty of the local waterways

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th June 2021, 12:34 pm

The mural, which has been named the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’, a feature of Irish mythology, will be mounted at the new event space in Ebrington Square later this month.

River soundscapes recorded by the young people will activate as passers-by view it.

Fifteen members of AMH New Horizons Foyle Boost group commenced a special research project last September to unearth the natural ‘jewels’ of the River Foyle and have created the mural to depict the mysteries they discovered below the surface.

Local graffiti artist Donal O’Doherty, from Peaball Graffiti, is helping the young people bring their learning to life.

The local artist was enlisted to help the gang from Boost express and transfer their river experience into art, using symbols, sound and colours from the riverscape.

The mural was made possible by a generous donation by Foyle Port, with the artwork incorporating a navigation map detailing significant information on the major river’s natural ‘jewels’.

The Boost team spent time exploring the river as part of the Public Health Agency’s Clear project-sponsored initiative.

The project encouraged the Boost gang to spend time at the river to engage in the Five Ways to Well-Being: keep active, connect, take notice, keep learning and give.

The young people kept active by walks by the river, river swimming and river gorging, paddle boarding, cycling, archery and jetty jumping.

They took notice by recording river sounds, mindful walking, birdwatching, forest bathing and mediation.

They kept learning about the river’s rich history, its ecosystem, flora and fauna and humans’ inextricable links to the natural resource, while also connecting with key stakeholders, including businesses and services that have popped up around the river.

Finally, they gave their time to discover, experience and explore the opportunities that the river has to offer, and to counter the negative connections often associated with the River Foyle.

AMH New Horizons Foyle Service Manager Pauline Flanagan thanked all those who made the mural possible and said the young people hope it will be a ‘truly transformational local experience’.

“The young people have really enjoying the experience of their river forays and foraging. Many thanks to the Public Health Agency and Clear project for supporting this interesting and inspiring exploration of the local River Foyle.

“Thank also to Foyle Port for the funding gift, which allows our young people to share their findings with the community.”

She added: “The young artists hope this will be a truly transformational local experience for everyone who comes along.”

Boost, at AMH New Horizons Foyle, is aimed at 18 to 25-year-olds concerned about their mental and emotional well-being. The group provides personal development to help young people get back on track.

For more information, contact AMH New Horizons Foyle on 028 7137 3502.