Waterford Walls are thrilled to introduce our little sister, T-Walls. Five new murals will grace Tramore town as the Waterford Walls project expands its reach to one of Ireland’s favourite seaside spots
T-Walls launched in July 2016, when acclaimed artist Dermot McConaghy (DMC) painted Promenadhá on Main St during the Promenade Festival – two lovely Victorian ladies in pastel hues. Asked about the project he said, “I am very proud to have been the artist to kick off T-Walls. Tramore is a wonderful place to work – the people are so friendly, the weather and the views make this a beautiful place to come, and I am delighted to be here”. DMC also ran a workshop with the local Pathfinders group, a community-based day service for adults with intellectual disabilities. The workshop resulted in a collaborative piece of two boards reading ‘Respect each other’, which will be displayed on art trails during the main Waterford Walls festival weekend in August .
Four new murals have appeared in Tramore so far. Alongside Promenádha, the bus terminus was totally transformed by Le Bas, while Dan Leo brought a bright and beautiful heron to land on the Voujon Café and James Earley has revamped Tramore library. Finally, EOIN will tackle the old Xtravision on Summerhill.
I had a quick chat with Waterford Walls founder and manager Edel Tobin about the project’s exciting new developments.
Where did the idea to expand Waterford Walls to Tramore come from?
The idea came from the town management groups in Tramore, who are working with Waterford City and County Council to regenerate the centre of Tramore town. They invited me to speak to them about Waterford Walls and ideas of how to paint murals based on the heritage of Tramore as a seaside town and which would draw people up to the top of the town from the promenade area.
Street art is often thought as a more urban, city centre art form. How do you feel it complements the aesthetic of a seaside town like Tramore?
The artwork transforms the area it’s located in. These walls were specifically chosen as they are located in run-down streets which needed some brightening up. The walls start at the bus station, which is one of the main entry points into Tramore, and form a trail leading people up through the heart of Tramore to the top of the town. They have already re-energised the areas in which they are positioned, as the surrounding businesses and residents are just so enthused and excited by people’s interest and reactions to them. Street art is not limited to urban city centres; street art is for everyone and can be found anywhere. It really is about the reason it is brought to a place. In Tramore’s case, it’s about bringing interest and people back to its centre. T-Walls has started this and has got the whole place talking.
Finally, are there plans to bring Waterford Walls to any other parts of the county?
Yes, we would love to bring Waterford Walls to other parts of the county and the country. It has great potential in terms of impact and can be easily rolled out in other areas. In our second year, we now have the right team and system to do it.
The Waterford Walls team has been busy in their efforts to bring the magic of this street art project to Tramore in collaboration with Tramore Chamber and Council, the Tramore Development Trust, and the local Tidy Towns committee. Locals and visitors alike have been captivated watching the artists in action, so if you haven’t been out for a walk through Tramore town lately, now is the perfect time!