Cultivating Creativity: Kilrea Enterprise Group

Created the mixed media Fairy Thorn sculptural seat

During discussions between artist and designer Alan Cargo and the Kilrea Enterprise Group, Co Londonderry, an important tenet for the Cultivating Creativity project constantly arose: ‘We want to get as many people as possible involved’. Involvement expanded rapidly to include a wide range of people and organisations and, following participation by schools and a competition launch, the final theme of fairy thorn was chosen.

The Fairy Thorn sculpture quickly evolved into a sculptural seat, becoming a symbol for the village as well as a practical resource. Broad community ownership is reflected in the observation, ‘…there has been a shift from this being the Kilrea Enterprise Group’s Project to just the "Sculpture Project."'

Following a series of open discussions in KiIrea Town Hall, a poster was printed and distributed throughout the community asking for suggestions and designs. One hundred and twenty ideas were submitted, then condensed into three working designs from which the final sculpture was chosen. The finished artwork is a mixed media sculpture with a central stainless steel cone and a circular base, covered in brightly glazed ceramic tiles serving as a seat.

Over 420 people from Kilrea contributed over 680 individual ceramic tiles, drawings, poems, and objects, all incorporated in the finished piece. The town of Kilrea now has a modern and celebratory regenerative emblem in its centre, brought about by broad and inclusive community participation.

© Cultivating Creativity 2004