It was a fine day about three weeks ago, one of the first this year that I gathered my bits and pieces and moved my studio to Gorey Civic Square albeit temporarily. I was on a mission and had a mural to paint so armed with bottles of paint, rollers, brushes, towels, cups, buckets of water and a table I set up my stall and got ready to do battle. My reference was a photo printed on a A4 sheet which I had to somehow blow up to a massive 20 square meters. Not been my first mural my confidence was high and so I got stuck in.
Only one day!
I didn’t know how long it was going to take me, but to my (and everyone else’s ) surprise by days’ end I was finished. I was tired and had a few aches and pains but finished and not without a sense of pride. Job done. It was such an exciting and large scale project that at times I did feel overwhelmed but any time I started to lag behind or question whether I’d ever finish the public support around me buoyed my spirits. Words of praise and encouragement and so many great responses from passers by helped me push through.
The real heroes
But enough about my day, as big a job as it was it was only a day’s work. The real heroes of this story are the people from Gorey Tidy Towns. A group who meet regularly to pick up our rubbish from the streets, clip overgrown bushes or clean areas that no one else thinks about. These are the unsung heroes who deserve the praise. They are also involved and are the driving force behind projects like this one, getting funds and organising it from the start to finish. It was they that commissioned me to paint the mural as a part of Gorey 400. They also picked the image and the site. I am only a tool to get it done! And how lucky and honoured am I that they picked me and I was able to contribute towards the town that has created and continues to create so many opportunities for me. So that’s why I still feel a little guilty inside if I get a complement about the mural, without the Tidy Towns folks it would never have happened.
Last week saw the official launch and we had a group photo taken. Members of the Tidy Towns showed up too feeling really proud, and rightly so that the town had got something beautiful thanks to their efforts. And after all the fanfare dies down and its last week’s news, we will all get used to the mural and get on with our lives, but Gorey Tidy Towns heroes will still meet up weekly and continue giving generously of their time and energy to keep our town beautiful.