By Helen Riddell
A UNIQUE art venture will see the colours of the Bere Island landscape made into a range of paints.
Turf Projects has been awarded funding of €5,000 in the Heritage Council’s 2017 Community Heritage Grants scheme.
Dublin-based artist, Paula Barrett plans to create the range of colour palettes from photographs taken throughout Bere Island.
Working with the islanders, local place names will have a colour associated with them, which can then be used to develop a range of paints, based on the island’s landscape and heritage.
Paula is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, and explained how she first came up with the concept of Turf Projects while at college.
She developed a range of postcards which featured photographs of various landscapes in Ireland, with a panel on one side featuring a palette of the range of colours depicted in the photograph.
‘My work has always been related to the landscape, and I have always been drawn to the light and landscape of Ireland, which I feel is unique,’ she explained.
‘The postcards were a way to document this.’
Paula first visited Bere Island in 2016 during a Heritage Week festival organised by the Bere Island Tourism and Environment Group, at which she gave an illustrated talk of her work in Turf Projects.
Niamh Daly, spokesperson of the island’s Tourism Group, is delighted that the island can continue to work with Paula.
‘This artistic project will offer a new line of communication in terms of preserving the island’s folklore and placenames,’ Niamh explained.
The island residents know their landscape intimately and many of the older generation remember that each field or turn in the road was known locally by a certain name or story.
This important aspect of the island’s history will be used as a reference in the colour palette created by Paula.
‘We are confident that the publicity from this project will promote an appreciation for the natural beauty and important history of Bere Island, and ultimately encourage more to visit the island,’ she told The Southern Star.
A total of 196 projects nationwide have been awarded funding under the scheme, which supports the conservation and development of Irish heritage through local community-based groups.