A newly completed piece of public art in Larne is fast becoming a talking – and walking – point, thanks to a colourful collaboration involving Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the local Traders’ Forum and Larne Renovation Regeneration (LRG).
Whitehead artist, Janet Crymble, painstakingly created the mosaic by individually cutting, cementing and grouting coloured tiles onto the steps at Larne Town Hall over the course of a week.
The project was made possible thanks to the COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme, funded by the Department for Communities (DfC), Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), and the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), and administered by Council.
The work was commissioned by Council’s Town Centre team as part of their ongoing work to revitalise our local town centres and welcome shoppers and visitors to #RediscoverMEA, while supporting traders in recovering from the challenges created by COVID-19.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, congratulated all those involved in the project.
“Council’s vision was to enhance civic pride for people living in Larne and improve the environment for residents, businesses and visitors to this part of our borough.
“We want to enhance the tourist and visitor potential of the area, by encouraging people to stay longer and act as a catalyst for further town centre investment.
“It is envisaged that this artwork, along with the recent and future Public Realm improvements and art installations, will become part of the town’s unique offering and be enjoyed by the local community and visitors alike.”
The mosaic steps project aims to improve the walkway from Main Street in Larne, to “The Jaunting Car” statue, another popular piece of art installed earlier this year, and which forms part of a walking tour organised by a local community group.
A key member of Council’s Town Centre Recovery Group, Larne Renovation Regeneration was instrumental in developing the idea for both projects as a means of transforming the aesthetics of the townscape for generations to come.
Janet Crymble thanked the council and Larne Renovation Generation (LRG) for the opportunity to work on the project.
“When approached about this opportunity from LRG and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council I jumped at the chance to do my largest mosaic project commission to date as I had never done steps before.
“I had only ever done mosaics directly on the flat before so this was a whole new way of working for me. I wanted to create an organic form that “travelled” up the steps, flowing and moving, thus taking away the straightness and angular forms and giving them a much softer approach.
“My work has always been inspired by the natural world so I designed a piece on paper relating to organic forms within nature, i.e. leaves, spirals flowers etc, creating a continuity of pattern adding little areas of interest throughout.
“I have always worked with the discarded “real” materials of society in the gallery, using a process of reducing them into workable pieces and restructuring them to create installations, breathing new life into something that would otherwise end up as landfill, giving them beauty and a new purpose.
“My thanks go to LRG and Council for giving me this opportunity and to the locals and traders who overwhelmed me with their kindness and hospitality!”