‘It’s been a great experience’
Two striking new murals that have been painted on opposite walls at the entrance to the Harrison Centre in Roscommon town have attracted much positive comment! ALANNAH ITA HEALY caught up with local art student JULIET CULLEN just as she was applying some finishing touches to the second mural on Tuesday afternoon. Here’s how their chat went!
What prompted this mural? And how long have you been working on it?
I was commissioned to do the mural by Johnny Doyle (local businessman). I started it on June 26th, so I’ve been working on it nearly a month now, usually during the week, Monday to Friday. I’m aiming to have it done very soon.
How did you choose this design?
I took some inspiration from the mural in Kildare Village, they have a cool floral mural there. I put together some pictures and sent them on to (Johnny Doyle), and he sent back the ones with the style that he liked, so I knew where to go from there. And I thought the message, “We’re going places”, was a good one.
Have you ever done a project like this before?
No, this is my first time doing a mural. I didn’t realise how much work it would be at first, but it’s been a great experience.
What’s the process of doing a mural like this? Do you have to stencil out the design first?
No, I don’t use stencils, I just draw it all out freehand. I use oil pastels then and paint over it. But for the wording, I do use a metre stick to draw it out first.
What has the reaction of the public been like while you’ve been working on the mural?
There has been a lot of reaction actually. I honestly couldn’t believe how many people have stopped to say something. Even on the first day when I only had a few leaves and stuff painted, people stopped to give compliments. It’s been overwhelming really; people have been so kind.
Any interactions that stand out?
Actually yes – there was one time when I was out here painting and these little boys came up and were being lovely and complimenting the mural, saying ‘It’s so nice’ and ‘You’re such a good artist’. I thanked them and they left. But then they came back a little while later, and started ripping the plastic off these mini canvases they’d just bought in Tesco’s, asking, “Could you please paint something on this for us?”. So, I said, “Of course!”. That was such a lovely interaction.
Would you like to see more art going up around the town?
Yeah definitely, I think it would be lovely. It’s something nice to look at. And like people have been saying when they’re going past, it really helps brighten up the place.