There’s a story behind every door in Wexford Enterprise Centre. One such story began hundreds of years ago in the sea off the coast of Ireland and landed in Helen McLean’s Art Studio, which has its home in the Centre. The ‘Wexford Blue Whale: Chanies Across the Sea’ project is County Wexford art project which connects shipwrecks, a blue whale and a 77-year-old woman’s extraordinary collection of pieces of pottery collected over the years on the beach in Rosslare. A large whale mosaic created by Helen, in association with Wexford Arts Centre, supported by Wexford County Council, recalls the 25m blue whale which beached in Wexford in 1891 and whose skeleton now hangs at the entrance hall of the Natural History Museum in London.
It is as much of a community project as it is an artistic one. The story of the whale and that of Ann Borg, who collected the shards of pottery over the past seven decades, has sparked the attention of people on both sides of the Atlantic, including that of the Natural History Museum in London.
RTÉ recently interviewed Helen, Ann and Elizabeth Whyte of Wexford Arts Centre about this fascinating project https://rb.gy/uwnnsg
The Whale Mosaic will soon be installed permanently on Wexford’s Quay at the Wexford Bridge side. It will be officially unveiled as part of the Arts Council’s ‘Brightening Air/Coiscéim Coiligh’ festival and will be open to the public from Saturday, 12 June. A beautiful story of history, the community of Wexford and art – all coming together. This tale is set to be told for many more years to come.
If you’d like to know more about Helen’s Artwork, visit her website on https://www.helenmcleanart.com/ or follow her Facebook and Instagram.