Rosie Cole with her two artist’s assistants, her sons Rinn and Noah Carroll.

Killeshandra’s bright welcome

Local nature is captured in its full glory in the latest mural to be unveiled in Killeshandra.

The beautiful large-scale piece created in bold colours by artist Rosie Cole stands on a prominent wall on the Carrigallen Road.

To forefront of the image are a woodpecker, heron and badger with a trio of flowers, camomile, iris and ecunachia, all drawing the eye to a jetty leading into one of Killeshandra’s seven lakes.

Rosie was invited to contribute a piece by arts facilitator Sally O’Dowd and Cavan Arts officer Catriona O’Reilly to celebrate the flora and fauna of Killeshandra.

It works as a companion piece with Rob Hilton’s epic artwork outside the Resource Centre, off Main Street. Aware that Rob’s theme was some of the fish populating the local lakes, Rosie opted to showcase some of the wildlife and plant life found around the lake shores and local gardens.

“On my walk around the loop I heard the woodpecker, pecking away in the trees - it was lovely,” recalls Rosie of her amazement at hearing the urgent hammering of the very recent arrival no sooner than she embarked on her walk with her young sons Rinn and Noah.

Then the heron deservedly holds prominence in the painting.

“They’re just amazing, they look like they’re from the dinosaur era. They are about patience cause they patiently wait for their fish to pass. And then the badger is just a fascinating creature the way they scurry around down there, getting things done in the dead of night, so they were the animals I really wanted to represent.”

Amongst the flowers are two with medicinal properties, echinacea which is “really good for your flu and colds”, and camomile “it’s really calming and good to have in your tea”. She correctly notes the wall on which the mural is painting is right beside the health centre on the Carrigallen Road.

“That’s the Iris,” she continues, pointing to a purple flower standing proud. “It represents the flora on the lakeshore.”

“I really loved doing this piece,” she said, as the Celt admires the finished piece.

However, it wasn’t without it’s challenges. Rosie recalls a chat with Sally O’Dowd, who in addition to driving the Killeshandra mural projects, is also a fellow artist.

“I rang her halfway through and was like, ‘Aw I think I’m stuck, I’ve gone too big’.

“She was like, ‘Just put some music on and go mad with the paintbrush!’ That’s when I was able to finish it off, so she was a great support.”

While ‘going mad’ might have helped overcome her painters’ block, the finished work shows great control. Rosie’s particularly pleased by how the colours seem to burst from the image. She skilfully juxtaposed very strong colours without having them clash.

“They just seem to become really electric for this piece, so I’m really happy. They are nice and vibrant.”

“Hopefully people will enjoy being welcomed to Killeshandra by the mural.”

This is the latest addition to Rosie’s growing collection of large scale public artworks having previously created murals for Kildallan National School, Ballyconnell Town and Cavan Town.

The Celt enquires, have you a name for it?

She thinks for a second and pulls from the air: “Let’s dance!”