Mountmellick yarn bombers strike again

Community Woolly art is adorning the streets of Mountmellick again

Mountmellick yarn bombers strike again
By Lynda Kiernan @laoisnews

Mountmellick has once again been ‘bombed’ by creations of colourful yarn, to send out a colourful welcome to passing Electric Picnickers.

Yarn Bombing Mountmellick, a group of crafty local ladies, got out at dawn last Saturday morning August 27 for what is their third annual art attack on the town, to the delight of surprised locals and visitors over the weekend.

This year their arsenal included colourful handmade dream catchers that now dangle from almost every business along the main street.

“We aim to take away the bad dreams for everyone in Mountmellick for the next few weeks,” said founding member Nina Horan.

The woolly works are designed simply to put a smile on people's faces.

“It’s all about putting Mountmellick on the map in a positive way, making people smile. People are stopping in the town and walking around taking pictures, the reaction is fantastic. The work is never touched, people love it” said Ms Horan.

Every street corner reveals more surprises, from knitted lanterns on trees, to woolly bicycles, lampposts, wells and railings, to a miniature ‘Yarnia Haulage’ truck complete with a knitted driver, in front of their meeting hall at Mountmellick Arts Centre.

Many of the creations are personal labours of love says Ms Horan, including the Banksy style creation of a girl floating away with crocheted balloons, high on the wall of her B&B in the town centre.

“One of our members Ann Harvey also made a seaside scene, hanging at the entrance to Ashgrove, for her husband Eddie,” says Ms Horan.

Another piece, a knitted sign saying ‘noli timere’ on the protestant church railings means ‘don’t be afraid’.

“It was the last message the poet Seamus Heaney sent to his wife before he passed away three years ago on August 30,” Ms Horan explained.

The group has about 20 core members who meet weekly all year to crochet, knit and craft yarn for their surprise art installations.

“It is a smaller crowd this year, we need more members, but we had people who helped but are unable to come to meetings. Lots of people have participated by putting out stuff on their own houses, and we encourage that,” said Nina.

Groups like the ICA and the walking club got on board in a big way this year, while about ten local children worked all summer, with their work now decorating the square.

The catholic church railings are also covered with colourful wool artworks.

“The church has sad occasions as well as happy ones, but I hope that people see it as like flowers at a funeral, and it helps them in their grieving,” said Ms Horan.

They reuse and recycle yarn if possible, and welcome donations of unwanted wool.

Pieces from their show garden at the Bloom garden festival can be seen in the Methodist church grounds and in Shaw's window.

She thanks local businesses for their support, John Moran and Ivan Strong for help in erecting artworks, and the CE scheme and council workers.

The bombing will stay in place for some weeks, and people are asked to tag ‘Yarn Bombing Mountmellick’ if posting photos online.

The group meets every Tuesday evening at 7.30pm in the community arts centre, and welcome male and female members, no skills necessary to join.