“Breakfast with the Pope” –
Waterford Walls 2016 Launch
Brent Pope and Artist Joe Caslin discuss the importance of Creative Economy for Waterford
Waterford Chamber Skillnet, in association with Waterford Walls, were delighted to host the ‘Breakfast with the Pope – The importance of the Creative Economy’ on Tuesday last (June 14th) in Dooley’s Hotel. The event marked the official launch of the Waterford Walls 2016 street art project, which will take place across Waterford City and County from August 25th to 28th and which will see local, national and international artists creating over 40 murals.
Brent Pope, who is the official ambassador for Waterford Walls, joined a host of guest speakers including renowned artist Joe Caslin, to discuss the transformative power of art and innovation for the local economy.
Cllr. Eamonn Quinlan, Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Waterford, opened proceedings by welcoming the return of the festival for its second year, saying, “The Waterford Walls project is held in very high esteem here in the city, and is truly an exemplary arts festival.”
Waterford Chamber President Laurent Borla addressed the room giving insight to the value and importance of the Creative Economy. “The concept was first developed in 2001 to describe economic systems where value is based on novel imaginative qualities rather than the traditional resources of land, labour and capital, be it through the arts or innovation. Where better in this country right now to focus on innovation than Waterford? We are leaders in the creative economy in Ireland on all fronts, with our state of the art research centres and ever increasing reputation as one of the leaders in innovation and technology but also as a county whose history and current day culture are embedded in the arts. Our festivals are the best in the country, our artists world renowned.”
Sarah Jane Hanton, Waterford Walls founding member and owner of The Parlour Vintage Tea Rooms, explained how her involvement with the project reconnected her to the city and motivated her to move her business into the centre following the festival in 2015.
Nationally renowned artist Joe Caslin emphasised the power of art and the importance of both the art and the artist to create discussion and debate. Joe’s project showcased in Dublin during the Equality Referendum and his ongoing project ‘Our Nations Sons’ will appear across Ireland in 2016.
Brent Pope, who is famous for his Rugby punditry, spoke of his passion for art throughout his life. His personal creativity has resulted in his publishing several children’s books and his admiration for outsider art inspired Brent to become an Ambassador for the Waterford Walls Project in 2016. Brent commended all those involved for embracing the project so wholeheartedly saying, “I travelled the world looking for outsider art and it was right here in Waterford. Waterford Walls has brought art to Waterford that can stand up anywhere in the world. ”
The Waterford Walls International Street Art Project will be making Waterford its canvas over July and August and through the support of locals and business owners you can expect to see 40 national and international artists descend on the city to paint their beautiful works.
Waterford Chamber Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programmes, an initiative of Skillnets, funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education & Skills.