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Signals from the River can be viewed on Nicholas St in Limerick City. Picture: Nigel Dugdale Signals from the River can be viewed on Nicholas St in Limerick City. Picture: Nigel Dugdale

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Signals from the River project brings a splash of colour to Nicholas St

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Signals from the River can be viewed on Nicholas St in Limerick City. Picture: Nigel Dugdale

Signals from the River project brings a splash of colour to Nicholas St

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Ann Mc Donald

signals from the river Pictured above is the installation of the flags. Picture: Deirdre Power

Pictured above is the installation of the flags. Picture: Deirdre Power

Signals from the River is a socially engaged participatory arts project by artists Chelsea Canavan and Deirdre Power, as well as those from local communities by way of the River Shannon. 

The project is the result of River Signals by Chelsea and Deirdre. They wanted their project to focus on developing relations with communities, by exploring shared narratives around the rivers and seas. Projects like this engage with community ecology through water heritage and culture, framed within sustainable and traditional ecosystems unfolding every day. 

The flags were made during Culture Night 2021 to celebrate our relationship with water. The aim of this was to co-create a set of flags where the relationship between people and place can convey a story to the broader public. Participants in the workshop were then able to bring their flags home. 

Each uniquely created flag was documented and is now part of a flag set visible on Nicholas Street since Wednesday, October 20. 

The flag display already has people talking, with Nigel Dugdale saying, “So great to see Nicholas St brightened up as part of River Signals project,” on Twitter, and other users commenting that it, “looks great,” and is, “very nice indeed.”

The colourful and vivid flags wonderfully complement the nearby mural of Dolores O’Riordan by Dublin street artist Aches. 

This project has allowed relations between citizens’ science and creative practice to enable new possibilities, such as the wonderful new flag display. 

Artist Deirdre Power said that the project is, “Reimagining space – merging community ecology and river data, enabling new opportunities on the island that ‘stands proudly from the sea.’”

The flag-making workshops made a platform for a shared conversation around the cultural and ecological heritage of riverine communities. The collection of water data and local river stories merge with histories and the politics of space. This knowledge is adapted into a process that creates patterns, visual semaphores, and weaves new narratives relating to our sense of place. 

The Signals from the River is a contributing workshop to the Water Paths Project and Eco Showboat Project. 

For more about Signals from the River go HERE 

For more stories about community go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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