Guerrilla sculpture unleashed in Thomastown

Guerrilla Sculptures have been unleashed in Thomastown to celebrate Kilkenny Arts Festival.

Guerrilla Sculptures have been unleashed in Thomastown to celebrate Kilkenny Arts Festival.

Guerrilla Sculpture is a “pop-up” art project for young people run by Sessions House Arts Centre Thomastown as part of their Summer Youth Programme. The project was designed to help young people engage with their surroundings through the creation of site specific sculptures made with recycled and found items. The pieces have appeared overnight in covert locations throughout Thomastown much to the bemusement and joy of some of the local residents!

The nature of the sculptures and their final locations were kept a closely guarded secret until this morning when it seems at every turn you can find an unfamiliar Totem Pole, a “yarn-bombed” tree or an iconic building with a temporary makeover! “Goats Beware” is the cautionary sign on Thomastown Bridge as underneath there now resides a Troll, one of the youth group’s installations. The pieces were constructed from found, recycled and locally sourced materials including newspapers, chicken wires, PVA glue, wool, paint, cardboard and wallpaper paste. The participants have developed an understanding of the importance of being aesthetically aware and have learned techniques and skills needed to use a variety of materials. Through this collaborative project, they will better connect with each other, their local environment and the wider community.

Over 40 young people participated in the Guerrilla Art Project that ranged in age from 8 to 18 years old. Under the guidance of the facilitators, Maura Brennan and Helen Faulkner, participants have designed, constructed and exhibited the sculptures. “These sculptures will encourage both the participants and the community to look with fresh eyes on their everyday spaces. It is hoped that this process will connect both the makers and spectators with their surroundings, “explained Helen Faulkner of Mud Workshop, Thomastown.

Sessions House Arts Centre Thomastown’s Summer Youth Programme is supported by the Kilkenny Leader Partnership. For information on Sessions House Arts Centre Thomastown or the Summer Youth Programme join us on Facebook or go to To view the Guerrilla Sculptures for yourself simply take a stroll around Thomastown where you can also enjoy a variety of visual arts exhibitions and musical events throughout Kilkenny Arts Festival.

The Sessions House is the old court building in Thomastown. In 2011 a dedicated collective regrouped in an attempt to acquire the building for restoration as a much needed centre for artistic pursuits in the town. Their aim is to offer an all-inclusive, neutral space in the heart of Thomastown to cater for every age group and practitioners of all disciplines. One year later, with the assistance of Kilkenny Leader Partnership and an enthusiastic response from local people, great progress has been made. The premises has been secured and it is hoped to open the doors in early 2013.

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