July was another busy month for Gorey Tidy Towns, and as August approached, we were delighted to see renowned local artist Amanda Doran begin work on the newest mural on the art wall at Gorey Civic Square.

The piece, which focuses on Gorey’s people and some of its best-known shop fronts, was commissioned by Gorey Tidy Towns, and we were absolutely thrilled when Amanda agreed to create a piece especially for our art wall.

‘Being a Gorey native and daughter to local business owners, I grew up living on Main Street,’ explained Amanda. ‘To me, the heart of the town that makes it thrive is the locals. There are many shop owners and staff in local businesses that have worked there since I was very young and to this day I love going in and having a good old chat with them. That to me, makes it feel like home.’

‘Even though Gorey has expanded so greatly in the past few years, small businesses are still greatly supported by locals and visitors and that keeps the wonderful community thriving in Gorey, something I think is unfortunately lost in some towns in Ireland,’ she said. ‘So, no matter how much Gorey expands, that essence and wonderful support from the community will never be lost. I really wanted that special support link to be highlighted.’

Amanda is highly regarded both locally and internationally, and we are so fortunate to have an artist of her calibre create this for us and for her home town.

Gorey is overflowing with artistic talent and Gorey Tidy Towns, supported by Gorey Municipal District, was anxious that this prominent art wall would have local input.

The first piece, the poppies, was created voluntarily by Kate Kos a few years ago. She hoped it would inspire other artists to also do pieces for the wall.

Last year, three new murals were added to the wall – the Gorey400 mural of the town as seen from Clonattin by Kate; the seven hills of Gorey with the goat by James Kirwan (funded by the Avenue residents); and the North Wexford beach scene by Kate.

This year’s addition was funded by Gorey Tidy Towns. We think Amanda’s idea of featuring the Gorey shop fronts fits in very well to the wall as it highlights the business and social life of the town, as well as the diversity of its creativity.

Amanda has a very distinct style and anyone who is familiar with her work will immediately recognise this as an Amanda Doran piece. Everyone else will recognise three of Gorey’s most iconic shopfronts, and three businesses that have enriched our town for decades. With so much attention to detail the mural is bound to gather much interest as passers-by spot local details that only Amanda could have provided for this piece of art!

Amanda Doran completed her Honours Bachelor Degree in Fine Art Painting at the NCAD, Dublin, in 2012. Since graduating she was shortlisted for the Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4’s New Sensations Award 2012, showcasing new talent from the UK and Ireland.

Since then she has had many exciting opportunities to exhibit her work throughout Europe. She was shortlisted for the Marmite Prize for Painting in 2016 and was the recipient of the Paul Funge Residency Programme for 2018-2019 at Gorey School of Art.

She had two solo shows last year: Flora and Fauna at the RHA Ashford Gallery Dublin; and Familiar Faces at Periphery Space, Gorey. She also had a two-person show, Pretty Fleshy Pain Things, with Shelia Rennick at Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin. She has works in the Axa Insurance, Saatchi, and OPW collections.