The creative talents of media students from South West College (SWC) were celebrated at a special showcase of films and performances inspired by Enniskillen's public art pieces at the Ardhowen Theatre on Thursday, May 25.

Working in collaboration with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council – specifically Development Officer, Catherine Scott, and former Arts Manager, Bryony May – the students were tasked with creating two films each, one factual and the other fictional, showcasing the history and significance of various pieces of public art throughout the town.


Caitlyn McLoughlin at the lectern for the SWC event.

Caitlyn McLoughlin at the lectern for the SWC event.

The result was an exciting and diverse range of short films that captivated and inspired the Ardhowen audience who attended ‘The Art of Enniskillen’ Creative Media Showcase.

Created by SWC students Jody O’Donnell, Caitlyn McLoughlin, Lewis Kilpatrick, Luke Kavanagh, Ethan Crozier and Fiachra Avery, the short films were inspired by public artworks including 'Golden Swallows', the installation of 150 such swallows distributed across the town in celebration of Oscar Wilde's 'The Happy Prince'.

Further inspirations included 'Walking on Words', words embossed on the pavement throughout Enniskillen; 'Myrtle', a kinetic steam train model created by the late Gordon Wilson, which is on display in the Buttermarket; and murals by local artist, Kevin McHugh.

Each film focused on a particular artwork, with the students conducting research on their chosen piece for their factual film, some interviewing locals to delve deeper into the meaning behind the art.

For the fictional films, the students used the artworks as a jumping-off point, applying their creativity to make heartwarming and, in some cases, hilarious visual pieces.

Divided into two sections, the evening opened with an introduction by Creative Media tutor Ian Blackford, followed by a few words from Bryony May.

After the first set of factual films were screened, Catherine Scott spoke about the project and the importance of public art.


Charlotte McGuigan takes centre stage at the Ardhowen Theatre.

Charlotte McGuigan takes centre stage at the Ardhowen Theatre.

The audience was then treated to a beautiful rendition of 'Abide With Me' by performing arts practice student Charlotte McGuigan.

The title of the song 'Abide With Me', written by Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847), a former student at Portora Royal School, is embossed on the paving stone in Enniskillen as part of the 'Walk on Words' public art piece.

After a brief interval, Charlotte returned to sing 'Walk Walk Talk Talk' by Enniskillen musician Michael Softley, the title of which can also be seen on the streets of Enniskillen if you look closely.

The event was both engaging and entertaining as the students highlighted the public artworks of the town through a variety of styles and interpretations.

As the students joined together on stage to take a bow, they received a well-deserved standing ovation by their captive audience.