The Kilkenny Catwalk is an arts trail of 21 wonderful Kilkenny Cat sculptures which have been illustrated by some of Ireland’s most talented artists, mainly local, for public display in and around Kilkenny City. The trail will go live for Kilkenny Day this Sunday 10th October and remain in place until Easter 2022.
Visitors can follow the trail on the official Kilkenny Catwalk Trail App and find sculptures that will be located in public spaces many of which are attached to the heritage buildings around Kilkenny City.
The trail is designed to immerse people in Kilkenny’s rich heritage while at the same time supporting the local Tourism and Hospitality businesses post COVID.
At the conclusion of the project, all artwork will be auctioned to raise funds for the refurbishment of the St Marys Almshouse in Kilkenny.
“I want to thank everyone involved in making this exciting project a reality,” Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Fidelis Doherty said.
“A particular mention to the Local Community Groups who collaborated with Artists for the Themed Cats, the host locations and award winning Cartoon Saloon for coming on board. Our Artists and Hospitality sectors have been two of the sectors most hit by the pandemic over the last two years. This project is an example of pooling our collective enthusiasm and utilising our creative talents so that Kilkenny continues to be famed as a place where Arts and Culture are at the heart of the visitor experience.”
Bringing business, arts and local community together
This project is a partnership between Kilkenny Civic Trust and Kilkenny County Council which can be engaged with outdoors, regardless of restrictions, and has been designed to support and bring local businesses, arts, and community together, attract visitors to Kilkenny and create footfall in sculpture host locations and throughout the city.
The project also provides a new and exciting activity and walking route around the city for families and people of all ages and supports the Keep Well Campaign.
The Kilkenny Catwalk model
The model is a 5ft tall fibreglass resin sculpture based on The Secret of Kells character, Pangur Bán, created by four-time Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, BAFTA and Emmy nominated Kilkenny-based animation studio, Cartoon Saloon.
The art and the artists
Most of the artists are local with a mix of high-profile artists and community groups participating in the project. Along the Catwalk of 21 sculptures there are a number of fantastic themes including; an age-friendly cat, a cat designed by a local youth group, a Cartoon Saloon designed cat and a hurling & camogie themed cat signed by both Kilkenny teams which you can enter a raffle to win.
The stories behind the creations
The project team were really keen to engage with the local community during the lockdown period in 2021 and to offer some outlet for various groups to link with their peers and immerse themselves in a unique lockdown project;
- Our local Age Friendly group designed and developed an age friendly cat working with artist Paul Bokslag to create a wonderfully themed Age Friendly Cat!
- Local Youth Group, Ossory Youth came on board and immersed themselves in the design and creation of a young peoples cat in collaboration with artist Joanne Moore
- Cartoon Saloon themselves got their own wonderfully talented illustrators to work on a pangur ban model and produced their own Catwalk Cat.
- We also put out a call for emerging artists to come on board and exciting emerging artist Graham Carew has produced a delightful cat for the trail.
Lead image: Kilkenny Goalkeeper Eoin Murphy in Nowlan Park under the watchful eye the ‘Cat’s Cat’