Liz Christy, whose woolly sheep literally kept the wolves from the door of her studio during the recession, is set to showcase her work to thousands of people a day on the back of a bus.
The local hand-weaver is the latest winner of the nationally acclaimed Matthews.ie Arts Showcase initiative.
The award promotes and provides innovative advertising support to a succession of local artists in Louth, Monaghan and East Meath across a range of disciplines over a three-year period.
The Matthews.ie Arts Showcase Initiative won Best Use of Creativity in the Community in the 25th Allianz National Business To Arts Awards in 2016.
It is hugely supported by Louth and Monaghan Arts offices and attracts a large amount of entries from local artists.
Every six months, a deserving person from the creative sector across the arts disciplines in Louth, Monaghan or East Meath is selected as the showcase winner and have themselves or their works featured as an advertisement on the full back of a Matthews.ie coach
Liz’s 3.6 metre ad will be seen on some of the company’s 133 daily services between Dublin and the north east from this week.
The buses will be painted with images of Liz’s colourful hand-woven scarves and her range of LizzyC Sheep.
“I’m absolutely delighted with this win. I just can’t get my head around it,” said Liz whose work is often inspired by her favourite painter Monet.
“Matthews.ie has brought tours to my Swallow Studios many times, so for me now to be on the back of their buses is amazing.
“They say every little helps but to have your business advertised on the back of a bus is by no means little.
“It’s a fantastic scheme that they have to support the arts.”
Liz, whose looms are powered by hand and foot, started the LizzyC Sheep collection of keyrings, brooches and fridge magnets in 2009, at the request of a customer.
“The recession had hit at that stage. It’s ironic to say but the sheep, which we now export, really did keep the wolves from our door and kept our home and studio running through the tough times.”
“Liz is one of the few hand-weavers in this part of Ireland that still practices the age old craft in the traditional way,” said Matthews.ie Managing Director Paddy Matthews.
“The vibrant colours in her scarves, all made in her Swallow Studios outside Annayalla near Castleblayney, clearly show her passion for Irish textiles and her LizzyC Sheep are proving more and more popular both at home and abroad.
“We have always put the art and culture of the area to the fore in our numerous day and extended tours which promote the north east, and we see the benefits in promoting the artistic life of the region.
“Nominations are now open again and artists can enter themselves for consideration for this valuable prize by downloading the entry form from www.matthews.ie.”