Regional FinalistsMrs Kelly and four of her Junk Kouture teams took to the road on Thursday, March 7th, to travel to Castlebar’s Royal Theatre for the Junk Kouture 2019 Western Regional Final. After months of hard work, the bower girls did not disappoint when the time came to take to the stage. “24 Carrot” (Niamh Beirne, Aine Gallagher & Emily Ruane),  “Bamboo Unity” (New Nawiang), “Golden Arches” (Orla Cuffe, Kate Faller & Róisín Kenny) and “Roll Model” (Rebecca Collins, Lauren Gallagher & Anna O’Donovan) wowed the audience with their designs and performances.

“24 Carrot” has been constructed using dehydrated carrots and parsnips and newspaper. The motivation behind the design was to raise awareness about food waste. The team visited Beechlawn Organic Farm in Ballinasloe and spoke with owners; Padraig Fahy and Úna Ní Bhroin about the issue. The girls learned that many businesses are struggling as a result of consumers’ fixation on aesthetics and their refusal to buy “wonky” fruit and veg. The girls believe that 2019 should be the year that consumers peel back the skin and focus on what’s on the inside in order to prevent unnecessary food waste.

“Bamboo Unity” was an almost accidental process that has evolved and matured since autumn. Mrs Kelly brought Golden Archesautumnal bamboo cuttings from her garden to be used as a raw material in the Art room. These cuttings reminded New of the use of bamboo as construction scaffolding in South East Asian countries, such as her native Thailand. The cuffs and skirt were intricately constructed using a knotting technique. Additional flourishes were created by burning the bamboo to create a symmetrical pattern.

“Golden Arches” is made from a combination of McDonald’s packaging and tealights. The girls’ dress is inspired by the wonderful work of the Ronald McDonald House, which supports families whose children are seriously ill in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, by providing accommodation and a caring and supportive environment. The tealights symbolise the light and hope that the charity provides for parents who find themselves caring for a seriously ill child.

Roll Model“Roll Model” used old parish newsletters which the girls rolled into small white beads and threaded in different ways to create several unique patterns and designs. For added colour, the girls incorporated out of date, purple parish envelopes, kindly donated by Fr Michael McManus and the households of Kiltoom Parish.

Congratulations to the members of “Golden Arches” and “Roll Model”, who have clinched a place in the Grand Final in the 3Arena on May 2nd.