A new light installation in Galway showing the impact of rising sea levels has been hailed as “fabulous” by Green Party Councillor, Martina O’Connor.
“It makes it easy for people to understand what’s happening on an ongoing basis and to engage with it”, she said.
The horizontal illuminated lines installed on the Spanish Arch and the surrounding area will be switched on at night-time for the next six months, marking the level waters will reach according to scientists and showing how the town could be flooded within one-hundred years.
The project, by artists Timo Aho and Pekka Niittyvirta, is called “Linte na Farraige” and will take place in several Irish coastal sites.
Ms O’Connor thinks such a clear reminder could change Galwegians’ daily habits, for example in the use of their cars. “While the bigger picture could be overwhelming, having it brought down to the place where you live can actually make you rethink your choices”, she said.
The project is based on renewable and low consumption energies, according to “Linte na Farraige” creators, but a light installation in the middle of an energy and climate crisis could still raise doubts among the public.
“I think you have to invest to win,” said Ms O’Connor, “If the use of that amount of light can trigger us all to think about what we are wasting, it’s worth it”. According to the Councillor, artists choices must be respected and although there could be other effective ways to mark the buildings, such as spray paint, they would be washed away too easily.
It’s still not clear if at the end of the six months there will be collected data showing a change in Galway citizens’ behaviours after the installation, and Ms O’Connor will ask about Council’s plan on that. “The pressure doesn’t have to be fully on the citizen”, she added, “It’s important that decision makers achieve results as well. That’s why I joined the Green Party”.