The display of “tags and bags” is complete and open to the public in Omagh Library Headquarters from now until the 11th August. Visual artwork and Haikus have been made by children, young people and adults from the communities in Omagh and Buncrana. Some made collages while others painted together and made tags from their collective artwork. These “tags and bags” will be distributed during the week of the 20th anniversary of the Omagh bomb, August 2018. 

The bags carry wild flower seeds. Once scattered into the earth, in time, they should catch root and grow into a covering of different textured and colourful flowers. The tags, will be gifted as keepsakes for the sower.

Since February, in ten workshops, over 150 people made almost 100 tags and wrote over 50 Haikus. This work forms a display which is part of the 20th anniversary commemorations taking place in the Tyrone town in the next couple of weeks. These workshops are a follow on form the initial creative response, Petals of Hope, Rays of Light which occurred almost twenty years ago. At that time, 150+ people came together and made paper from the carpet of colourful, delicate flowers carefully laid on the streets of Omagh by hundreds of compassionate onlookers.

Many of those who recently came together to make art will not forget the fateful day of 15th, August 1998, while others, were not born at that time. All who took part in the workshops caught sight of the theme and process associated with remembering forward and remembering differently. Their intention was to relax control, by shaking out seeds into the future.

Participating groups included Omagh Support & Self Help Group, WAVE Trauma Centre, Omagh Academy School and Gibson Primary School. Other volunteers met in Omagh Library Headquarters. Members of Omagh Community Youth Choir also made art and wrote Haikus which are displayed alongside the visual artwork. They will be singing a new song composed by Choir Musical Director Daryl Simpson, at an anniversary service on the 12th, August in the town.

A big thank you to all who have participated in making art and contributing their pieces. Thank you also to the staff at Omagh Library Headquarters, for their continued support, assistance and allowing this creative response to be included in their premises.

Funding towards the workshops has been provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. Their support is greatly appreciated.