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This mural is a symbolic narrative of balance and healing for our troubled times. It begins with the darkness under the earth, where the serpentine waves give rise to the roots of the tree. The undulating line is based on rock art from the curbstones at several Irish megalithic sites. Snakes symbolize healing in many contexts, including the caduceus, the current symbol for the medical profession. The oak tree’s branches are without leaves because this is a time of waiting for something new to begin, just like a deciduous tree waits for spring to begin its cyclical growth. Oaks are connected to ideas of knowledge, strength and endurance, all of which are needed in the current situation. The colour black is about the potential for new things that is present within the stillness and silence of darkness.

The triskelion (tripple-armed spiral) within the green circle is an ancient solar symbol that dates back at least 5500 years. It is on the large stone outside Newgrange, which is a passage mound aligned with the Winter Solstice, the time of the sun’s rebirth. It is placed as the origin point for the successive waves of green, white and orange as a wish for the healing light can bring. The green circle that contains it is for the land and green growth that will come, but that the tree has not yet experienced this time around.

We are both members of the Irish diaspora. In that context, the green and the triskelion are also for our ancestral connection to the land of Ireland.

The green circle is also the colour that begins the flag of Ireland. By placing it in connection with the triskelion, we are painting a wish that the light that will awaken the tree to the future will be rooted in a memory of and respect for the past. Out of that come the circular waves of the Irish flag’s colours, which are publicly stated to be about bringing peace between two different cultural groups. Each color appears three times, which is a number of balance and completeness because it references the realms of Land, Sea and Sky found in Irish mythology. By acknowledging the past, honoring what was healing, and seeing clearly what was damaging, we hope to contribute to a better future.

It was created as part of Project Artivism's Restore 49 mural project for the wall of Napper Tandy's Irish pub.