Cavan is famous for its 365 lakes – one for every day of the year, supposedly – but sun, sea, sand and seagulls are not normally the preserve of this artistically prolific border county….
That’s all set to change this July as visual artists Siobhán Harton and Mark Lawlor collaborate on ‘Seagulls’, an ambitious art installation that will transform Cavan Town into a seaside idyll.
This project will see the duo work individually on maritime-inspired watercolours, prints and digital projections that will be on display in the theatre space at Townhall Cavan Arts Space, and also come together to collaborate on a series of installations across the town that will immerse the town in a wave of coastal creativity.
The installation will open on Thursday, 6 July and culminate in a seaside-themed Garden Party at Townhall on Saturday, 29 July.
Speaking ahead of the project, Siobhán Harton, who is also a co-founder and creative director of the brilliantly bonkers Townhall Cavan, betrayed her landlocked roots somewhat by admitting she’s always been fond of sand dunes and salty air.
“Basically, I love the sea and I’ve always wanted to live in a seaside town but I can’t do that right now, so I decided to bring the sea to me!” she says of the project’s origins.
“Breffni reached to the ocean. Leitrim still has it; the tangy smell of seaweed, blue, green, gun – metal grey of the waves, the turbulent white, seagulls shrieking,” says Mark. “I was with a fisherman there, following a river that opened into the ocean, he was a fly fisherman and landed two muscular silver salmon. I had not thought of this until Siobhan mentioned her idea of the seaside town. Suddenly everything begins to open up, I tell you; I can’t wait!”
Both Mark and Siobhán have big plans for the exhibition, including transforming the town’s iconic Old Abbey, burial place of Owen Roe O’Neill, into a lighthouse, and using a sprawling P.A. system to channel the sounds of the sea through the town.
Siobhán says she was once told that the only thing wrong with Cavan Town was that it wasn’t by the sea, so it would appear it’s the only place to be this July.
For more information about the exhibition, visit www.townhallcavan.ie
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Siobhán Harton is a Visual Artist, Designer, Co-Curator of trans-art, funding member and Creative Director of Townhall Cavan Arts Space, living in County Cavan. Siobhán studied Industrial Design at Institute of Technology Sligo (2002), and furthered her studies at Dublin Institute of Technology, Mountjoy Square (2008), where she receiving an Honours Degree in Interior Architecture. In 2010, Harton completed a MA in Professional Design Practice from Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street.
Her practice mixes an array of disciplines creating unique installations, sound art, drawing and collage. Siobhán’s work offers visually stimulating and experimental multi-layered compositions. Her installations are enhanced by the awakening culture and inspired by experiences.
Mark Lawlor is a visual artist. He studied at Trinity College Dublin in Drama and Theatre, and later went on to take an MPhil in Creative Writing there. Mark studied for a time with Neil Woodall, a printmaker in Sheffield, later developing his painting skills at the RHA in Dublin. His practice includes video work, painting, drawing, installation work, printing and photography. Mark’s work has been shown internationally; he is currently working on Migration, with the New Voices of Ireland Series 2017, and a project at Trinity College.