Ancient and Wild at Corravahan House
The artists participating in the Ancient and Wild project with Cavan County Council Arts and Heritage Offices and the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark enjoyed an interesting day at Corravahan House in the company of the proprietors Rachael and Ian Elliott, Dr Kirsten Lemon and David Cullivan.
Ian and Rachael bought the former rectory as a family home in 2003. This Georgian style house from circa 1840 was most associated with the Beresford and Leslie families until 1973 when it was bought by a French family.
The current proprietors provided the Ancient and Wild artists with a tour of the house and gardens outlining the original features and the work they have undertaken. The conservation architect David Cullivan spoke to the group about the particular challenges and rewards that a home such as this brings to the owners and the commitment required. Geologist Dr Kirsten Lemon provided the artists with an outline of the geology of county Cavan and how this has shaped the landscape that we know today. Nicholas O Kane, senior planner with Cavan County Council said that this project “a collaborative approach to place, heritage and the arts provides the artists with alternatives ways to read and interpret Cavan as an ancient and dynamic landscape with multiple layers. I look forward to the artistic response.”
Artist Rikki van den Berg said of her time in Corravahan House “I had a great and interesting day. What an amazing house and wonderful owners and their passion for the place is inspiring”.
Catriona O Reilly, arts officer said “my colleagues Anne Marie Ward and Gráinne O Connor, heritage and the Geopark are really pleased that the artists had this time during Heritage Week to spend time at Corravahan House with the owners and the experts David Cullivan and Dr Kirsten Lemon. It was great for them to experience our built heritage, geology and spend time discussing their work in the very special atmosphere created by the Elliotts.”
The artists will take part in a final facilitated day at Trinity Island with guest speakers Tom O Dowd, local guide, Patricia Mc Kenna, visual artist and Dr Seán Mc Elwaine, musician in September. A show of work emerging from this project will take place at Johnston Central Library in December. Artists participating in this project include: Jim Fee, Rikki van den Berg, Freda Young, Elena Duff, Siobhan Harton, Pawel Kleszczewski and Kasia Zimnoch, visual artists, Ben Mc Cabe, architect, Heather Brett, poet, Bee Smith, storyteller, Cormac Mc Cann, musician and Paul Farnan who is documenting the work.
The project is made possible by Cavan County Council and it partners The Arts Council, the Heritage Council and Creative Ireland.