Brilliant sunshine and a robust wind greeted the Ancient and Wild artists on their field trip to Trinity Island, an ancient monastic settlement on the Lough Oughter lake network and reputedly the resting place of Owen Rua O Neill in 1649. Three generations of the O Dowd family provided warm hospitality to the artists. Tom O Dowd, spoke about the history of the island, the diversity of wildlife and his memories of the island and the families that lived there.
Other contributors on the day were Patricia Mc Kenna, multi-media and installation artist and Dr Seán Mc Elwaine, musician.
Patricia Mc Kenna’s current work is part of ‘Personal Structures’ an exhibition organised by the Dutch Global Arts Affairs Foundation and hosted by the European Cultural Centre in Venice as part of the Biennale Patricia spoke to the group artists about her work, the importance of place to her and her use of materials. Patricia Mc Kenna is most associated in Cavan with The Grey House Project at Quivvy, Belturbet for which she was nominated for the IMMA Glen Dimplex Award. Her family ties are to the Swanlinbar area and her work is inspired by her close ties to Cavan, and how place is contested and constructed.
Dr Seán Mc Elwaine, musician and musicologist spoke about music and place and in particular how the local environment is heard and represented in music whether it is the crash of the waves or nocturnal animal noises. Sean is a TG4 Gradam Award winner for his collaborative work on the music of Sliabh Beagh and the project entitled “Our Dear Dark Mountain with the Sky Over it’.
Cormac Mc Cann, participating musician was moved to place a few some Cavan tunes on the piano as the group enjoyed a delicious lunch at Trinity Lodge. The artists’ response to this project will be presented at Johnston Central Library, Cavan in December. It is a collaborative project by the Arts and Heritage Offices of Cavan County Council and the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark supported by Creative Ireland, the Arts Council and the Heritage Council.