“Bang in the middle of messy daily life”

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of art installation in Merrion Sq by Miriam McConnon

I went to the relaunch of Miriam Mc Connon’s beautiful art installation in Merrion Square last thursday and I was going to write about it but, before I could put pen to paper, my sister Maev sent me this report. See below:-

Last week, I was walking in Merrion Square seeking calm away from the office hubbub. There stood a little white sign which told me that an installation which should have been there had been ‘severely damaged overnight’ and had been removed for repair.

This made me sad. I had not seen the installation, but why would anyone want to damage it?  The weather had been so calm and warm, I guessed it couldn’t have been weather damage.

I returned to Merrion Square on Saturday – the World Street Performers Championship was on – all fun and frolics. Midst the hubbub, I came upon the installation, now restored. Covering the massive treetop, wafting dreamily, reminiscent of a sail overhead, the work was made of delicate lace pieces together with numerous handkerchiefs gathered from our fellow Europeans in Cyprus. We are invited to contribute more handkerchiefs, and so the work will keep growing and changing in each new country it visits.

I stood underneath and gazed up, loving the intricate scenes, how lazily it billowed. Someone stopped and asked: “But what does it mean?” People all around – chatting, ice-creams, dancing, burgers – they stopped to look, to stare, to wonder, to take a photo, to be photo’d in front of it.

I don’t have a clue what it means, maybe what it says on the Dublin City Council sign (something like individual stories, building communities), but I guess it means lots of different somethings to lots of different somebodies. For me, in a life with way too much hubbub, art brings a sense of calm, a space to breathe, to see from a different angle. Having art only in a quiet gallery far from the madding crowd makes no sense. Having it bang in the middle of my messy daily life makes sense for me.

more information re “The Touring Tama” at


PS: Miriam collected the handkerchiefs and traditional lace from the people of Cyprus, where she now lives.  The huge cloth (the Tama) was previously exhibited as an outdoor installation at the ancient tree of St. Solomoni  in the Unesco heritage site in Paphos, Cyprus in September 2012 to commemorate Cyprus’ presidency of the EU. The tree known as the hanky tree is a place where people have visited for hundreds of years to hang handkerchiefs in memory of those loved ones who have died or who are sick. ‘Tama’ is the Greek word for the handkerchiefs that are hung onto the tree.

see also http://www.miriammcconnonart.com/


  1. It must be in the family Eoin, a flair for the written word. The art piece looks beautiful with a strong subtext and so perfectly placed as Maev described, in the midst of the madding crowd.


    • Thanks for that John, it’s true, I’m not sure if my photo did it justice but it was wonderful to experience it gently swaying in the breeze, eoin


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