Have you been to the North West?

photograph of Errigal by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

Yes, Errigal is still standing, rising majestically above the heathery hills. I was up there last weekend for the opening of The Palimpsest/Rianú Project in An Gailearaí in Gaoth Dobhair and well, it puts things in perspective, don’t you think. Long after we’re gone and our trials and tribulations are forgotton, Errigal will still be standing there, oblivious to wind and rain, looking on, listening and… living still.

But I want to tell you about the opening in An Gailearaí. It was the second outing for The Palimpsest/Rianú Project, the first version having been part of Artisterium in Tbilisi, Georgia last October. More about that at: https://emacl.wordpress.com/category/palimpsest-rianu/ What made Saturday’s event so special was the launch at the same time of The Other Tongues, a new anthology of writing in Irish, Scots Gaelic and Ulster Scots, published by Irish Pages. Our art project had been developed as a response to the Artisterium theme: “Am I You? – how we deal with the Other” so there was much overlapping and intertwining of themes at the opening/launch. (PS: have you noticed how often the forward slash or stroke is used when we are dealing with ‘the Other’, very useful, that forward slash)

Anyway, the poet Cathal Ó Searcaigh, a major contributor to the anthology, spoke about the richness of these languages and of the importance of protecting them in times of globalisation. Noeleen Ní Cholla, a traditional singer from Donegal, sang a song in Scots Gaelic. When she sang, she completely filled the room, enveloping us with her beautiful singing. She spoke of the similarities between Scots Gaelic and old Irish, and the Irish of Cloch Cheann Fhaola in particular.

I spoke too (in my Dublin accent) – about how our project had brought together artists from the Gaeltacht (the Irish-speaking areas) and artists from outside of the Gaeltacht, how we had worked together on the same pieces of art and, how dealing with ‘the Other’ had been a rewarding experience for all concerned, each of us learning from encountering the working methods and creative processes of other artists.

An Gailearai, Gweedore

Úna Campbell has a wonderful gallery up there beside the Library (in the industrial estate) in Gaoth Dobhair, quite a large space as you can see above, and she has a very interesting programme of events throughout the year. The Palimpsest/Rianú Project started off a few years ago at Cló and the Living Archive. Claire Halpin and myself were the curators and we were delighted when Úna invited us to show it in her gallery. We showed the eight prints from the project as well as individual works by the artists. Here’s Claire Halpin’s individual piece below, and below that, my piece.

Claire Halpin
“Prism Panopticon” by Claire Halpin



Visit Claire Halpin’s blog for more information at:


Check out also: http://www.angailearai.com






Leave a Reply, I'd like to hear your viewpoint.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s