This is a bit of a meandering story (with one new, previously unseen video), to while away some of the time between Christmas and the New Year. It’s bi-lingual so if you wish, you can just read the English text (which is in italics).
So wasn’t that a year to remember! The 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising – it was lovely to be in Ros Muc, in Connemara to mark the occasion.
One of my special memories was attending the community event – Fleadh an Turlaigh Bhig – on Easter Sunday. (you can read more about it here)
We were invited because we are related to Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising. My brother Fearghas and I were asked to speak at this event. “Wasn’t it interesting”, I mused, “that we were two brothers here again, one a schoolmaster and the other, an artist…” (Patrick was a schoolmaster and his brother Willie was an artist).
Bhuel, bhí sé go h-iontach a bheith i láthair i Ros Muc i mbliana le hÉirí amach na Cásca a chomóradh, céad bhliain níos déanaí. Bhí brat na hÉireann ag foluain i ngach gáirdín agus cuma álainn ar an cheantar ar fad. Bhí gach sórt imeacht ar siúl – ócáidí do pháistí, do dhéagóirí, do stairithe, do rothaithe(!) do ghaolta agus do chairde – ní fheicfear a leithéidí aríst ann.
Tá cór iontach ag Ros Muc, faoi stiúir ag Cathy Ní Chonaola, agus chan siad ag aifreann Domhnach Cásca agus aríst ag Teach an Phiarsaigh ar Luain Cásca. Chan Jimí Ó Ceannabháin agus Briocán Bairéad chomh maith agus bhí Raidió na Gaeltachta ann leis an ócáid a thaifeadadh ar an dá lá)
Is dóigh gurb é an rud is támhachtaí a thárla ná “Fleadh an Turlaigh Bhig” sa Chrannóg. Tháinig thart ar céad daoine le chéile le comóradh a dhéanamh ar an bhfleadh a chuir Pádraic Mac Piarais ar siúl san áit céanna fadó. Bhí béile deas againn, agus ceol agus craic, insan halla mór a bhí maisithe le pictiúirí álainne de chuid ealaíontóirí na h-áite. Bhí mo phictiúr den Phiarsach ag crochadh ann freisin, pictiúr a bhronn mé ar an Chrannóg ar Aoine an Chéasta.
Back in Dublin for Easter Tuesday, there was a special ceremony at Arbour Hill, where the leaders who were executed had been quickly buried after the Rising. A solemn ceremony with military honours, a lone bagpiper, prayers, songs and poems. I had the honour of placing a single white rose on the headstone of my great granduncle, the artist Willie Pearse.
You know, I was involved in curating two group shows this year – “Rising” in the old monastery of Mount Argus and “Republic”, co-curated with Olivier Cornet. I think we both thought that there wouldn’t be many contemporary art exhibitions dealing with the Rising and we felt very strongly about it – so we did it ourselves. I’ve included two videos below featuring the exhibitions but if you happen to be viewing this on an Ipad, it seems that you won’t see them immediately. You have to click through into the blog to see them. They’re only a couple of minutes each.
More information on “Rising” here
More about “Republic” at the Olivier Cornet Gallery here
Bhí mé fhéin agus mo chlann ag searmanais speisialta i bPríosún Chill Mhaighneann ar an 3ú lá de mhí Bealtaine ach bhí rud amháin eile an lá sin (an lá ar cuireadh an Piarsach chun báis) ar thug ardú meanman domsa. ‘Sé sin an searmanais beag a bhí againn um thráthnóna i Músaem na bPiarsach i Ráth Fearnáin. Chuir mé crann dara ag fás i gcuimhne an Phiarsaigh.
On the third of May, I was at the Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham to plant an oak tree in memory of Patrick Pearse, who was executed on this day, one hundred years ago. It meant a lot to me to have been asked and it was a lovely occasion. My nephew Eoin Gregory was at hand with the watering can and it reminded me of a photograph from an old family photo album. My father planting a tree in the garden of Scoil Bhríde in Oakley Road to remember Pearse after fifty years.
Mar chuid de chlár Scoil Samhraidh an Phiarsaigh i Ros Muc i mí Iúil, thaispeáin mé mo ghearrscannán “Ar theacht an tSamhraidh” don chéad uair i Scoil Náisiúnta an Ghoirt Mhóir. Cuid den togra ealaíne “Ag Seasamh an Fhóid” a bhí ann, togra a bhí ar siúl agam i gcomhair le Nuala Ní Fhlathúin.
Nuair a bhí an chuid fhoirmeálta thart agus an phobail ag scaipeadh, d’imigh mise agus mo dheartháir (Fearghas) trasna go dtí Teach an Phiarsaigh aríst. Bhí soilse fós ar lasadh ag Scoil an Ghort Mhóir ach bhí muidne linn fhéin i gcoim na h-oíche. Chuir muid an teilgeoir ar siúl agus sheas muid ansin, le sceitimíní do-inste orainn, agus muid ag faire ar na h-íomhánna tochtmhara ag teacht agus ag imeacht ar bhinn tí an Phiarsaigh.
Buíochas le Dia, bhí an aimsir tirim, bhí an oíche galánta agus d’oibrigh gach rud gan stró don ócáid speisialta seo. Tá níos mó eolais faoin togra ar an mblag: “Ag Seasamh an Fhóid” anseo
I’ll just tell you about the short film that I produced as part of my artist’s residency in Ros Muc this year. It’s a collage of images, all merging from one to the next, telling the story of Patrick Pearse and my grandfather and my father and the influence and inspiration of Ros Muc from generation to generation. (There’s a link to the film below the next paragraph – if you can’t see it straight away, you should click into the blog itself).
According to the writer Pádraic Óg Ó Conaire, my grandfather was staying with Pearse in Ros Muc and he was the one in charge of the magic lantern, an early version of the slide projector. At night they projected images as part of the festivities of Fleadh an Turlaigh Bhig and this was the first time that anyone in Connemara had seen anything like it. So we decided to project my short film as a special commemoration of this event. Here’s the film below (if you can’t see it directly below here, please click into the actual blog)
For me, it was really about trying to reconnect with a part of me that was almost lost, a journey back in time, a search for that elusive thing called ‘Home’, perhaps. I have to say that it has been a wonderful experience. I created this film to try to bring it all together. It’s entitled: Ar Theacht an tSamhraidh. I was reading “Ó Pheann an Phiarsaigh”, a book of short stories by Patrick Pearse, and all the stories are based around Ros Muc, so I went around and photographed those places and created a sort of collage of images. My nephew Pearse McGloughlin created the soundtrack for it.
Fuair mé glaoch ó Joe Steve Ó Neachtain… “Bhuel”, ar seisean, “Tá Oireachtas Chois Fharraige ar siúl an tseachtain seo chugainn agus ba mhaith linn do scannán a chraoladh ann”. (Bhí comóradh speisialta ar siúl acu i mbliana, ní h-amháin ar Oireachtas na Gaeilge 1976 ach ar Éirí amach na Cásca 1916 agus ar bhunú Chumann Forbartha Chois Fharraige i 1966. Agus ní comóradh amháin a bhí i gceist acu leis an bhféile, ach ceiliúradh mór ar an bpobal beo bríomhar atá ina cónaí i gCois Fharraige).
So, oíche dé hAoine, i Seanscoil Sailearna, bhí ceolchoirm álainn ar siúl ar dtús: “Caithréim”, á chur i láthair ag Síle Denvir agus a cairde. Ansin craoladh “Ar theacht an tSamhraidh” agus ansin chuir Fíbín “Mac Piarais i bPictiúir” i láthair. Bhí cairde linn tar éis teacht ón iasacht agus – deirfinn gur iadsan an t-aon bheirt sa halla nár labhair Gaeilge (cé go ndearna John sár-iarracht) ach bhíodar an-tógthaí leis an oíche.
Read more about that – anseo
Now, I realise that a lot of terrible things happened in the world this year but for me, it’s been a wonderful year. I made new friends, met a whole pile of cousins (we had a special gathering of the Mac Lochlainn relatives this year) I even met an tUachtarán, Michael D…
I could’ve written about a few other ‘firsts’ for me (I was asked to open an exhibition, I was asked to write a foreword for a book…) but this blog is mostly about art so I’ll to stop now, for the moment.
Thank you for reading, thank you for reading throughout the year, thank you especially if you made a comment. Thanks for listening to me.
Ath bhliain fé mhaise dhuit, Happy New Year, eoin