21 currachs travel from Inis Oírr to NUI Galway for special exhibition

Students Nidah Ahmad, Roscommon; Saorla Fenton, Limerick; Saoirse Gibbons, Leitrim; Faye Ní Domhnaill, Cavan in the Quadrangle, NUI Galway at the launch of a new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr. Credit: Aengus McMahon.

Twenty-one uniquely decorated currachs traveled from Inis Oírr to the NUI Galway campus to officially launch a new partnership between the Áras Éanna Arts Center and the university.

The special exhibition opened on Friday as part of Culture Night and features unique works by John Behan, Jennifer Cunningham, Ger Sweeney and Áine Phillips, among others.

The currachs will remain on display in the Quadrangle of NUI Galway for one month, the public being invited to visit them free of charge and without prior reservation.

The new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna will see them work together to promote the islands and more generally the West as places of culture, learning and research.

Artist John Behan RHA in the Quadrangle, NUI Galway with his currach sculpture to mark a new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna

A new fund has been established by NUI Galway to support staff and students who wish to travel to the island and use Áras Éanna’s facilities as part of their studies.

“I often use the metaphor of ‘currach full of fish coming to shore” from Máirtín Ó Direáin’s poem “An tEarrach Thiar” to describe the ingenuity and potential of our university community and our region, “said the President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán hÓgartaigh.

“I am delighted that 21 currachs have come to the campus to launch the new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna.

“We respect the unique language, culture and environment we share in the West of Ireland and we are open to working with Áras Éanna and the Inis Oírr community to promote this particularity as part of our life. university.”

Áras Éanna Artistic Director Dara Mac Aoidh said that after a very successful summer exhibition at Inis Oírr, they are delighted to bring the “Curacha” exhibition to NUI Galway.

“We welcome this new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna, and look forward to working on many collaborations and projects in the future that will benefit both the University and the island of Inis Oírr” said Dara Mac Aoidh.

NUI Galway and Áras Éanna officially launched the exhibition, coinciding with the National Culture Night celebrations, in partnership with Galway Music Residency.

As part of the launch, ConTempo Quartet performed a specially selected suite of ocean-related classical and contemporary music, composed by Alec Roth, Claude Debussy and Katharina Baker.

NUI Galway drama students were also on hand to recite a selection of poems by Máirtín Ó Direáin.

The 21 currachs exhibition will run until October 10, 2021.

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