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Silent Journeys

Artist Name(s) Ciaran Taylor
Artwork title Silent Journeys
Context/Background As part of the public art project Secrets of Offaly, a call was put out to the county to find interesting and lesser known facts, with the intention of presenting the story via a public art project. Drama artist Ciaran Taylor’s proposal was based on the legendary Hollywood silent film director Rex Ingram who lived in the village of Kinnitty as a teenager.

Silent Journeys is the second of a three-part public art project by Offaly County Council called Secrets of Offaly which seeks to expose remarkable hidden stories and their origins in the county. One such story involved chronicling the work of silent film director Rex Ingram who spent much of his adolescence in Kinnitty, before moving to Hollywood and producing films such as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

By working together to play with Ingram’s legacy the village bonded in a new way. Commenting on the process of realising the project, a local woman said: ‘from those few acorns grew the massive oak tree that will stand so tall in people’s hearts, minds and memories-it brought the community together in a special way.’

The documentary features black and white ‘silent’ scenes captured on the day, when the audience were brought on a location tour, led by director Ciarán Taylor. Taylor, in character as a silent movie director, set up the scenes. The Silent Journey went through significant locations in the picturesque village and along the road to the castle, allowing the audience to take in the views while placing a layer of dramatic stories on the landscape. Scenes were out of sequence as in film making, so everyone had to try to piece the stories back together, with the aid of the written titles displayed at each location. When the four horsemen of Kinnitty arrived to participate, eeriness enveloped the village, ably assisted by the mist and rain for additional atmosphere. Familiar places now have a whole new set of associations from the day the exotic characters of Ingram’s imagination came back to town.


Offaly Independent 6 July, 29 August, 7th November 

Tullamore Tribune 4 July, 20 August, 27 August, 

Midland Tribune

Midlands Art and Culture Magazine Autumn/Winter 2015

Encore with Claire O’Brien Midlands 103


Ciarán Taylor trained in directing at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and devising at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris. Other devised work for Carpet Theatre includes the site-specific Wexford Fire Station Tour (Wexford County Council commission) which interpreted the new station through movement and music; Two for Dinner for Two (Dublin City Council commission) in collaboration with Concorde Contemporary Music Ensemble, which featured live cooking and toured Ireland, Bulgaria and Romania in 2007; Spellbound / Faoi Gheasa; Wheel a mask play; Hyde and Jekyll, which toured Prague in 2004 as part of the Irish EU Presidency Cultural Programme; Bridie and Violet for the City Arts Centre, and Visiting Hour for Clonmel Hospital and Bronglais Hospital in Wales.  

He directed Hang Gliding, a double-bill of Welsh plays, Melty Mack by Shane O’Neil, and the first Irish production of A Family Affair. He has also directed for Down to Earth Theatre, Bull Alley College acting course, Galway Youth Theatre, and Limerick Youth Theatre. His acting work includes A Cry from Heaven (Abbey Theatre); Fair City, The Clinic (RTE); Rí Rá, and Ros na Rún (TG4)

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Offaly County Council Arts Office
Commissioning process Open Submission
Project commission dates September 29, 2014 - August 23, 2015
Partners Residents of Kinnitty
Artform Visual Arts,Other,Theatre
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By Offaly County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Project commission start date 29/09/2014
Project commission end date 23/08/2015
Location Village of Kinnitty
County Offaly
Town Kinnitty
Content contributor(s) Editor, Offaly County Council Arts Office
Public engagement

Residents of Kinnitty