Black Lough Trilogy

Artist Name(s) Stephen Rennicks
Artwork title Black Lough Trilogy
Context/Background Originally this project, as Black Lough, was envisaged as a trail and website to a lost lake in Co. Roscommon in 2006. Once the project was launched it was invited indoors to the Dock Arts centre in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim where it became Imagine Black Lough. Then as that run came to a close a third version was needed for balance and it was finally incarnated as Return to Black Lough at the lake itself.


A project which on the surface used metaphor to bridge the gulf between imagination and reality. The location was revealed on a website of a trail of red thread markers through a forest to this elusive and forgotten lake. A limited pile of CD’s with the sound piece, New Alarm Clocks, also awaited the first comers to the lake, which was inspired by the ideas of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1866-1949). There was an essay and more information on the project to be found on the website.

Indoors at The Dock the emphasis switched to the lakes imaginary aspect, but still with the hope of enticing an actual visit by the public. Alternately it was designed for the lake to become even more mythic in the viewers imagination if no visit occured. An installation was built for this version which included projected images of the trail, photos of the lake itself pasted onto the sides of a series of glass jars which were filled with lake water and lit from below to cause the image to distort when viewed, a field recording of sounds heard at the lake, documentation of the original project and a new essay.

The third incarnation was launched with the announcement on the original website of an installation at the lake itself to entice people back to the reality of the lake. This took the form of the same glass jars with distorted images tied on the final tree of the original route with the same red thread used to make the trail. 


An essay by the artist on the original project was published in Leitrim Observer and it was invited to be brought indoors to The Dock arts centre where it became Imagine Black Lough.


Stephen Rennicks (b. 1972) is an artist now based in Co. Leitrim, Ireland. His works include the year long Junk out of Context (2004 - 2005) which explored the audio and video stock of Dublin charity shops; Trains for the Blind (2004), a sound piece released in conjunction with the ESB Dublin Fringe festival; a six month Secret Residency at Dublin Airport during 2005; Imagine Black Lough (2006) installation at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim; his debut solo show With & Without Context at Mantua Project, Co. Roscommon in 2007; his three year in the making land art piece 666777888 completed in 2008; Deeper into Nothing (2009) and How to Disappear (2010) which was shown during the Boyle Arts Festival, Co. Roscommon in July 2010. For this latter project he was supported with an artist bursary by Leitrim County Council. He took part in the TRADE 2011 residency programme, run jointly by Leitrim and Roscommon County Council Arts Offices, led that year by the artist David Michalek. One of the projects to emerge from this was One Minute Residency.

Commission Type Other
Commissioner Name Caoimhin Corrigan (for Imagine Black Lough)
Public Presentation dates March 31, 2006 - December 1, 2006
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Private
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Location Black Lough, Ardcarne, Co. Roscommon (Parts 1 and 3) & The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon Co. Leitrim (Part 2).
County Leitri
Content contributor(s) Stephen Rennicks
Relationship to project Artist
Public engagement

Any walkers in vicinity of Blue Bell woods and anyone attracted by the show at The Dock and essay published in local papers.



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