Tir Saile Residency Project

Artist Name(s) Gareth Kennedy
Artwork title Tir Saile Residency Project
Context/Background In early 2017, Mayo County Council and Aras Inis Gluaire/Erris Arts Centre commissioned three public art residency projects in Erris, County Mayo. The artists selected for these commisisons were Gareth Kennedy, Noah Rosa and Selma Makela and Joanna Hopkins. The commissioners saw this as an exciting opportunity for the artists to work with the communities and revisit some of the Tír Sáile sculpture trail sites with new artistic vision and approaches to contemporary public art practice. The original trail was developed nearly 25 years ago and is undergoing a maintenance programme including repairs, new signage and a new website.

The project explores a critical play with material, place, trace and legacy in Carrow Teigue and surrounds. Research visits to national museums and archives holding archaeological and folkloric material relating to Erris have been supplemented with on the ground meetings with inhabitants. Additional meetings with archaeologists, folklorists, dendrochronologists, Bord Na Mona personnel and pollen analysts have lent diverse perspectives on how to decode and understand an expanded sense of time in relation to contemporary Carrow Teigue. 

Kennedy is interested in how to interface this museological and specialist knowledge with the rich knowledge and lived experience today's inhabitants hold embodied within themselves. Interfacing material from the museum, the collection and the archive with skill sets and material from Carrow Teigue to develop an experimental material culture, the intent is to then ceremonially bury material outcomes, thus engaging the bogs chemistry and it's uncanny ability to hold things in stasis in time.

This 'time rite' will be a publicly staged and 'reverse engineered' experimental archaeological dig. It will be dually informed by specialist knowledge married to the genus loci of Erris.

Depending on how best to 'measure time', the vision is to unbury and recover the material culture from the bog at a time collectively agreed upon as prescient. How can we define and agree upon such prescient moments?


Gareth Kennedy’s work explores the social agency of the handcrafted in the 21st century and generates ‘communities of interest’ around the production and performance of experimental material cultures. Deploying an anthropological approach these works draw on the particular social, cultural and economic histories of location. Outcomes typically include architectural or designed structures, films, hand crafted objects, printed material, as well as live performative events which bring these physical entities to life within specific public contexts.

Kennedy has produced and shown work both nationally and internationally. His practice to date includes public art work, publications, educational projects, exhibitions, residencies and collaborations.



Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Mayo County Council and Aras Inis Gluaire/Erris Arts Centre
Commissioning process Competition
Project commission dates May 1, 2017 - November 1, 2017
Public Presentation dates October 13, 2017 - October 14, 2017
Partners Mayo County Council and Aras Inis Gluaire/Erris Arts Centre
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Mayo County Council
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission start date 01/05/2017
Project commission end date 01/11/2017
Carrow Teigue, County Mayo
County Mayo
Town Carrow Teigue
Website www.northmayoarttrial.com



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