Sunday, July 21, 2013

Irish TV segment on Tale of the Tongs and Inishturk

Irish TV and Sky Digital (UK & Ireland) produced a piece about our project:
http://www.irishtv.ie/the-tale-of-tongs-inishturk/

As well as an hour-long segment on Inishturk!

Photos by Michael McLaughlin

Mayo County photographer (and Mayor of Westport), Michael McLaughlin captured these stunning images of the project.





Irish Times article!

The Irish Times newspaper covered the project with this article!


More photos from the opening dedication ceremonies








Spirit of Place Architectural Model Photos and Poem




Whispering flames revealing our breaths held, yearning anew.
Rekindled  aroma of the tongs
Echoes our burning  embrace in view …… 


"The Gathering" Poem by Denis Lane


Denis Lane (Kathleen's father) composed this poem for the dedication of our project, and recited it at the ceremonies:

The Gathering
Inishturk, Co. Mayo

I
Tongs exchanged by loved ones
before leaving their island homes
with coals from the hearth to keep the home fires burning
keep the faith that family members will return.
Like the sun that rises daily,
like the seasons that return,
their hearts would rise as they remembered
the family left behind in West Mayo.


II
All the Immigration Songs
record the sadness of the parting
and the joy of those who made it back
to the green clad Irish shores.
But those who traveled far away
in search of food or work and freedom
and never saw their home again,
they still returned in their hearts to Mayo.

III
Ah, the Wild Geese they scattered
to new lands across the sea,
and they took the homeland with them
in the tongs of memory.
They kept the faith and spirit,
untamed as they’ll always be,
for the time when they will migrate back
to ancestral homes and family.

IV
June 21, 2013
At the rising of the solstice moon
a flame burns bright above Inishturk,
kindled by coals carried in tongs
to keep the Irish spirit alive.
in a shrine that stands as a beacon
it beckons the clans to come home--
to gather together here in this beautiful land;
to enjoy the people, their stories, our songs.

By Denis Kennedy Lane, Jr.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Completed Project Photos!
























Site sketch by Corey August

A quick sketch of our site during a lunch break by Corey August...


A lad that I will never forget by Eric Hofmann

Finishing the rest of our project and enjoying the final days staying on the island of Inishturk, I have learned a great amount about the culture of the island, the construction of our project, and the people of the island.  On this trip, we met an amazing lad named Gus, who helped us out onsite with our project. Gus became more than just a co-worker on the site...he became a "true lad" in my life. Working with Gus every day from morning to dusk whether it was raining or getting attacked by our little gnat friends, was an amazing experience.  He brought life and laughter to the site every single day making everyone of us feel at home.  Even when he wanted his "little elves" for an extra hand on site brought smiles to all of our faces.

Getting to know Gus and even his kids was great.  Days after work on the site having a few pints together talking about life made the experience of the gathering and being on Inishturk so much better.

I am truly going to miss him and remember all of the moments we all had with him. But it's not goodbye...it's see you later, my lad.

-Eric

Bogland by Seamus Heaney

Heaney is one of the local names of Inishturk, etched on our glass panels commemorating the families of the island.  Seamus Heaney, Laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature may be a relation...

Bogland
for T. P. Flanagan

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening--
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops' eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.

They've taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.

Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They'll never dig coal here,

Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless. 

Laura Bartram

What is your favorite thing about Inishturk?
Every color in Inishturk is vivid. PINK SKY at nightfall and DARK GREEN hills and all the lovely greys of rock and sheep and usually sky. Oh, and every yellow flower--I learned that the yellow flag irises are here called daffodils. Isn't that nice?  I think my other favorite thing has to be the walk to the site (which we are now done doing at 7:45AM!).  I don't encounter hills like that very much in my life in the States. You have to think this walk makes you feel alive, and the pain it brings is an even greater reminder of how fragile it is on an island like this.

What would be one distinguishing characteristic of the Irish people that you've met?The Irish people I've met are all very resourceful, which I think comes from their willingness to teach and share and to learn over and over. I see this in all the construction workers who've helped our novice hands shim rocks into place, or teach us Irish slang (perhaps I should say shlang?), or even the poet at the Inishturk pub who let Tara and I read his poems. Sharing without an expectation of expertise. But they are also incredibly mischievous, in a way I do not always understand. A glimmer of the eyes.

Most surprising thing you've experienced?  Finishing the project in nine days! And the winds!

Favorite food so far?Lamb from Inishturk. You can taste that these lambs had a great life. And obviously, BANOFFEE.

Words to evoke the five senses of Inishturk.  Sight, smell, taste, sound, touch.sixth sense?  SIGHT: hewn ROCKS with even striations across the whole island, yellow flowers, dogs runnin' wild.  SMELL: moss, salt spray, seaweed, the oaty musk of Guinness and the slight twinge of sheep defecation.  SOUND: wind boxing my ears, the generator running, dancing Irish voices, the folk music at the pub, and the crashing exhales of the ocean.  TOUCH: the texture of the inside of my work gloves.  SIXTH SENSE: banshees on the walk back from the pub.

How will you see stones differently from now on?  With a little resentment to my own mind for presuming that all stones form a wall.

If you had to pack all over again, what would your bring more of and less of?  I packed the perfect amount. No more, no less.

Thursday, June 20, 2013