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Galway's Claddagh Quay Venue for "Mirror Pavilion"

3rd September 2020
Galway’s Claddagh Quay Galway’s Claddagh Quay

Galway’s Claddagh Quay is the location for a 24-hour digital art exhibit which has been weather-proofed for the Atlantic elements.

Climate crisis is the theme of “Mirror Pavilion”, which was designed by John Gerrard as Galway 2020 European cultural capital commission.

Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) engaged Gerrard, an award-winning Irish international artist known for his site-specific work, and he has spent the last two years on the project.

 John Gerrard's Mirror Pavilion Photo: Colm Hogan John Gerrard's Mirror Pavilion Photo: Colm Hogan

Entitled “Corn Work”, the exhibit will recall the history of grain milling on one of Europe’s fastest flowing rivers for its short length.

The seven-metre cubed structure is clad in a highly reflective mirror on three sides, while a fourth high resolution LED wall displays a series of digitally created and choreographed characters.

Named the Straw Boys, the figures perform a “symbolic wheel of production”.

The “Mirror Pavilion” is a free, non-ticketed event, running at the Claddagh until September 26th.

It aims to provide a mirror image to “Leaf Work”, another virtual world created by Gerrard for the pavilion in a second location - Derrigimlagh bog in Connemara - from October 11th to 31st.

Derrigimlagh Bog was the transmission site for the first transatlantic radio signal from the Marconi station in 1907, and landing place for Alcock and Brown’s first-ever transatlantic plane crossing in 1919.

The Connemara exhibit is billed as a “response to the solar cycle and changing temperatures, their movements in tandem with the changes of the seasons”.

The “Mirror Pavilion” will be “presented within, and cognisant of, Government Covid-19 guidelines”, GIAF states.

Compliance with the guidelines, social distancing and limited attendance is also emphasised for Galway 2020’s re-imagined programme from September to next March.

As part of the 2020 programme, seven artists, writers and composers from across Europe have produced a series of standalone artworks for exhibition and radio broadcast, entitled Aerial/Sparks.

The artwork was inspired by participation in research expeditions onboard the Marine Institute Ireland’s RV Celtic Explorer.

Galway City Museum is hosting a multi-disciplinary exhibition relating to archaeology, architecture, cultural landscapes associated with islands, including “never-before-seen material” from the 1990s archaeological excavations at Dún Aonghasa on the Aran island of Inis Mór.

Artist John Gerrard will speak to GIAF artistic director Paul Fahy in a live-streamed event from Galway City Museum at 6 pm on Thursday, September 3rd.

Published in Galway Harbour
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

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