Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Announcing Spirit of Place 2013:  Inishturk, Ireland!

The 2013 SPSD project is led in conjunction with National Geographic Society as part of 'The Gathering Ireland 2013' in collaboration with the Mayo County Council and under the auspices of Irish Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Tourism. The Gathering Ireland 2013 is being supported by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. It promises to be the biggest tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland.   

Students will be constructing a Spirit of Place Installation in Mayo from June 10-20. This will be located on the island of InishTurk in commemoration of the ‘The Gathering’ of 2013, representing those that have left the island, and Ireland generally, and those that returned for ‘The Gathering’.  The project will be dedicated with festivities on the Summer Solstice, June 21st.

Inishturk, which translates as 'Island of the Wild Boar' is a mystical island located 14.5km off the west coast of Mayo, between the islands of Inishbofin and Clare. This tranquil Island, sits atop cliffs and steep hills that drop down to the Atlantic. Inishturk is only 5km by 2.5km in size and yet it is rich in archaeological sites, such as the old Napoleonic Signal Tower, and has been inhabited on and off since 4000 BC. Crough Patrick is in plain site on the Connemara Coast of Mayo.

Spirit of Place students will design and build an architectural 'legacy marker' installation using local materials and building techniques.  The project will build public awareness and support for the ongoing preservation and economic development underway on Inishturk Island with the Mayo County Council.

The Spirit of Place cultural legacy marker will evoke the centuries of cultural gatherings on Inishturk as a shrine, a respite, an interpretation center for the island, a view point, and rest point.   It will function as a spiritual and cultural center of gravity - a Locus - for the gathering spirit of the global Irish diaspora.  It will be a place which unites the Druidic and the Christian traditions in the shadow of Croagh Patrick, the ancient pilgrimage route of Saint Patrick.  It will be a place to re-connect and to re-kindle Irish heritage:  the fires, the hearth, and the 'tongs of reunion'.

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