Anam Teanga (Soul of Language) is the title of an exhibition that opened in the Courthouse, Ballygar, last weekend.
The new work was created by Conamara artist Nuala Ní Fhlathúin in conjunction with local people after she spent the month of August working with Irish speakers in this small rural North Galway community. Nuala was based in the artists’ retreat, Artfarm, which offers residencies to up-and-coming artists.
During her residency, which was organised by Oireachtas na Gaeilge in conjunction with Artfarm, with funding from the Community Foundation for Ireland, Nuala spoke to people in Newbridge, in Ballygar and in Mountbellew about Irish in the community:
“When I began collecting information from the community I was given a really warm welcome and I was surprised at the number of local people who had fluent Irish,” she said. “As time went by I learned how deeply rooted the language is in the area”
The exhibition included photographs and multimedia sculpture made from paper and clay and the opening was a social event, with local people reciting Irish poems and singing Irish songs.