Six compelling artists have responded with vision and imagination to the brief of a lifetime – bringing the history of the city and county to life from the pages of Galway’s rich written archive. The six artists will unveil the fruits of their labour this Friday, as the Galway County Council Archives unveil Sowing a Seed: Archives to Art.
The eagerly-awaited exhibition, which will take place in the Tuam library, will feature the works of talented artists Joan Finnegan, Kathleen Furey, Lisa-Marie Manthey, Selma Makela, Gala Tomasso and Carmel Tynan. All six have been working with the Galway County Council archives to capture four unique pieces of local history through the voice of art.
And Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter has a clear vision of what the project can achieve.
“It’s a way of inviting a new audience to use the archives in a new way,” she says.
The four documents range from the years 1722 to 1866; the beginning of the Georgian Era right up to the Famine period and its scarring legacy.
They offer a real insight into the various issues of Irish life at the time – be it the business and economic affairs of the landed class, Galway’s institutional layout and design…and even a visceral, poignant look into the personal lives of Galway’s people.
Patria chose the four documents. “I wanted material that would be aesthetically pleasing for the artists,” she says.
The first document chosen was an ornate map dating all the way back to 1722, detailing the lands and property of the Kelly’s of Castlekelly Estate.
The map is significant as it was used as part of an indenture between John Kelly and a Robert Walter of Rookwood, Co. Galway, giving the modern viewer an interesting glance into the nature of landed economics from the period.
The Kelly clan of Castlekelly had a storied history, from their involvment in the Jacobite cause during the Williamite wars to becoming one of Galway’s largest land owners.
And Patria felt this map could not be omitted from the exhibition.
“Texturally it’s got the parchment, the paper, the seals, the beautiful handwriting and it’s got the history, it has everything in it,” she says.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones
These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.
But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.
If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.
All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.
You can email that with a photograph to us, to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.
We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.
This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances. You can contact our team for further details at email@example.com
Alison’s Euro Award for Covid information project
The Galway-established online course providing information about coronavirus in more than 70 languages – reaching over 350,000 people worldwide – is among 23 projects from the EU and the UK recognised for their outstanding contribution to fighting COVID-19 and its disastrous consequences.
The European Economic and Social Committee has awarded the Civil Solidarity Prize to the Irish learning platform Alison – founded by social entrepreneur Mike Feerick and based in Loughrea – for its free online course which was developed and published at the very start of the pandemic to educate as many people as possible about the virus, its spread and its effects.
The EESC, an advisory body representing Europe’s civil society at the EU level, selected the learning platform Alison as the best Irish candidate for the Prize, saying that its project “Coronavirus: What you need to know” stood out as a shining example of solidarity and civic responsibility during the COVID-19 crisis.
The online course was launched in February 2020 when the knowledge about the virus was still very scarce and the governments were still struggling with how to respond to the looming crisis.
With its training programme, based on WHO and CDC guidelines and continuously updated to include the latest information, the Irish platform has given people free access to potentially life-saving knowledge.
Translated in less than four months into more than 70 languages, with the help of 5,000 volunteers many of whom were immigrants, it had been completed by approximately 350,000 people as of September 2020. Some 100,000 people signed up for it in a single day.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www/connachttribune.ie
Covid a whole different ball game for Galway camogie nurse
Galway camogie star Emma Helebert doesn’t shy away from a question about Covid-19 anti-vaxxers and their online conspiracy theories.
“Personally, since this pandemic has hit, I’m allergic to social media over the whole thing,” she says.
A midwife at University Hospital Galway, the 2019 All-Ireland winner agrees that vaccines involve personal choice.
But that choice should be informed by trusted sources of information, such as the HSE or NHS websites – and not random often nefarious and anonymous contributors on social media.
“There are more reliable sources of information than turning to places like Facebook or whatever online forums are talking about it,” she says.
“What’s scaring people more than the actual thought of the vaccines is these opinions that are being forced down people’s throats and they’re seeing it every time they go on Facebook and scrolling on social media.
“My only advice to people who are scared is to do your own research. Go to the reliable sources of information and don’t believe what you see on Facebook.
“Unfortunately, there are people out there who create pages that are full of negativity or full of lies. It only takes one scary thought or piece of information you’ve heard to cling to you that’ll make you not want to get it,” she adds.
Read the full interview with Emma Helebert in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie