Cartographers and publishers, Tim and Máiréad Robinson, have bequeathed their house on the sea wall at Roundstone, Co. Galway, to the National University of Ireland, Galway.
According to Tim's new book Connemara: Listening to the Wind (Penguin, Ireland 2006) the Robinsons wish the house to be used "as a small conference venue, as accommodation for writers, thinkers and researchers on sabbatical or residencies … When we tell anyone of this plan, the response is always, "How generous!" - but as we will not be here to make any sacrifice in the matter, generosity does not come into it. However, this exchange serves to remind us that neither will be here to share in the delight and fun of other people's discovery of the place; and so we have begun to anticipate that future by opening up the house to such events … We feel relieved of the burden of ownership, as if we were now just the temporary caretakers of the house, and we revel in the freshening wind of futurity blowing through it, wafting away the spiderwebs of anxiety."
The Robinsons continue to reside in the house, Folding Landscapes. At the same time the house will become a venue for the University to engage with the local community and to share the resources and knowledge of the institution's many visitors, academics and practitioners.
The Robinsons have a long-standing relationship with NUI Galway. Tim received an Honorary Degree in 1997 from the University. Best know for his book Stones of Aran, he has published a range of maps, essays and books on the western region.
'We are honoured and grateful for the thoughtfulness of the Robinsons. The University will put every effort into creating at Folding Landscapes new connections with the cultural life of the region, while also contributing to the social and economic fabric of the village. Our shared plan is to exchange reflections and informed judgements about what is important in knowledge at this time", said Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of Arts at NUI Galway.
NUI Galway has launched a Colloquium Series under the title Unfolding Ideas. The series provides a forum for scholars, educators, and artists to engage in a series of public talks, group discussion and workshops, to be held at the Robinson home and in Roundstone's Community Hall. At the launch, Tim Robinson read from his latest publication Connemara: Listening to the Wind.
Unfolding Ideas will be an annual series of events. The events in the house Folding Landscapes are by invitation. The events in the Community Hall are open to the public.
The programme is organised by the Faculty of Arts and Galway University Foundation. For further information contact Aileen Shaw 091-493879 or Aileen.Shaw@nuigalway.ie