Currachs and Quartet launch new partnership between NUI Galway and Áras Éanna

NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh with Áras Éanna Artistic Director Dara Mac Aoidh in the Quadrangle, NUI Galway to mark a new partnership between the University and arts centre on Inis Oírr. Credit: Aengus McMahon.
Sep 17 2021 Posted: 13:10 CDT

Art exhibition and special concert from Galway Music Residency kick-off Culture Night and the beginning of culture, learning and research link

Twenty-one uniquely decorated currachs have journeyed from Inis Oírr to the NUI Galway campus to officially launch a new partnership between Áras Éanna arts centre and the University.

The special exhibition - showcasing unique works by John Behan, Jennifer Cunningham, Ger Sweeney and Áine Phillips, among others - is opening as part of Culture Night.

The currachs will remain on display in the Quadrangle at NUI Galway for one month, with the public invited to visit free of charge and without prior booking.

The new partnership between NUI Galway and Áras Éanna will see the University and the arts centre on Inis Oírr work together to promote the islands and the West more generally as places of culture, learning and research.

A new fund has been established by the University to support staff and students who wish to travel to the island and use the facilities at Áras Éanna as part of their studies.

NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I often use the metaphor of the ‘currach full of fish coming in to shore’ from Máirtín Ó Direáin’s poem ‘An tEarrach Thiar’ to describe the resourcefulness and potential of our university community and our region.

“I am delighted that 21 currachs have come to campus to launch the new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna. We respect the unique language, culture and environment that we share in the West of Ireland and we are open to collaborating with Áras Éanna and the Inis Oírr community to promote that distinctiveness as part of the life of our university.”

Áras Éanna Artistic Director, Dara Mac Aoidh, said: “After a very successful summer exhibition across Inis Oírr, we are delighted to bring the ‘Curacha’ exhibition to NUI Galway where the University community and the wider Galway community will get to see this wonderful exhibition.

“We welcome this new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna, and look forward to working on many collaborations and projects in the future that will benefit both the University and the island of Inis Oírr.”

NUI Galway and Áras Éanna formally launched the exhibition, coinciding with nationwide Culture Night celebrations, in partnership with Galway Music Residency.

As part of the launch, ConTempo Quartet performed a specially selected suite of classical and contemporary music connected to the ocean, composed by Alec Roth, Claude Debussy and Katharina Baker.

NUI Galway Drama students were also on hand to recite a selection of poetry by Máirtín Ó Direáin.

The exhibition of 21 currachs will run until 10 October 2021.

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