Lelia Ni Chathmhaoil & Aoife Casby

Chaith sí an lá ag feamnú

‘Chaith sí an lá ag feamnú’ addresses, through a lively exploration of language, the shifting narrative of our relationship to the sea as a site of recreation, work, pain and hope. The language of working with seaweed is in our vocabulary. Seaweed has a long history of domestic and commercial use in Ireland and recently is part of a global revolution as a material with a role to play in addressing climate change. We want to highlight the connection between a rich and active language related to seaweeds and how they can be both visible and invisible to us, appearing and disappearing with the tides. This installation and its materials reference the west coast’s past and current economic life, a rapport with seaweed, and invites active and empowering engagement with the Irish Language. ‘Chaith sí an lá ag feamnú’ is based on the various and changing forms of sea wracks, kelps, spaghettis, red & green algae. This piece recontextualises stitched and painted sailcloths, found and anchored marine ropes and floats. The viewer listens in to a series of intimate recordings of local voices, layered like seaweeds, discussing & using lost and present words: a fun foray into Irish conversation related to growing, cutting, watching and using seaweed.

LELIA NI CHATHMHAOIL is an artist originally from Mayo, now living and working in the Cois Fharraige area of Connemara. Her practice is both community and studio-based and she engages in site specific work. Her current practice explores eco-systems, a sense of place and challenges the way we see and use materials, both organic and inorganic. She holds a B.A. in Textiles from GMIT and has completed residencies in Donegal, the ArtFarm, Ballygar & Áras Eanna, Inis Oirr. Lelia initially trained as a handweaver and exhibited work, took commissions and gave demonstrations and classes from her weaving studio, selling direct to the public at home and to the export market. In her art practice she often draws on formal and technical skills acquired during this time. [www.lelianichathmhaoil.wixsite.com/lelia]

AOIFE CASBY is a visual artist and writer originally from Mayo, now living in Connemara. Aoife’s current practice considers material language and relationships between land, word, image and object. She is having fun developing a multi-layered, bi-lingual engagement with a natural and cultural heritage, in the places where fields, the sea and people interact: creating object and sound language-based installations which have been shown at COE, Claremorris Gallery, Traidpicnic among others. Aoife has received Arts Council funding for her work and is an experienced writer of fiction, poetry & innovative hybrid texts. She completed a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths in 2020 and has widely published in literary journals. [www.aoifecasby.net]

Photograph: Conor McKeown