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Gán Tásc ná Tuairisc

Deer Island, or Cruach na Caoile, is a remote outpost off the coast of Connemara. The island has been uninhabited since the turn of the 20th century, since the Cloherty family – distant relations from the paternal side of my family – moved off the island and either emigrated to America or moved onto the mainland. With no natural harbour or man-made pier to moor a boat, the island is notoriously difficult to get onto and so remains largely untouched by human interference. Deer Island, not only for its remoteness, possesses an almost mystical or other-worldly lure. The island’s history is based as much in fiction and folklore as it is in fact, with stories of hauntings and ghosts.

Feenish Island, or Fínis, is a now-deserted island off the coast of Carna, Connemara. Feenish seems more grounded in reality, its population still existing within living memory. The last to move off the island, three women, left in 1982 and the island has since been uninhabited except for two refurbished holiday homes. The island was home to my paternal grandmother and her family until 1977 when they moved onto the mainland. Feenish has a more tangible presence for a multitude of reasons that the illusive Deer Island does not. The derelict houses and school building, even the main road on the island, however are slowly being covered over by its own terrain: the sand.

The physical landscape and traditional forms of archiving (interviews, official documents, folklore) are equally important in researching the history of these two islands. Language, the play between Irish and English, also plays a key role in the understanding of these two places. Gan Tásc Ná Tuarisc (Leave No Trace) aims to translate the already existing archive, along with the accumulation of additional information most notably through visits to the National Archive and to the islands themselves, into a dynamic body of work. Through this process, the over-arching concept of the archive, its shortcomings and the constant play between truth and fiction are questioned and explored. The work uses the archive as a vessel to explore ideas of reality and unreality present in the recording of history.

 – Caoimhe Hernon, excerpt from research statement, 2015.

Ormston House & Caoimhe Hernon would like to thank Coilín Hernon, Maeve Connolly, Sinéad Hogan, Chris Boland, Matt Gidney, Robert Corrigan, Limerick School of Art & Design and Cork Film Centre.

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Is oileán iargúlta é Crua na Caoile amach ó chósta Chonamara. Tá an tOileán bánaithe le céad fiche bliain, tráth ar imigh na Clochartaigh, a raibh gaol acú le m`athair, as an Oileán. Chuaigh cuid acu go dtí an mórthír agus cuid eile go Boston. Níl caladh ná céibh ar an oileán le theacht i dtír ann. Tá an tOileán eistreánach  mar sin is beag duine a thugann cuairt air. Bhí cáil ar Chrua na Caoile go raibh taibhsí ann fadó agus ceapann daoine a thugann cuairt ar an Oileán go bhfuil rud éigin neamhghnách ag baint leis fós. Tá scéal an Oileáin fréamhaithe sa seanchas agus sa  mbéaloideas, chomh maith le scéalta faoí na `daoine maithe`.

Oileán eile amach ó chósta Chárna is ea Fínís. Níl aon mhaireachtáil ar an Oileán ó 1982, an bhliain sin d`fhág triúr ban de mhuintír Uí Chonaola an tOileán den uair dheirneach. Tá dhá theach saoire ar an Oileán anois ag daoine a raibh a muintir ina gcónaí ann tráth, duine acu Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin Lally a rugadh ar an Oileán. Bhí cónaí ar mhuintir mo mháthair mór ar an Oileán go dtí 1977 nuair a d`aistrigh said go dtí an mórthír i gCárna. Tá aghaidh daoine ar Oileán Fhínse rud nach féidir a rá faoí Chrua na Caoile. Tá na seanbhallaí agus teach na scoile fós ina seasamh ar an Oileán ach tá an bóthar beagnach clúdaithe ag an ngaineamhséidte.

Sa taighde seo baineadh usáid as agallamh, cáipéisí agus béaloideas, chomh maith le cuairt a thabhairt ar an dá Oileán. Tá tabhacht le usáid gaeilge agus bearla le tuiscint a fháil ar an saol a bhí ag daoine ar an dá Oileán. An aidhm atá le  Gan Tásc Ná Tuairisc  ná usáid a bhaint as an gcartlann, dindiúirí agus turas go Fínís agus Crua na Caoile le cruth ealaíonta a chuir ar an taispeántas seo. Déantar iarracht an ceangal idir an fhírinne agus an tsamhlaíocht a chíoradh agus a cheistniú.

– Caoimhe Ní Iarnáin sliocht as ráiteas taighde, 2015.

Ba mhaith le Ormston House agus Caoimhe Ní Iarnáin buíochas a ghlacadh le Cóilín Ó hIarnáin, Maeve Connolly, Sinéad Hogan, Chris Boland, Matt Gidney, Robert Corrigan, Limerick School of Art & Design agus Cork Film Centre.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Information

Gán Tásc ná Tuairisc is a solo exhibition by Caoimhe Hernon, the fourth recipient of the Ormston House Graduate Award co-selected by Maeve Connolly and Sinéad Hogan (ARC/IADT).

Image: research image from the National Archives, courtesy of the artist.

25 September - 16 October 2015
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