Govan Stones

Mary Conroy will be the first artist to launch the new artistic activities in Govan, Limerick and Stockholm for our Creative Europe project Memory of Water following COVID-19 restrictions on travel and gatherings. Mary is working with our Scottish partner Fablevision and the Govan Stones staff and volunteers to create a series of drawings based on selected artworks, maps, architecture and stones in and around the historic Govan Old Church. The Church holds a collection of early Medieval carved stones in a distinct style known as the Govan School, and its grounds hold clues to the history of the mysterious Kingdom of Strathclyde, an indication that Govan was once a great city of royalty with centuries of cultural exchange.

Mary’s research has centred on the Govan Stones, the oldest and most extensive collection of Viking hogback stones in Europe. The drawings will be produced in Limerick, digitised and sent to a local traditional printing press in Govan to produce a set of unique high quality prints and other products which will be sold to help raise funds for the ongoing research work of the The Govan Stones Project (an independent Trust linked to the Church). The form and content of the printed material is being produced in collaboration with the Govan Stones staff and volunteers. To complement this collaboration, a life-sized stencil of Hogback Stone No. 12 has been handmade in Limerick by Mary and posted to Govan, where local artists and volunteers will install it in a public location to promote the project and generate further interest in these mysterious objects.

About Mary Conroy

Mary is Artist-in-Residence at Ormston House and the Irish artist working on the Creative Europe project Memory of Water (2018-2020) in six European cities. Her work investigates humans’ connection with nature through socially-engaged practice, including participation and intervention. Current and recent projects include An Urgent Enquiry (2019), a residency programme with Wexford County Council, Fingal County Council and Dublin City Council supported by the Arts Council’s An Invitation to Collaboration scheme; Materials Matter (2020), the inaugural Art Links Collaboration Award from Wexford County Council, Carlow County Council and Kilkenny County Council, for a collaborative research and education project with Laura Ní Fhlaibhín and Clare Breen on sustainability and environmental awareness within the process of art production; and Folkstone Fringe (2021), representing EVA International on the Creative Europe project, Magic Carpets.



The Govan Residency is co-curated by Inês Cavaco and Hamish Rhodes. Mary Conlon is the Artistic Director of Memory of Water (2018-2020). Our partners are Stad Ostend in Belgium, the Municipality of Levadia in Greece, Nadbaltyckie Centrum Kultury in Poland, Fablevision in Scotland, and Intercult in Sweden. For more information, you can visit the Memory of Water website here.
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