Lament: Tracing the 19c. Great Famine, An Gorta Mhor, in the Contemporary Irish Landscape
The work ‘Lament’ represents a distillation of a moment in Irish history related to the 19th century famine. It consists of three components: the archaeological remains of a remote 19c. famine village, the remains of an auxiliary work house, and images of the sea, representing the rhythms of daily life and the fate of the emigrant. As I move through the famine village, I leave a trace of my poetic footprint by marking the boundary with mason’s string; while the sea erases and reclaims its own boundary’s edge. The beauty of the famine sites, which are overrun by ‘nature’, is a fitting metaphor for reclaiming loss and memory. The sea represents the rhythm of life, the plight of the emigrant and the loss of self and community. Lament offers a reflective opportunity to pause on this particular moment in history and connect it to our own time of mass emigration, conflict and famine.