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Voyage of Stories sculpture launch at National Learning Network in Bantry

16 September 2013
Image for Voyage of Stories sculpture launch at National Learning Network in Bantry


Voyage of Stories is an artwork that celebrates the movement of people and the experience of leaving one’s home to begin again in a new place. This collaborative artwork by artist Michael Ray and students at the National Learning Network is to be launched at the NLN garden in Donemark, Bantry on Thursday 19 September at 2.30pm and all are welcome.


Voyage of Stories is a sculptural piece made of steel, copper wire and glass. It was created as part of Donemark – The Place of the Boat, a project run in partnership with West Cork Arts Centre. Facilitated by Artist Michael Ray and Alison Cronin, Project Coordinator, WCAC, approximately 20 students have been working on the project since March. The students were involved in all aspects of the project from brainstorming ideas, to conducting interviews, working with glass and copper, design decisions, documenting the process and preparing the site. The students enjoyed learning new skills and working together as a team to create the work.



The piece is inspired by the legend of Cessair, Noah's granddaughter, who is said to have landed at the mouth of the Mealagh River at DĂșn na mBarc (Donemark). Cessair and her entourage were said to be the first inhabitants of the island of Ireland, and arrived as immigrants in 2361 BC.



With 2013 as the year of The Gathering it was decided to link Cessair's early experience of moving to new lands with the ongoing history and contemporary experience of migration to and from Ireland. A call went out for contributions from writers and members of the public. Poems and stories flooded in. Interviews were collected from Irish ex-patriots, from those who had left and returned, and from those who had settled in Ireland from other nations. The themes of what they missed about home and how it felt travelling to a new place were common threads in each account.



These stories have been preserved in this piece which includes traditional materials of the area – stone and copper. Fragments of their words have been incorporated into the final sculpture which takes the form of a boat – commemorating those first mythical travellers along with all who have come and gone from this island since.



Voyage of Stories will be installed in the National Learning Network’s public garden for all future visitors to enjoy.


For further information and image contact 028 22090 or