Tuesday, 27 May 2008

X-PO: Tracings, Narratives and Representations of Kilnaboy 1842- 2008

Exhibitions by:
Rinnamona Research Group
Séan Taylor
X-PO Mapping Group.
Exhibition runs from 18th May – 13th June 2008 at Kilnaboy (2 miles north of Corofin) Tel: 065 6837177
Opening Times for this exhibition: Monday to Sat 2.00 – 5.00 pm
Evenings: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 7.00 – 9.00 pm.

SUCCESSORS READ PREDECESSORS: Re-Representing the Rinnamona Daíl. Rinnamona Research Group Exhibition based on The Harvard-Irish Mission, 1930-1936: Mary Moroney, John Ruane, Sean Roche, Francis Whelan with Anne Byrne (NUIG).
At the beginning of the 1930s, Ireland and Clare in particular, was the focus of an extensive archaeological and anthropological survey by American scholars from Harvard University. The survey resulted in two influential and widely read anthropological publications, ‘The Irish Countryman’ (1937) by Conrad Arensberg and ‘Family and Community in Ireland’ (1940, 1968, 2001) by Conrad Arensberg and Solon Kimball. This present exhibition is concerned with bringing new material pertaining to the Harvard-Irish Mission into the public domain and re-representing aspects of the social anthropology study relating directly to the familes and communities of Rinnamona and Kilnaboy parish in the 1930s. Kimball lived in the townland of Rinnamona over a period of two years and passed his time visiting, talking, interacting with neighbours and observing many aspects of daily life in the vicinity. He recognised the importance of going on ‘cuaird’ as neighbours gathered in the late winter evenings to play cards, to talk and consider events of immediate, national or international concern. The gathering of the older men in the community was known as the ‘Rinnamona Dail’. The Rinnamona Research Group read and worked with Kimball’s fieldwork diary in the winter of this year and extracts from the diary form part of this exhibition. As well as being childhood friends, neighbors and cousins, the Rinnamona Research Group are direct descendents of members of the first ‘Rinnamona Dáil’ and are thus connected to this work across generations. The group have gathered together additional photographs and material from the community which provides a local perspective and context for the Kimball diaries. The X-PO project and Deirdre O’Mahony have provided artistic direction, material, organizational and financial support and a physical space in which to present this exhibition.

The Mapping Group Project: Peter Daffy, John Kelleher, James Naylon, Sean Roche, Francis Whelan and Peter Wise.
For many years individuals in Kilnaboy have been collecting information on the ruined houses or ‘cabhails’ of the parish. When the X-PO opened they formed The Mapping Group and in order to collectively focus on tracing and naming every house in the parish of Kilnaboy As a starting point they began with the townland of the South Commons and with householders named on the Griffiths Valuation documents of 1842. Members of the group have conducted interviews, surveyed documents and gathered stories of the locality and the exhibition will show a newly made map of the South Commons by cartographer Peter Wise. The topographical knowledge and level of engagement with place represented in this exhibition is of a depth and intimacy that is rare in these times and the exhibition will also feature a recorded narration of occupancy of the South Commons by Francis Whelan and John Kelleher. The recordings and maps will form part of the permanent X-PO local knowledge archive.

The Blushing Hills: Sean Taylor
This video work was one of Clare County Council’s temporary comissioned works for Ground Up 1 in 2005. The piece documents a hot-air balloon flight over the Burren. The balloon displayed a text, The Blushing Hills, taken from a snatch of conversation gathered while researching the work. This flight went from Carron over Rinnamona and the South Commons, and the DVD, located in the hallway between the two exhibitions, provides an external overview of the two townlands.
Anne Byrne would like to acknowledge the support of the IRCHSS Senior Research Fellowship Scheme (06/07) for the Narratives of Ireland project. The Blushing Hills was Comissioned by Clare County Council under the Ground Up Public Art projects in Rural Contexts. Thanks to Séan Taylor, Fiona Woods and Siobhan Mulcahy. X-PO is a public art project by Deirdre O'Mahony. The aim is to revive the kind of incidental social space formerly represented by the rural post office and it will be the subject of a Nationwide feature in the coming weeks.

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