Walk 3 Wed April 12 Barnavave – Tread Softly Project

On site exhibition Saturday 20 May 12-5pm

This time a site visit to Barnavave, just above Carlingford, where I’ve been invited by artist Suzanne Carroll to participate in a site specific exhibition on the mountain side among the remains of a deserted village, abandoned for almost a century at this point.

Some hard facts – and thank you Suzanne for doing the research leg work on this-
Barnavave – Bearna Meidhbhe – Maeve’s Gap
named in tribute to Queen Meabh of Connacht who passed through here in her pursuit of the Brown Bull of Cooley – as detailed in the Tain Bo Cuailnge.

Barnavave Summit is composed of dark coarse-grained gabbro rock, dated to 61.5 million years ago

The village:
deserted since the 1930’s
According to Griffiths Valuation 1858
Occupants included
Edward Maguire, 2 acres
Bernard Flynn 1/4 acre
Patrick Donnelly 1/4 acre
All plots were freehold, no landlord

The signs of a wicker chimney breast and high threshold stones in the Maguire house suggest it was built centuries earlier.

There is a Medieval sweat house, possibly originally Bronze Age

The Giants Grave – Neolithic passage grave

I will be making some work in response to the site.
Initial impressions and evocations:

Fairy thorn
Blackened thorn
Gorse wyn bush
Copper ferric
Bronze amulets talisman- hidden in rocks

Burnt bone blackened wood potato flour
Tunnels undergrowth in bushes
Rabbit runs
Mossy paths- soft turf
Clearing space : cutting brambles burning bushes

Farming – land animal -inter generational

Village- people – clinging to the mountain as long as possible

Tain Bo Cuailnge – the hunt, the chase, the running battle
the running battle of life in a harsh environment, keeping the spark going,
relentless, breathless, hounds in pursuit,
breathe in breathe out
inhale exhale

Breath work –
burnt bone blackened wood held together with potato glue
stencils, bone, ground charcoal, potato starch