TOMORROW SEES the official opening of Fán Nóiméad, a public pavilion designed as a place to sit, relax, think, and let the world go by, which was created by the award winning Irish artist Gareth Kennedy, Headford Men’s Shed, and traditional boat builder Patrick Connolly.
The pavilion, which is located at Moyne Villa FC, Headford, and measures 1.8m x 3.5m x 2.3m, was built using native-grown Irish green oak and Larch which was felled in 2014 and was made entirely on location in Headford.
Fán Nóiméad is a Galway County Council public art commission and will be officially launched on Wednesday January 14 ar 12 noon, with a plaque unveiling by the Mayor of County Galway Mary Hoade.
Following a consultation process undertaken by the Galway Arts Office, a brief was developed for a public art commission for Headford, which sought to engage the Headford Men’s Shed project in realising an artwork for the town.
Gareth Kennedy won the commission, based on a plan to explore notions of ‘meitheal’ (collective labour ), and the idea that the manufacture of a structure within the town would create a sense of ritual and focus for the builder, through using native materials and traditional hand-skills in the realisation of a contemporary design.
Members of the Men’s Shed group were completing a currach with Indreabhán based Patrick Connolly when Kennedy first met them. The Man’s Shed members were insistent in applying their labour to make a useful structure as a civic gift to the town, conceived originally as a bus shelter, which the town lacked.
Connolly led this process, employing the materials, processes, and techniques used in the manufacture of the Galway Hooker - an iconic boat and emblem of Galway. Following discussions among Connolly, the men, the commissioners and county council engineers, the artist drafted a final design, which would draw on the material culture of the Galway hooker, but would manifest as a contemporary structure.
Gareth Kennedy has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and in 2009, co-represented Ireland at the 53rd Venice Biennale with artist Sarah Browne. He also co-organised a Super8 film festival on the Aran Islands.
All are welcome to the launch and refreshments will be served. Also, as part of a major exhibition on the work of Gareth Kennedy, the Galway Arts Centre, Dominick Street, will display documentation relating to Fan Nóiméad. See www.gkennedy.info