Antiquated and now quite ridiculous nuggets of advice for ‘lady travellers’, doled out by a Victorian author, have inspired an unusual piece of public art planned for the Greenway this summer.
The Greenway, the cycle route atop the old Achill to Westport railway, was chosen to take part in a new international art project, funded by the European Commission.
The project, Changing Tracks, focuses on the changing use of disused railway lines. Two other sites at disused rail tracks in Spain and the UK were also chosen for the public art exhibition.
The work of three artists, one from each participating country, will be displayed along each of the rail track routes this summer.
Cork born Aideen Barry is the Irish artist involved. Her motion video projections, which visitors to the Greenway will come across at unexpected locations along the cycle path, were inspired by the quaint 19th century publication Hints for Lady Travellers by Lillian Campbell Davidson.
In her book Campbell Davidson sternly advised: “There is no reason, human or divine, why a woman should not be as tastefully and becomingly dressed while on her journeys as at her own fireside.” She also extolled the virtues of a clever bath-cum-travelling-case for ladies on the move.
The UK artist Noah Rose will be dotting an outdoor museum along the route while the Catalan artist Xevi Bayona aims to present large scale temporary sculptures, such as an upturned railway carriage enclosing a living tree.
Mayo County Council arts officer Anne McCarthy said the project was a great opportunity for the artists to realise their vision and locate their work in places where the public can full engage with it.
“This project is a great example of integrated partnership delivering quality artistic interventions, which resonate locally and are of international significance,” she said.