Gathering In Exhibition

Gathering In Exhibition November 26th to 28th Various Location in Cavan Town

The Gathering In exhibition is taking place Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th November at six locations in Cavan town. Experience illuminated lantern sculptures in Cavan town with accompanying poetry and music soundscape.The exhibition is part of the Arts Council's Faoin Spéir project to support outdoor arts events. 


The idea for Gathering In came from a discovery made by poet Noel Monaghan of numerous instances of animal references in place names around Co. Cavan. This project pays hommage to the role that animals, both domestic and wild, played in the lives of people in rural and urban parts of the county. There are over 40 large life sized sculptures in the exhibition. These range from horses, flocks of poultry to the farmers or shepards calling them or gathering them in.


In July Tom Meskall, lead artist, worked with 9 Cavan based artists to create several illuminated lantern sculptures. Tom continued to work on the project from his home studio in Co. Mayo and has created numerous other large pieces. He also worked alongside Cavan poet Noel Monaghan and Cavan musician Darragh Slacke to create poetic and musical content to form part of the exhibition.  Their accompanying pieces will be available online through QR Codes displayed at each location. The public will be able to access and listen to their work whilst viewing the sculptures. The pieces will be on display daily from 6pm to 10pm over the course of the weekend. Artist invigilators will be on site to tell people more about the project and to assist people to access the accompanying online features. The locations are The Catedral of St. Patrick and Phelim, Urney Church of Ireland, Farnham St., The Townhall Balcony & Rose Garden, The Abbey and The Egg Market. Keep an eye on the Cavan Arts Facebook page for updates. The launch will take place on Friday 26th November at 6pm.



Artists involved:


Paul Farnon           Marie Smith             Sharon Mundy           Helen Foy         Fiona Fitzpatrick


Joey Burns            Heather Brett           Karina Lynch


Original Soundscapes by musician Darragh Slacke.


Poetry by Noel Monaghan.


Street Galleries


                        Here we have animals

                        In familiar Cavan places,

                        All wired-up, paper-skinned, alight

                        And ready to go,

                        Prompting us to have thoughts:

                                    A lens to probe our memories

                                    Of fish bones locked in stone,

                                    The bitter winds, the sleet and snow

                                    That only the hills know.


                        Let’s consider them for a moment

As animals in themselves,

                        Not just our human projections ...

                                    These are no soft toys.

                        Silence hangs about the streets

                        Listening to the rainfall.

                        They have all endured,

                        A museum of animals and birds

                        Forever caged in our words.



                                                                                    Noel Monahan © 2021.





                        Cuimhním m’athair ina chéachtaire,

                        Dhá chapaill ag tarraingt

                        Iarann céachta, is iarann rotha

                        Ag triall go mall síos an chnoic,

                        Is súile m’athair ghreamaithe

Ar sceach gheal taobh thíos de

                         Is an líne díreach á choimeád aige

 I bpáirc seimre chapaill, i gcónaí.                             


Noel Monahan © 2021.


A Pair of Plough Horses

I remember my father ploughing,

Two horses pulling

The iron plough and the iron wheel

Moving slowly down the hill

And my father’s eyes glued

To a white thorn bush below him

And he forever keeping a straight line

In the red clover field.


                                                Noel Monahan © 2021.


A Much-Travelled Image


                        Sheep drift in the moonlight

                        To walk about the town,

                        Behold the man, the shepherd,

                        He knows the wolves are just

                        Around the corner of every street.

                        The churches are very close to one another,

                        They can hear each other breathe.

                        The sheep are grazing

                                                            In a special space

                        Neither inside or truly outside.

                        Darkness speaks to the light:

                        Relics of memories haunt us

                        We hear the purr of prayer from within,

                        The congregation kneeling, sitting, standing...

                        All the timeless binding between nature and us.


                                                                                    Noel Monahan © 2021.



Let The Images Unfold


                        Let the images unfold

                        Let them happen by chance

                        Let us walk with the moon child

                        There’s no real plot here

                                    No agenda

                                                No border guard checking papers.


                        We are all fellow-travellers

                        On the streets tonight

                                    Celebrate with squeal, moo, hoot, and neigh

                                                Tell your secrets

To The Milky Way.


                        Noel Monahan © 2021.



The Egg Market


                        I wonder what the Egg Market

                        Is hatching up?

                        A world of free range hens and turkey cocks

                                    A world for our imagination

                                                A world to live in

                                                            A world to remember.


                        We recall the Hen Woman

                        Her head in her sparán

                        Forever counting threepenny bits and tanners

                        And The Fleadh Cheoil Days

                        All the trad music, lepping and dancing

                        And Seán Ó Sé:

                                    Ailliliú An Poc Ar Buile...


                                                                                                Noel Monahan © 2021.




                        Blow the shofar

                        From Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur,

                        Find an Old Testament goat to blame

                        Let him carry your shame

                        Hang all your sins on his horns

                                    Blame the goat, beat the goat

                                    Beat the beat, the oldest song

                                    Blame the goat, beat the goat

                                    Have him wipe your slate clean

                        Drag the goat to the desert sands

                        Leave him there to wither and die

                        To die and wither in the wilderness.


                                                            Noel Monahan © 2021.





                        This is High Status burial ground.

                        Here we have: trees, walls, grave stones

                        And the Bell-Tower

                        Alongside an installation of:

                        Cows, goats, fox and stag...

                                                Hare, cat and donkey...

                        This is St. Mary’s Abbey

                        Franciscan Friary, Cavan

                        Burnt down many’s the time

                                    By a friar drunk on wine,

                                                By John Tiptof, the Sasanach

                                                            And by O’Reilly’s wife, Mad Mary.


                                                Noel Monahan©2021.




SMAOINTE FÁNACHA                             STRAY THOUGHTS

Ó GHLEANNGHAIBHLE                                     FROM GLANGEVLIN

Cloisim diadhánach an bhó                            I hear the lowing of a cow

Ar an ngaoth,                                                  For her calf on the wind,

Feicim cailleach ag crú trí chriathar,              I see a hag milk into a sieve,

Tuile fola mórthimpeall                                  Blood flowing everywhere


Ar bheallach na bó finne                                 On the pathway of the white cow

Tá stóilín trí chos a ghearradh sa chloch        Is a three-legged stool cut in stone

In aice an loch                                                 Beside the lake

A choimeádann an spear.                                That holds the sky.


                                                            Noel Monahan © 2021.



15 Nov 2021

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