Past Projects 1 - Dinnseanchas I, 2008

Installation made from old holiday postcards of the locations featuring in the Dinnseanchas project
Bernadette Cotter and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill speaking at the opening night of the exhibition in Oideas Gael, Glencolmcille.
Participants in the Dinnseanchas I Project, with Máire Ní Chasáide then Manager of An Gailearaí, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Bernadette Cotter and Traolach Ó Fionnain
View of an installation created at Oideas Gael, Glencolmcille.
A local gentleman contucting a tour of the sites featuring in the Dinnseanchas Project.
Two participants working on their installation piece.
Dinnseanchas is the traditional Gaelic form of the 'naming' of places, the lore of place names. Throughout the length and breadth of Ireland every community, parish or town-land will herald Dinnseanchas particular to its area. It is a beautiful rich oral tradition that links both the Irish language and its cultural heritage. Poet, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, has a strong interest in this art form and has written many essays on the subject. Aware of the threat of losing this important cultural jewel, Ceardlann na gCroisbhealach commissioned and coordinated this project in an attempt to curtail such a loss. Since early 2008, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and artist Bernadette Cotter have been engaging with members of the Glencolmcille, Teelin and Kilcar communities who have an interest in their local Dinnseanchas

Bernadette Cotter explains “I have spent three months working with a group from Glencolmcille, Kilcar and Teelin on the Dinnseanchas project. From the start the Glencolmcille participants were very enthusiastic to make art work, their work is wonderfully imaginative and sculptural. On the other hand the Kilcar participants were most interested in the local lore stories, which made for interesting results. Together we visited a lot of historical and archaeological sites with many stories evolving as we walked the hills.
The Teelin participants embrace where they come from in a very prideful way and their work displays their love of place” says Bernadette.

"The 6th class children from St. Carthas’ National School in Kilcar are busy painting their representation of "Cath Dhoire Leathan" - a fantastic way for them to learn local placelore and it’s origins", Bernadette continues, "and we owe a very special thanks from the Dinnseanchas group to Gary McDevitt for his graphic depiction of the ‘Battle of Doire Leathan’ ”.

All involved in the Dinnseanchas project love and cherish where they come from and this is evident in the artworks which will be exhibited. Already some participants have put forward some exciting ideas for next year. It has been a very enriching and worthwhile project for all involved.

As a celebration of the work completed by the group there were two separate exhibitions, one in Aislann Chill Chartha and the second in Oideas Gael, Gleann Cholm Cille. These exhibitions opened as part of the celebration of the Donegal Bluestack Festival, on Wednesday 24th September with the first opening in the Aislann at 6.00pm and the second in Oideas Gael later that evening.
The Dinnseachas project will continue to develop with further results in 2009. Thanks go to Donegal VEC, Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Oideas Gael, Aislann Chill Chartha and Donegal County Council who have funded and supported Dinnseanchas to date.
Also thanks to Mick Browne who has donated his time and expertise to record the oral ‘Dinnseanchas’ which will also feature as part of the exhibitions.
Congratulations also go to the participants.

Christine Daly, Carmel Butler, Dympna Towell, Caitlín Mhic Fhoinngaile, Máire Mhic Fhionnalaigh, Caroline Molloy, Séan Ó Brádaigh, Mick Mc Ginley, Seosamh Ua Gallachóir, Séan Ó Beirn, Sean Ó Maitiú, Máire Ní Chaisaide, Caroline Ní Chaisaide, Rang B Scoil Náisiúnta Chíll Charthaí