IN SEARCH OF HY-BRASIL
Ireland’s representation at this year’s La Biennale di Venezia investigates the culture and diversity to be found in our remote islands
Entitled ‘In Search of Hy-Brasil’, this year’s exhibition is curated by a team of five architects – Peter Carroll, Peter Cody, Elizabeth Hatz, Mary Laheen and Joseph Mackey. In Search of Hy-Brasil presents fieldwork from Ireland’s remote islands, investigating their diverse cultures, communities and experiences. The exhibition has a focus on renewable energy, ethical food production and biodiversity, capturing the islands’ sustainable methods of livelihood through drawing, models, film, sound, writing and language, to raise awareness of the islanders’ management of resources and their balancing of the delicate equilibrium between culture and nature.
Local materials have been used in the exhibition, highlighting the traditional heritage of each island. For example, sea sacks woven from discarded fishers’ rope, a linen tapestry mapping Ireland’s maritime zone and an abstraction of Sceilg Mhichíl made from Galway sheep’s wool feature in the exhibition. The installation also includes large slabs of local limestone from the offshore islands of Inis Meáin (Inishmaan), UNESCO World Heritage site Sceilg Mhichíl (Skellig Michael) and Cliara (Clare Island). In doing this, In Search of Hy-Brasil shifts between the global and the local, the territorial and the intimate and gives international audiences the chance to experience connections between the social fabric, cultural landscape and ecology of these islands.
Michael McDonnell Managing Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine