Tag Archives: Inisheer Zibaldone

I love Inis Oírr, and Inis Oírr loves me

Plaque and Hat LR

Following in the tradition of Marina Abramović, JesseJames created a performance piece at O’Brien’s Castle during their residency at Aras Éanna on Inis Oírr.

Jessica was “present” in the pitch black vaulted room up at the castle. Tucking her bag behind the gate into the room, she was present, wearing sunglasses and the iconic JesseJames red tam o’shanter. Over time, people peered into the gloom, but could not see the art piece.

Then a young boy looked in and called over his shoulder “here, dad, someone’s left their bags here.” His small figure stood in the dark doorway, uncertain of what to do. He stood a while longer, then reached to Jessica’s bag. From the darkness came a ghostly voice “do not touch the bag.” He jumped six foot into the air. He turned and fled.

A few minutes later, he came back, holding his dad’s hand. “There’s a ghost in there” he whimpered. His dad entered the room and saw Jessica, in red hat and sun glasses, holding “the artist is present” sign. Jessica stood enigmatically, saying nothing. The dad said to his son, matter of factly –” it’s not a ghost, just an artist.”

 

 

 

Cathaoir JesseJames

A seat located on a beach on Inis Oírr where the artists found inspiration.

JesseJames Seat

It is said that this was JesseJames’s favourite seat on Inis Oírr. Situated on Trá Caorach and overlooking An Sunda Ó Dheas, the sound between Inis Oírr and the cliffs of Moher, they sat here while they were reflecting on their art.

 

 

Ancient Ways

The ancient ways are going

For the old woman knows words

In Gaelic, her grandchildren don’t,

Their Irish, modern, anglicised,

Hers bound to the earth

Carved by it as the rock underfoot.

The currachs like discarded shells

Of black backed beetles

Lie rotting in the sand.

The well-worn paths once woven

Into the landscape by feet

Are now mudded and gouged by tractor

Tyres no longer bordered

By smooth, soft margins,

Once home to wild garlic and primrose.

The Arctic Tern still finds a shelter

As does the Cuckoo and the Swallow

But the Corncrake left long ago.

Grey rock, grey sand, grey sky

Still the same, not yet scarred

But there’s a change in the wind

For the ancient ways are going,

Blowing away.

The ancient ways are going

Poem: Catherine Conneely. Image: JesseJames