For The Birds



Commissioned by VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow, For The Birds (2014), is Sean Lynch’s project based upon the Irish myth of Buile Suibhne, or the Frenzy of Sweeney. Set in the year 637 in the midst of tensions between ancient Celtic traditions and the newly arrived Christian domination, Sweeney is cursed to be half-man, half-bird. From that point on, he leaps from place to place, naked, lonely and hungry. At every stop in his flight, he pauses to recite a poem describing the countryside and his unfortunate plight.

Eventually after years of wandering, Sweeney began to radiate towards a farm at St. Mullins in Carlow where, for the first time since being cursed, he found kindness and supper made for him each evening. There the cook Muirghil would sink her heel into the nearest cow-dung, shaping a bowl and filling it up to the brim with fresh milk. He would then sneak in from nearby trees and lap it up. For The Birds is a project by Sean Lynch in collaboration with sculptor Tom Fitzgerald that reimagined this scene in the context of Carlow’s contemporary agricultural industry.

This catalogue accompanied the exhibition and features installation images, an essay by critic and lecturer Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith, along with text contributions on the legacy of Buile Suibhne from Trevor Joyce, Alexandra Bergholm, James G. O’Keefe and Pádraig Ó Riain.

36 pages, hardback, 34 colour images, 4 b/w images
Designed by Wayne Daly

Delivery and payment will be coordinated by EVA International on behalf of Ireland at Venice 2015.