14/10/2022 – 29/10/2022
10:00 - 17:00 daily
Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street
This unique exhibition curated by the Galway Arts Centre as part of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children 2022, brings together two of Ireland’s leading artists – visual artist Leanne McDonagh and poet Oein DeBhairduin – to present artworks that explore and celebrate the stories and oral traditions of the Mincéirí / Irish Traveller community.
A solo exhibition of Leanne McDonagh’s work created to illustrate the award winning book Why The Moon Travels, a collection of twenty folktales from the Traveller community, written by Oein DeBhairduin is presented across the second floor galleries in an interactive presentation where you can immerse yourself in Traveller stories of vixens, owls and horses who live alongside humans as guides, protectors, friends and foes while spirits, giants and fairies blur the lines between this world and the otherworld.
On the ground floor gallery, a selection of traditional storytelling crafts created by Traveller creatives Maggie McDonagh, Tom O’Donnell and the Balbriggan Travellers project curated by Oein DeBhairduin, creates an inclusive space for all to enjoy the magic and wisdom imbued in the craft and stories of the Mincéirí.
Leanne McDonagh is an award-winning Irish artist and educator and a member of the Travelling community who grew up on a halting site, with first-hand experience of the prejudices and misconceptions that society has about Travellers. As an artist she feels she has a unique opportunity to represent and record her community from within. Her work has been exhibited at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Triskel Arts Centre, Cork; and Origin Gallery, Dublin and has recently been acquired by the Irish Museum of Modern Art as part of the National Collection of Ireland. Her illustrations in the short story book, titled, Why The Moon Travels written by a fellow Traveller, Oein De Bhairduin, a book which is the first of its kind in Ireland, has been the recipient of many awards. She is currently working on a public art commission funded by the Irish government under the Percent for Art scheme.
Oein DeBhairduin is a writer, scolami, activist and educator with a passion for preserving the beauty of Traveller tales, sayings, retellings and historic exchanges. He is the author of the multi-award winning Why The Moon Travels, a book of Traveller stories, collected by Oein throughout his childhood. Why The Moon Travels won both the Judges’ Special Award and the Eilís Dillon Award at the 2021 KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards. He is currently the Curator of Traveller Culture in the National Museum of Ireland and is a long-time board member of several Mincéirí community groups, including having had the honour of being vice-chair of the Irish Traveller Movement and a council member of Mincéir Whidden. He seeks to pair community activism with cultural celebration, recalling old tales with fresh modern connections and, most of all, he wishes to rekindle the hearth fires of a shared kinship