Event Details






Galway Arts Centre - 47 Dominick Street





Event Type

Talk, Event,

Join us on Saturday the 20th of January for this very special final event as part of the branch, the fork, the harrow exhibition.

Acclaimed improvised musician and cellist Eimear Reidy will perform a live musical accompaniment to a screening of Noelle Gallagher’s poetic and moving film ‘Forest/ry’ after which we will be joined by environmentalist Marie Louise Heffernan and archeologist Michael Gibbons to discuss the environmental context to the ecological activism and art taking place at the Interface site and hatchery and through the Woodland Symposium project.

The Woodland Symposium is a collaborative project which facilitates artists in making an artistic response to ecological activism by engaging in a slow-art response to the changing ecology of the site of Interface in Connemara. Over the last three years, artists Brett Sroka, Christine Mackey, Linda Schirmer, Noelle Gallagher, Helena Doyle and Sarah Roseingrave have immersed themselves in the site, an environment which has gradually revealed its complexities over the years. On each iteration of the Woodland Symposium the artists have been mentored by ecologist Marie Louise Heffernan and archaeologist Michael Gibbons. Through this extended engagement, the artists have built a rich understanding of – and relationship with – the forest and with the wider area.  They have visited and revisited the adjacent fragment of ancient oak forest at Derryclare Wood and explored ancient fragments of human habitation in the blanket bogs of Connemara.



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Eimear Reidy is a keen improviser and has performed with musicians such as The Quiet Club, Strange Attractor and Laura Hyland as well as solo performances in The Guest House, Plugd Records, Zolala, Sonic Vigil, Féile na Gréine, The Dock Arts Centre, Spike Cello festival and the Kat Laughs festival. Eimear has written music for a variety of settings including theatre, art instillation and dance performances. In 2018 Eimear wrote This Island in collaboration with Robert Curgenven. This piece was for solo cello and field recordings from Heir Island. It was performed at The Sirius Arts Centre and as part of Skibbereen Arts Festival.

Eimear is part of the Duo ‘Whose Woods These Are’ with Natalia Beylis. In 2020/21, they performed at Cairde Festival, Hunters Moon, Echoes at The Castle and Test Site and released their debut album ‘Whose Woods These Are’ on Nyahh Records,

In 2021 Eimear’s debut solo album Things That Happened at Sea was was written and recorded whilst on residency in Cill Rialaig, Co. Kerry and released on Nyahh Records.


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Michael Gibbons is one of Ireland’s leading field archaeologists. Born and raised in Clifden, Connemara where he still lives with his family, Michael is a graduate of University College Galway with a degree in History and Archaeology. He is a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland with thirty years of experience as an archaeologist and completed a 5 year term on the Archaeology Committee of the Heritage Council. He has worked with the Department of Antiquities in Jerusalem and for the Museum of London City Excavation Programme.

In Ireland, he worked on the Donegal Archaeological Survey and Galway Archaeological Survey before being appointed as co-director of the National Sites and Monuments Record, Office of Public Works for a period of ten years. He has directed surveys and excavations on Croagh Patrick and has mapped the uplands and islands of the Connacht Coast.

Michael is a member of the Nautical Archaeology Society and his current research interests include the archaeology of Irish uplands and islands, in particular the maritime pilgrimage tradition. He has carried out detailed research on some of the most important of these including Skellig Michael World Heritage Site, St MacDara’s Island and Caher Island. Recent archaeological work has included mapping the intertidal zone of the Galway and North-Burren Coast with a particular focus on the prehistoric midden complexes, vernacular quays, harbours and seaweed farm

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Marie Louise Heffernan is a chartered environmentalist with the Society of the Environment UK and a training provider for, and full member of, the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM).

She has worked as an environmental consultant ecologist since 1997 establishing Aster Environmental Consultants in 2002 and the Ecology Centre in 2012. She was formerly a biochemist and briefly a farm planner and has interests in bird ecology, landscape management, riverine ecology, freshwater ecosystems, wild food foraging and in sustainability.