Five shamrocks and a host of delights
Did you know that a shamrock exists in five forms as well as not existing at all? Those were the findings of a study conducted twenty years ago in which members of the public submitted the plant they considered to be a shamrock. Not found in botanical listings, the name shamrock is synonymous with the celebration of Irish culture. Five clover type plants were identified as popularly considered a shamrock.
Explore the Arch is a collective of artists who hone in on the idiosyncrasies of a culture, with sniffer dog noses set to quirky. That’s why on 21 and 22 March when the doors of The House of St Patrick open, there’ll be potato printing in the hallway on linen using stamps carved with the leaves of trifolium dubium, trifolium repens, medicago lupulina, trifolium pratense and oxalis acetosella. There’ll be a giant shamrock in the drinking den too in which the limericks that you might write over your pint of Guinness can be pinned to.
As well as eccentricities, the vibrant collective of artists who comprise the team behind The House of St Patrick are passionate about traditions at the very core of Irish culture. Chan Reid will be sharing her love of sean nos, the unaccompanied singing style. And dancer, Maria MacAteer’s perspectives on her cultural roots stem from a lifetime of story-soaked evenings. Born to a Trinidadian musician father and brought up in Newcastle, Maria’s early links to Ireland were through her Irish mother’s bedtime tales that stretched on into the night. Reflecting that dancing quality of the words cavorting the evening skies, Maria became an award winning Irish dancer and brings her love for the form to the east room in The House of St Patrick in the Through a Gaelic Storm experience. If you wander into this room, you will come face to face with four elemental goddesses and their earthly symbols.
Where you wander in this created house is your choice-that’s a core feature of Explore the Arch events. With food on tap (included in the ticket price) and a map in the free programme, you can scoot off to the understair cupboard that features Maria’s mother’s stories or find poet and philosopher, Yap, in the word room. You can offer him a word; he will offer you a tale. And in other rooms in the house you will find Amy Fellow’s dreamy reflections on domestic, laundry and shore life, echoing O’Shaughnessy and Yate’s poetry. There’s also a door that leads you into a page of Jonathan Swift with Erica Smith.
And for quieter moments in your evening, letters have been collected from threesomes of grandmother, mother and daughter reflecting their childhood experiences of Ireland. There’s a chance to lose yourself in the reminiscence of the Boohig family, to be transported to their living room in Cork city which used to be filled with live music and a constant stream of visitors. These lively anecdotes will be scrawled on the walls of The House of St Patrick.
Explore the Arch events delve into the personal and value the perspective. Don’t miss out on a truly unique event and a fresh way to explore and celebrate Irish culture around the St Patrick’s date. Visit the website for further information about the contributors and to listen to a snippet of Chan Reid’s sean nos singing and to book tickets, click here.
Tickets are limited in this open house setting and your presence most welcome
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