Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Aos Dara Symposium 2022

I went down to Tomnafinnoge Wood, near Tinahely, Co Wicklow, in order to check out the sculptures that formed this year’s contribution to the forest art trail, after the third Aos Dara symposium ended. The four artists who created work on the symposium this year were James Hayes, Niall O'Neill, Dave Kinane and Sarah Kineen. The project was facilitated by the Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely. Hayes, O'Neill and Kinane have all participated in the two previous symposia. I wrote about the first Aos Dara Symposium in 2019 in a Circa Online short review here, and I blogged about the second symposium (during lockdown in 2020) in which I participated here, here and here.

It was great to see the work, which you first happen upon from the path, 

and then, curious, you can explore with a closer view. This is a piece carved by James Hayes.

Again, visible from the path the piece by Niall O'Neill invites you to take a closer look.

O'Neill decided to continue working on his very large and intricate tree carving from the first symposium. It must be noted here that the artists could only use fallen material and hand tools for carving.

Although Dave Kinane's piece was originally created in a glade off a walking trail, he moved it across the river into another open glade. It can be seen from the path

but any desire for a closer look is still met by a rushing body of water. However, it is highly visible from the path in a number of places.

It is helpful that each work is signposted on the trail. Sarah Kineen's work appears at first to be a jumble of small sticks as if in preparation for a bonfire.

Closer inspection reveals a lovingly woven container of golden leaves that Kineen had gathered from the forest floor.

May future symposia leave further artworks for the enjoyment of walkers (or runners!) in this gorgeous forest. While I was there I had a chance to see a piece from the first symposium, still holding its own with added moss and mushrooms several years later.

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