The Voice


Artist: Ceara Conway

Curator: Greg McCartney with curatorial support from Maggie McKeever

Commission date: 7-9 June, Final Exhibition and Creative Conversation 30 Nov – 15 Dec

Colm Cille, the patron Saint of Derry-Londonderry, is a multi-dimensional, often controversial character, renowned as a leading figure in religion, politics, history, poetry and diplomacy. Galway based artist, Ceara Conway launches the Derry-Londonderry leg of the spiral using “the voice” as a starting point. The oral tradition and written word in Columban times were key links to knowledge and power. Her work focuses on creating experiential performances responding to specific contexts that often engage the viewer through traditions such as song and storytelling.


Themes surrounding knowledge ownership, copyright and information management/flow surround St Colm Cille’s legacy. The artist will re-enact a number of Colm Cille’s journeys and interview poets, musicians and authorities on the Saint’s life. The recorded conversations culminate in a sound installation on 7-9 of June for the Colm Cille festival for City of Culture 2013.

The second strand of the commission on 9 June is a performance piece by the artist in a curragh – a traditional open boat similar to one that Colm Cille may have sailed in – on the River Foyle. The performance will include discussion, stories and song and investigate issues of knowledge, information/power relations and bring the themes inherent in the life and work of Colm Cille to a contemporary audience. The performance, and the discussion it engenders will then be used by the artist as a basis for the exhibition in December.

Ceara Conway

Ceara Conway is a visual artist and singer from Connemara currently living and working in Galway,Ireland. She has studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland, Alfred University in New York and at the NCAD in Dublin.

Her most recent projects include ‘Iascéalaíocht’ a storytelling performance on the sea for TULCA 2012, and a Public Art Commission for the St Brendan’s Hospital Lough Rae. She is a recent recipient of the CREATE Artist in the Community Research Award.

Ceara’s work focuses on creating performance’s, events and permanent works that respond to specific social and political contexts through engaging the public in various forms of participation.