Aerial/Sparks Galway Capital of Culture 2020

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Extract from East:West – Where Morning is the Sea


Ailís’ commission for the Aerial/Sparks programme curated by Louise Manifold for Galway European Capital of Culture opens to the public on Inis Oirr – the smallest of the three Irish Aran Islands – off the coast of Galway on 11th September 2020 and runs for two weeks.

East-West: Where Morning is the Sea is an audio-visual work composed in response to three weeks spent at sea on the Irish Marine research vessel The RV Celtic Explorer. The work aims to offer a commentary on the grasp of the sea, life beyond our imagination and the favour of viewpoints.

“When you are living on a working ship your cabin is your only place of privacy and even there, the movement and snoring of ship crew and scientists working shifts drift in through the slight cabin partitions. Your port-hole is your window to everything, yet, everything often appears to remain the same, for it is always water”.

Created by artist Louise Manifold, Aerial/Sparks is an interdisciplinary art project exploring radio connectivity and its relationship to ocean space. Since 2017, artists have been developing work from the experience of their time at sea on board the Marine Institute’s research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer.

One of the most unique features of the vessel is that it is acoustically silent, making it one of the quietest vessels in the world while it transits through water.

The commissioned artists have been invited to create compelling and immersive stand-alone artworks for broadcast, presented on the Island of Inis Oírr in 2020.

AerialSparks invites audiences to experience the unknown of our ocean through radio listening: taking reference from Russian Futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov on the utopian potential of radio to artist Bas Jan Ader’s final and infamous attempt to cross the Atlantic, to rethink human relationship to the ocean as one that is constantly rethought and never fully understood.

Participating artists include; Ailís Ní Ríain, Magz Hall, David Stalling, Robertina Šebjanič , Kevin Barry, Carol Anne Connolly and Kennedy Browne.

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