Galway 2020 presents

Aerial / Sparks

By Louise Manifold
DATE 11 September 27 September 2020
LOCATION Inis Oírr & Online
CREDITS In partnership with the Marine Institute Ireland, in association with the Commissioners of Irish Lights; Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr; Comhar Caomhán Teo,Inis Oírr,and Ars Electronica 2020. Supported through the Arts Council of Ireland Project Awards 2017 and 2019.

Louise Manifold

Aerial/Sparks, invites you to connect in person and online with one of the last unknown spaces on earth, the ocean wilderness. Seven artists, writers and composers from across Europe have produced a series of compelling standalone artworks for exhibition and radio broadcast, inspired by their experiences of joining research expeditions onboard the Marine Institute Ireland’s RV Celtic Explorer.



The rugged beauty of Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, is the setting for Aerial/Sparks, positioned between the relative calmness of Galway Bay and the wildness of the Atlantic, immersed in maritime culture, is the ideal host location for Aerial/Sparks. At just 3km long by 3km wide, visitors can easily traverse the island by foot to discover sound works housed in a lighthouse, an old handball alley, a church and Áras Éanna, Europe’s most westerly Arts Centre.

Aerial / Sparks has taken shape through a long-term collaboration with the Marine Institute, the national agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. Since 2017, Aerial/Sparks artists from Ireland, Germany, England and Slovenia have taken part in 7 ocean surveys and a passage from Galway to Hamburg on the RV Celtic Explorer, one of the few marine research vessels with sonic capabilities.


Participating Artists:

Ailis Ni Rain (UK /Ireland) contemporary classical composer, and theatre design.

Kevin Barry (Ireland) renowned author and winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award.

Carol Anne Connolly (Ireland), interdisciplinary artist who employs a variety of mediums to examine the development of current cultural, civic and social ideas relating to place.

Kennedy/Brown (collaborative practice of artists Gareth Kennedy and Sarah Browne, Ireland)
Kennedy Browne co-represented Ireland at the 53rd Venice Biennale. Its time-based artworks seek to address the narrative of neoliberal capitalism as a fiction

Magz Hall (United Kingdom) creative sound and radio artist and producer, Magz has had her work broadcast both in the UK and internationally.

David Stalling ( Germany/Ireland) composer, improviser, sound and installation artist;

Robertina Sebjanic ( Slovinia ) an interdisciplinary artist who investigates the philosophical questions on the intersection of art, technology and science;


Ars Electronica 

A dedicated virtual programme of events for Ars Electronica 2020 the world-renowned festival for art, technology and society, will accompany the main programme through a series of online conversations titled Garden GALWAY by Aerial/Sparks between artists and Marine Scientists online from 9 – 11 September.

For further information: CLICK HERE

Art Trail

Dates: 11-27 September (Wednesday – Sunday)
Time: 11am-5pm
Venues: Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr Lighthouse, Inis Oírr Church, The Handball Alley
Duration: Visitors will need a minimum of 3 hours to experience the entire art trail.

Booking: The Art Trail is free. Advance booking is required for Kevin Barry’s Island Time at Inis Oírr Lighthouse to comply with physical distancing requirements. Bookings open for Island Time on 1 September:


Booking for Kevin Barry’s Island Time at Inis Oírr Lighthouse CLICK HERE 

Groups: For groups attending, maximum group size is 6 people to comply with Covid-19 restrictions. The lighthouse will accommodate a maximum of 3 people.

Accessibility: The art trail is accessible to wheelchair users. Advance notification is required for access to the lighthouse on booking.

Further information and Art Trail map: