Tír na nÓg

UnknownMedicine Wheel Productions Presents Tír na nÓg  in partnership with the Fenway Alliance’s Public by Design Initiative

Tír na nÓg is a temporary public art installation by two internationally acclaimed artists: Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile (Ireland), “South of Hy-Brasil” and Michael Dowling (Boston-US/Ireland), “Well House”, commissioned by South Boston’s Medicine Wheel  Productions.

These two site specific artworks will be on view through October  2016 in the Back Bay Fens section /Muddy River Park of Boston’s acclaimed Emerald Necklace Park System designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (Nearest Location with an address: James P. Kelleher Rose Garden-73 Park Drive Boston MA 02215/ The lagoon directly behind the MFA Boston’s Fenway entrance).  “Tír na nÓg” or, in English, the “Otherworld” reflects on the fact that both of these artists explore art as a threshold to otherworldliness and back again. Tír na nÓg  was commissioned by Medicine Wheel Productions as part of its multi-year Emerald Necklace Brooch Project and is part of the Fenway Alliance’s Public by Design Initiative. Its installation kicks off the Alliance’s annual Opening Our Doors Festival, scheduled for Monday, October 10, 2016.

A free public ceremony introducing the works and the artists was held on Thursday, September 15th, 1pm. The speaking program featured: Boston Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook; the Irish Consul General, Fionnuala Quinlan; Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade for the Commonwealth, Nam Pham; State Senator William Brownsberger, Boston Inspectional Services Commissioner William Christopher; and artists Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile and Michael Dowling. (images from the celebration, remarks by  the Consul General)

Free “Tír na nÓg” events- 1) Sunday, September 18,  at 2:00 pm at the Boston Public Library Copley BranchFree panel discussion featured Michael Dowling, Caoimhghin O Fraithile, and Boston Public Library President, David Leonard, at the BPL’s main Copley site (Rabb Lecture Hall). 2) Wednesday Oct 5, 5:00 pm -Curator’s tour with Kathleen Bitetti, from the Fenway steps of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Directions to MFA  3) Monday, October 10- all day-Opening Our Doors, Fenway Alliance.


Michael Dowling, Lintel for Well House

Michael Dowling’s  site specific work, “Well House” , is inspired by the Emly Shrine, an early 8th century bronze, wood and enamel reliquary found in the permanent collection of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Michael’s Well House is sited on the Fens side of the MFA (near the Kelleher Rose Garden)  and its explores the concept of water as a blessing.  Michael has been working for the last decade on an ambitious project, The Tonnes; A Meeting of the Waters on the border region between Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Phase one was funded by the EU and Peace III moneys as part of a post peace process dialogue.   Click here to read more about this project…  (More info about Well House, Artist Bio)


Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile drawing for South of Hy-Brasil

Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile’s  site specific floating art work is called “South of Hy-Brasil” and it directly references Irish mythology – Hy-Brasil is a mythical land, located off of Ireland’s West Coast, that legend says only becomes visible once every seven years, and is the home of a mysterious advanced civilization. It is  sited in the lagoon behind the Museum of Fine Arts. In conjunction with this outdoor public art work,  the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library  has  several of Caoimhghin’s sketch books and drawings on display to the end of October along side maps from their collection that include the depiction of this mythical island (Link to The Map Center’s Press Release).  (More info about South of Hy-Brasil, Artist Bio)

Tír na nÓg  is supported by Culture Ireland  as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme- a global initiative to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising which set Ireland on its path for independence.  Boston is the only U.S. City hosting temporary public art projects to commemorate the 1916 Centennial.  Tír na nÓg is a vital component of Medicine Wheel’s multi-year Brooch Project that is engaging and connecting the communities along the finished and unfinished links of Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace Park System and it also celebrates the 2016 Centennial of the National Park System of which the Emerald Necklace is part of.

Artists Michael Dowling and Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile  cutting the ribbon

Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade for the Commonwealth, Nam Pham, Boston Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook, Artists Michael Dowling and Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile, State Senator William Brownsberger, and Boston Inspectional Services Commissioner William Christopher cutting the ribbon

Deepest gratitude to “Tír na nÓg”  supporters: Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Consul General of Ireland- Fionnuala Quinlan, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, State Representative Daniel J. Hunt, and to Culture Ireland, Commissioner Christopher Cook &  Boston Parks and Recreation, Commissioner William Christopher & Boston Inspectional Service Department,Chief Julie Burros & the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, the Boston Art Commission,  Captain Don Cuddahy & the Boston Fire Department/BFD Marine Unit, the Boston Police Department, the Boston Transportation Department, President David Leonard & the Boston Public Librarythe Boston Redevelopment Authority,  the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the National Park Service,  the Paraclete Centerthe Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, Paul Adamson & Mark Cummins of Bromfield Development LCC, the Feeney Brothers Excavation LCCAbacus Builders & General Contractors, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy,  the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 35the New England Regional Council of Carpenters(NERCC),  Union of Operating Engineers Local 4UNITEHERE Local 26, Zoo New England/Franklin Park Zoo, Agoos D-zine, Royal Hospitality Services, the Lenox Hotel- Back Bay, the Boston Rowing Center/ Hull Lifesaving Museum,  the Irish Village, 555 Gallery, Doug Brown/DB Cove Studio,Tavo Contreras/Gamma Fisheries, William Higgins Insurance, Costas Provisions,  Stuart Mullally, John Lydon, Charles McCarthy & Patrick McDevitt, David Murphy, and many other organizations and and individual supporters. (Full list of supporters)

Very special thank you for their additional help with South of Hy-Brasil: Boston Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook & his team-Paul McCaffrey, Jim Sheehan, Anthony Hennessy, Greg Mosman, Joey Dinsmore, Daniel Ross, Paul Keane, Ryan Woods, Lt. Reginald Sampson & the Boston Park Rangers; Boston ISD Commissioner William Christopher & his team- Kim Thai, Jill Cox, Tom O’Donell & Harry McGonagle, Chief of Arts & Culture Julie Burros & her team- Karin Goodfellow, Christian Guerra & Tom Johnston; BFD Captain Don Cuddahy & BFD dive team members- DFC Joseph Casper, FF Robert Doyle, and FF John Cooney, BPD Sgt Gino Provenzano, Kelly Brilliant & Arreen Andrew of the Fenway Alliance,  Mark Little & Catrina Supple of Abacus Builders & General Contractors, Peter Agoos of Agoos D-zine, Harry Liggett- Franklin Park Zoo, Doug Brown/DB Cove Studio, and Tavo Contreras/Gamma Fisheries.

A heartfelt thank you to Chief Chris Osgood, Vineet Gupta & Ed Hesford of BTD, Sean Grant of DCR, Paul Adamson & Mark Cummins of Bromfield Development LCC &  the Feeney Brothers Excavation LCC for their help in logistics/moving O’ Fraithile‘s work.

A sincere thank you also to the  the Paraclete Center  for hosting O’ Fraithile during his stay in Boston & for the creation of his art work and also to its board, staff, Executive Director Eileen DeMichele & Patrick Bradley.

Many thanks to all the individuals who donated their time to help with the creation of  Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile ‘s ”South of Hy-Brasil”: Fabrication crew- PT Sullivan, Don Eyles, Rhile Rhodes & members of  NECRR, and a very special thank you to Lead Carpenter Tim Bixby; Painting crew-the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 35 union members: Kathleen Santora, Jimmy Kelly, Kerri Sheehan, Mike Bailey and special thanks to John Doherty. Textile crew-Elaine Fallon, Annmarie O’Brien, Michele Oshima, Jane Flores, Ally Jones, Stephanie Chin, Melva James, Barbara Lewis, Catriana Supple, and Niamh Murphy. And thank you to the many other individuals who took the time to help.

If you would like to make donation,  please either use our online form below or mail a check made out to Medicine Wheel Productions (in memo line write Tir na Nog) and mail it to Medicine Wheel Productions, 110 K Street, Second Floor, South Boston, MA 02127.  No donation is too small.

For inquires/questions about the project, to volunteer and/or give an in-kind donation of materials, contact Medicine Wheel Chief Curator Kathleen Bitetti by email at kbitetti@mwproductions.org

If you have the time, please take the Culture Ireland 2016 Centenary Survey to provide feedback on this project http://bit.ly/1sLfBWC



Tír na nÓg

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