Inspired by the astronomical heritage and contemporary astrophysical research in Birr, science communicator and creative, Dr. Niamh Shaw will collaborate with Birr Theatre & Arts Centre & Birr Tidy Towns and a local cross stitch group to understand our relationship and observations of the night sky, celestial objects like stars, planets, comets, meteors and other objects beyond our naked eye. This will be done through a programme of online workshops, guest speakers and site visits.
Niamh will bring her knowledge of science, astronomy and space to explore what the skies above Birr looked like and the origins of early astronomy in Birr with the Third and Fourth Earls and Mary, Countess of Rosse, in the middle and late 1800s), and the current work of I-LOFAR at Birr Castle.
Working with the data of the past and present, of astrophysical objects discovered and observed through the Great Telescope, as well as data from I-LOFAR, Niamh and her collaborators will map out historical and contemporary astronomical features and their coordinates. Maps will be created using the the craft of cross-stitching as a means to not only ‘map’ women back into the narrative of the night skies but also to create a bridge between an analogue and digital world. Using these coordinates, a suite of physical movements will be choreographed for an outdoor performance. The performance will also be filmed by drone photography and available as a stand-alone documentation piece.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.