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'Threading the Táin' traces an ancient Irish epic

4 min read

'Threading the Táin' traces an ancient Irish epic

4 min read


'Threading the Táin' traces an ancient Irish epic

Five intricate tapestries depicting scenes from the great Irish epic, Táin Bó Cúailnge, will be exhibited at An Táin Arts Centre from April 23rd.

In conjunction with the launch of the Táin March Festival 2022, An Táin Arts Centre has announced the launch of ‘Threading the Táin’, an inter-county community visual arts project showcasing five tapestries created in celebration of the Táin Bó Cúailnge.

Funded by Creative Ireland and produced by An Táin Arts Centre in association with Creative Spark, each tapestry depicts scenes from the revered ancient epic that relate to the five counties mentioned in the Táin – Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath and Louth. The Táin March Festival also traces this five-county route.

The ‘Threading the Táin’ project launch takes place at 7pm on April 22nd at An Táin Arts Centre, Crowe Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth.

A variety of textile techniques have been used in the creation of the tapestries, including dyeing, painting, felting, appliqué, faux chenille, hand embroidery, quilting, as well as hand and machine sewing. 

Helmed by Louth-based artist Sophie Coyle, Sophie worked closely with archeologist Paul Gosling and Mel O’Loan from the Táin March Festival, to determine which parts of the epic to include in the tapestry. The project was guided by a textile artist in each county who led a group of community sewers in creating each panel. 

The artists are Frances Crowe, Roscommon; Catherine Gray, Longford; Claire Delabre, Westmeath; Ina Olohan, Meath; and Úna Curley, Louth, while over 40 volunteers took part in the project.

When displayed together, the five tapestries portray the overall story of the Táin, while each piece also stands alone as an individual artwork. 

Making Of: Threading the Táin | An Táin Arts Centre

Open Video

‘Threading the Táin’ is a further development of the relationship between An Táin Arts Centre and the Táin March Festival. Mary Claire Cowley, of An Táin Arts Centre and Project Manager of ‘Threading the Táin’ says: 

“The project has very much been inspired by the passion for the Táin demonstrated by Paul Gosling and Mel O’Loan and all the team at the Táin March Festival. This has been a wonderful opportunity for us as counties bound by the ties of the Táin to come together in this collaborative, historical celebration of our identity and culture through craft and we are delighted to be launching ‘Threading the Táín’ in conjunction with the Táin March Festival 2022.” 

Starting on the 10th June in Cooley, this year’s festival will trace the route of the Brown Bull as it made its way from Cooley to Connaught. Over three weekends the festival will visit key sites in Cooley, Dundalk, Ardee, Teltown, Kells and Mullingar, and will finish in Roscommon Town on the 26th June

‘Threading the Táin’ will be on public view as a five-piece artwork at An Táin Arts Centre, Crowe Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth from Saturday 23rd April until Saturday 11th June, coinciding with the start of the Táin March Festival. 

The tapestry will then go on display in Roscommon for the end of the festival on the 26th June. Each piece will then be returned to its relevant county to go on semi-permanent display.

The ‘Threading the Táin’ project launch takes place at 7pm on April 22nd at An Táin Arts Centre, Crowe Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Find out more about the Táin March Festival 2022 and the ‘Threading the Táin’ exhibition.

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