Ever since Dublin became my hometown, the Irish Famine sculptures by artist Rowan Gillespie on Custom House Quay haunt me. The statues are ‘walking’ on towards emigration ships like the Jeannie Johnston and they describe so well the hunger Irish people went through during the Great Famine, called Gorta Mór in Irish (Great Hunger), between 1845 and 1852, caused by blight. There were, however, two other famine periods in Ireland: the Irish Famine from 1740 to 1741 called Bliain an Áir, meaning the Year of Slaughter. Another one was in 1879, called An Gorta Beag, meaning the ‘mini-famine’.
The Act of Union caused Ireland to be governed directly by the United Kingdom, which meant that Ireland had been prohibited living the life they were so used to, leading to “a starving population, an absentee aristocracy, and an alien Church, and in addition the weakest executive in the world” according to Benjamin Disraeli. One million Irish people died of hunger, another million emigrated to Canada, England, Scotland, U.S.A. and Australia.
WordPress Daily Prompt: The Artist’s Eye
Is there a paintings or sculptures we’re drawn to. What it says to us, describe us the experience. Photographers, artists, poets: show us ART.
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.