Virtual Galway 2020 – From Place to Virtual Space

A Galway 2020 artwork that was firmly embedded in place has now been released online instead, as a response to the Covid-19 crisis.

‘Savage Beauty’, which involved the lighting of mountains in the surrounding area of Loch na Fuaiche (Loch Nafooey – lake of the fissure or trench), Conamara, had been planned for 14-17 March. It was described by festival organisers as the largest site-specific light artwork ever invented. However, restrictions on public gatherings due to Covid-19 meant the installation had to be staged and filmed privately. Kari Kola’s installation involved 1,000 lights spread over a distance of 5km.

You can view the light installation here:


Nessa Cronin

Nessa Cronin is Lecturer in Irish Studies, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway, Ireland and has published widely on various aspects of Irish writing, cultural geography and community mapping practices. She read English and Philosophy for her undergraduate degree at Trinity College, Dublin and received an MA in Continental Philosophy and Literature from Warwick University. She completed her doctoral research at NUI Galway, The Eye of History: Spatiality and Colonial Cartography in Ireland, focused on the visual and linguistic construction of the modern Irish map through a critical examination of four key moments in Irish cartographic history. Nessa is co-editor of Anáil an Bhéil Bheo: Orality and Modern Irish Culture (2009), Landscape Values: Place and Praxis (2016) and the forthcoming volume Lifeworlds: Space, Place and Irish Culture. She is currently completing her monograph on the making of Irish colonial space, Making Space: Cartography and Colonial Governmentality in Ireland (forthcoming). She has been the recipient of 3 Irish Research Council awards, and bursaries from the European Science Foundation and Culture Ireland, and has been awarded visiting fellowships in University of Stanford, Univeristé de Nantes and University of Concordia, Montreal. She also works in the area of Environmental Humanities and Creative Geographies and has co-curated events and exhibitions such as Mapping Spectral Traces IV (Black Box Theatre, Galway 2012), Interpreting Landscape/Rianú Talún, (NUI Galway 2014) and is the Director of Iarsma: Fragments from an Archive, the Tim Robinson Artist-in-the-Archive Project (Galway 2015-16). She works on community mapping projects in Clare, Galway and Mayo with artists, activists and community groups on socially-engaged projects investigating issues concerning place, language and culture in contemporary Ireland.