Sunday, November 16, 2008

Epiphany of the Mulroy Bay II

Photo by Marc Holden

Photo by Calvin Jones

The Epiphany of the Mulroy Bay II

Yesterday I teamed up with lighting designer Chantelle Stewart and a band of volunteer torchbearers, photographers and videographers to light an abandoned fishing boat at Church Strand, Baltimore, Co. Cork.

The Epiphany of the Mulroy Bay II, which is lying beam on in the mud at Church Strand, Baltimore, was illuminated in a multi-coloured display symbolising the realisation of a moment of destiny – the vessel will never put to sea again, she will never fish again. The hopes and dreams of those who built her and fished her are dashed.

I pass these fishing boats every day and they are such a sad sight as they lie crippled in the mud, that I felt I had to do something to mark their demise, I got in touch with Chantelle and she immediately saw the potential for a strong visual display.

High powered torches and coloured filters were used to light the fishing boat in an exercise that required meticulous planning, taking into account weather, tides, sunset and moonrise. Volunteers were taken by RIB from the pier at Baltimore to Church Strand, where different lighting displays were directed at the stricken vessel. The Mulroy Bay II's final resting place, beneath the graveyard at Tullagh, added further pathos to the scene.

The decline of the fishing industry has had a huge cultural, social and economic impact on small communities such as Baltimore and this event touched a chord with many. The project got great support from the local community and there was no shortage of volunteers.

Stewart, from Ballybofey, Co Donegal but now working in Dublin, has been active in public lighting display for several years. Last Month she staged Guerrilla Lighting Dublin in the capital, speaking of this event she said ‘it's great to come out to Baltimore and help a community use lighting design to create something that speaks of the history of the people of Cork".

The Epiphany of the Mulroy Bay II will be exhibited at the West Cork Arts Centre next Spring and online at and

A big thank you to all involved!

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