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CULTURE NIGHT PRESENTS THE OGHAM GROVE

LOOK UP : LOOK AROUND : LOOK IN

Monumental. Immersive. Tree. Sculpture.

CULTURE NIGHT BELFAST

Culture Night Belfast returned to the Cathedral Quarter September 2021 with a new format and a new approach designed for a COVID-safe, post-pandemic environment, with sustainability a core theme for the festival.

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Running from 17 – 19 September, Culture Night Presents The Ogham Grove transformed the Writers’ Square into a colourful, nature-inspired place for play, enjoyment and relaxation, all evoking the feeling of a garden in the heart of the city, to inspire contemplation of the environment around us and our place in it. 

THE CONCEPT

The concept for The Ogham Grove took inspiration from the ancient Celtic Ogham Tree Alphabet.

“Two monumental sculptures were built in Writers’ Square, Belfast, with themes drawn from our ancestral heritage and culture here on the island of Ireland” explained Gawain.

“The Tree Alphabet acts as the primer for learning about the Ogham characters, their meanings, and their tree associations, while the Celtic Ogham Year Wheel signifies the links with our natural environment, living in harmony with it, and the awareness of our place in the universe, the lunar and solar cycles that drive the life on this planet of ours, and all of how life lives–in balance and together.

“The Ogham Grove offers a window into an alternative interpretation of the world around us, highlighting the importance that nature played in the societies of our ancestors, enabling us to reconnect with this heritage in a playful, thought provoking and visually stunning way, at a time when the natural environment and spending time outdoors has never been so important.”

You can find out more info about it all on the Ogham Grove microsite.

And the accompanying album that was created for the installation can be found on Bandcamp.

I was asked to join the Belfast City Council #COP26 panel discussion on Climate & Nature for Adaptation Day. There were some really interesting & inspiring initiatives by Belfast Hills Partnership, Ulster Wildlife, & Eastside Partnership, and our Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl is pushing hard to get our city sustainability and climate change strategies in place. I was representing the importance of art for behaviour change & discussing sustainability in producing installation art. 

The Creative Team

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Gawain Morrison

Creative Lead, Digital/Music Producer

Gawain has over 20 years of experience in multi-platform media production, events organising, app and platform development, product prototyping and immersive experiences.

 

Projects have spanned Europe, America and Asia & he produced world 1st experiences, from live data and visuals for large screen interactions at the Electric Run in Malaysia, to the world’s 1st emotional response horror film that was premiered at SXSW, in Austin, Texas, from using wearable devices to control LEDs for the Ford ‘Buzz’ cars, to conceptualising, producing, and launching a biometric VR immersive experience with Red Bull Media House, called The Hero Feeling.

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Neil Beattie

Artist & Chief Engineer

Neil graduated from the Art College at University of Ulster over 20 years ago specialising in graphic design.

 

Very quickly he became one of the finest designers in Ireland, spreading his enthusiasm for design across multiple mediums and processes – from designing and engineering new technologies for advertising in shopping centres, to producing animation and music videos, from building brand identities to being the lead creative designer for the cult Alternative Ulster magazine, and more recently being lead engineer for new solar and battery technologies.

 

His ability to turn his design mind to any creative brief or engineering challenge is key to his success over the years.

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Dylan McCaughtry

Artist

Dylan graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a degree in sculpture and has been working in the TV and film industry for the better part of 10 years.

From small productions with minimal budgets to large scale, big budget TV shows and feature films, including Game Of Thrones and Derry Girls.

He has had experience in prop, armoury, costume armour, set building, drapes and art departments.

 

He is a skilled maker and fabricator that can work in almost medium across wood, metal, leather, plastics, foam etc.

He also set up his own furniture and lighting company called Fat Ethel and has been very successful in selling his wares online and at Belfast’s markets.

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