01 Jul 2022

An Táin in Dundalk announce launch of ‘Threading the Táin’ tapestries

5 tapestries created depicting scenes from the great epic Táin Bó Cuailgne

An Táin in Dundalk announce launch of ‘Threading the Táin’ tapestries

Trish Ryding Sewing Longford Panel - Photo by Sean McMahon

An Táin Arts Centre are thrilled to announce the launch of ‘Threading the Táin’, an inter-county community, visual arts project, where 5 tapestries have been created to celebrate 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 great epic that relates to each of the five counties that the Táin March Festival march through tracing the route of the Táin, namely Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath and 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 and hand and machine sewing. 

The project was helmed by Louth based artist Sophie Coyle and Sophie has 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 have 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. Over 40 volunteers took part in the project and when placed together the five tapestries portray the overall story of the Táin, while each piece stands alone as an individual artwork. 

The project 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 to from Cooley to Connaught. Over three weekends the Festival will visit key sites in Cooley, Dundalk, Ardee, Teltown, Kells, Mullingar and will finish in Roscommon Town on the 26th June. 

‘Threading the Táin’ will be available to view as a five-piece artwork by the public 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. 

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