Aughty Public Art Projects





Woodford County Galway

2nd – 17th December 2010

With a special opening event on the 2ndDecember at 7pm in Woodford Heritage Centre and Woodford Library

Emma Houlihan, Marie Connole and Tom Flanagan will be presenting art works created for Aughty Public Art Projects, a series of public art works in County Galway, focusing on the Aughty region stretching from Gort to Woodford and Loughrea, commissioned by Galway County Council Arts Office, supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and Clare Arts Office.

Artists from the Ground Up Artists Collective (GUAC) who are also graduates and faculty of the Burren College of Art, County Clare – Marie Connole, Emma Houlihan and Tom Flanagan have created public art works that engage creatively with the communities of the area. A small publication will be freely available at the exhibition describing the projects and introducing the three artists.

Marie Connole’s Weed or Knotweed? is a series of drawings and water colours exploring Aughty bird-life and a paper sculpture installation based on the proliferating Japanese Knotweed plant. She uses the knotweed as a metaphor for being ‘transplanted’ or a ‘blow-in’ to or from the region. She will be exhibiting the drawings and creating a sculptural installation work in the Woodford Heritage Centre with a series of postcards she has collected from Aughty diaspora and ‘transplanted’ people.

Emma Houlihan’s Aughty Walk: Rural Futures is a community engaged project which involved a “slow” walk over 7 days with writer Donny Mahoney, exploring the potential futures and identities of the Aughty region and inviting all those she meets along the way (and via the internet) to join her. The walk took place from the 23rd – 28th of August 2010 and included public dialogues along the route. The Aughty Walk: Rural Futures culminated in a climb to the top of Ard Aobhinn, the highest point of the Aughty’s overlooking Lough Derg’s Holy Island with 30 local people as part of National Heritage Week events the Woodford area. Writings and documentation of her project can be viewed on

Tom Flanagan’s Aughty is a documentary film examining the artist’s works in the context of the project, the relationship of the artists and their works to the community and aspects of the region, it’s people, landscape and identity. The film will also be screened at a number of locations in the Aughty region during the summer of 2011.

The project is curated and managed by Dr. Áine Phillips, Head of Sculpture at the Burren College of Art. Artists Marie Connole, Emma Houlihan are graduates and Tom Flanagan is an adjunct lecturer at BCA.

Aughty Public Art Projects is also supported by Slógadh Aughty, the steering group of communities in the Aughty region. For more information see