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The Waking Walls

a caoineadh of ecological and climate grief

The Waking Walls; a caoineadh of ecological and climate grief.
The iconic national monument of Cloughoughter Castle, sitting on its tiny island in the heart of Cavan’s lake lands premieres a collaborative event-based artwork The Waking Walls by AlanJames Burns.

Echoing from the walls of Cavan’s Cloughoughter Castle the stirring cries of an Irish caoineadh reverberate over the rippling lake water. Together, gathered on boats and at the lakeside, we absorb this iconic monument’s lament for the environmental and biodiversity losses the castle has witnessed over its lifetime.

The Waking Walls is a new collaborative, theatrical artwork that reawakens and
equips us with age-old methods of coping with loss. The Waking Walls is an invitation to reframe environmental grief – not as a state of disconnection and isolation, but as a unifying experience to collectively process climate disruption.

The Waking Walls has been developed by Cavan-born environmental artist
AlanJames Burns in collaboration with writer Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, NYAH (Cross Border Collective of Traditional Arts Musicians), Cavan Arts Office, Irish Hospice Foundation and Cavan Adventure Centre.

In The Waking Walls, the central historical 13th century building of Cloughoughter Castle now stands in disrepair as physical evidence of the effects of entropy, decay, human destruction and environmental degradation.

Both evening at dusk – from Friday 8th September to Saturday 9th September – audiences will embark upon a once-in-a-lifetime boat trip or take a short walk to the lake shore viewing area. Immersed within this breathtaking location, they will witness the castle personifying collective trauma connected to the climate catastrophe and ecological degradation. Cloughoughter Castle channels this grief and cries out in a call to arms for us to fight to protect ourselves against our inaction, embrace necessary change and live in harmony with the land once again. There are also two day light performances with buses leaving Townhall Cavan at 4pm each day.

The audio installation was developed in collaboration with musicians; Martin Donohoe, Rafal Szydlowski, Dwanye Kiernan, and vocalist and composer Karina Lynch Charles, arranged by musician and composer Andrew Stephen Lynch.

Public programme: Caoineadh Dúlra

In addition to The Waking Walls events in September, public caoineadh workshops called Caoineadh Dúlra will take place on 14 th and 15 th October. These workshops will explore biodiversity loss and climate grief. Booking for these workshops will open up in September through this website www.alanjamesburns.com

Further Information
If you have any questions please email: studio@alanjamesburns.com

Media Information
For media information please contact Stephanie Dickenson Tel: 087 993 7650
Press release available here.

Event Information

Bookings at Townhall Cavan

The Waking Walls

WHEN: Friday 8th – Saturday 9th September 2023: at 4pm for daylight performances and 7.15pm for the sunset performances.
Event run time, including bus transfers, approx 2 hrs 20.

TICKETS: Booking is essential through Townhall Cavan www.townhallcavan.com
Please wear appropriate footwear and warm clothes as this is an outdoor event.

WHERE: Buses leaving Townhall Cavan each day for Cloughoughter Castle at 4pm & 7.15pm.

No private traffic due to space restrictions at the site.

The Waking Walls has built accessibility into experiential design including accessible transport for each performance and ISL interpretation for performances on Saturday 9th. Free and reduced tickets are available, including for those living with a disability, low income, unemployed, OAP. These tickets are available by emailing townhallcavan@cavancoco.ie or calling 049 43 80494. The project team is committed to making the event as accessible as possible.

Easy Read and Story | Accessibility Statement

The Waking Walls is funded and supported by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Traditional Arts Project Award, Creative Ireland, Cavan Arts Office, Co-operation with Northern Ireland Scheme, Irish Hospice Foundation, Cavan Townhall, Cavan Adventure Centre, Office of Public Works, Dept. of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, One Resilient Earth, Caoineadh expert Marian Caulfield, Architect Jessica Lange and Cavan heritage and biodiversity experts Heather Bothwell and Fergal Connolly, and producer Karina Lynch Charles.

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