Artists, writers and composers from Ireland and Europe have joined expeditions on the Marine Institute's research vessel RV Celtic Explorer as part of Aerial/Sparks, an interdisciplinary art project which explores radio connectivity and its relationship to ocean space.
Aerial/Sparks has been created by artist Louise Manifold for Galway's European Capital of Culture programme in 2020. The four-year project explores the ocean wilderness, marine science and radio as a communications and navigation tool.
Since 2017, artists have been developing work from the experience of their time at sea on board the RV Celtic Explorer. The artists from Ireland and Europe have been invited to create compelling and immersive stand-alone artworks for broadcast, presented on the island of Inis Oirr in 2020.
The Aerial/Sparks art project has received significant national attention, becoming one of the foremost projects in the European Capital of Culture programme in Galway 2020.
Aerial/Sparks has involved the artists listed below, on the following research surveys on board the RV Celtic Explorer:
Date: 1 - 21 August 2019
Arist: Ailis Ní Ríain, Irish contemporary composer and published writer
Survey: Led by the Marine Institute and INFOMAR, the national seabed mapping programme, the SeaRover3 ROV survey was the final expedition on a three-year programme investigating the extent and distribution of coral reef habitats in offshore Ireland.
Date: 25 – 31 July 2019
Artist: Irish artists Gareth Kennedy and Sarah Browne, collectively known as Kennedy Browne
Survey: Led by Dr Aaron Lim, University College Cork, the research survey investigated cold-water coral habitats in the Porcupine Bank Canyon, a submarine canyon 300km from the west coast of Ireland.
Date: 28 April – 12 May 2019
Artist: Robertina Šebjanič, Slovenian artist
Survey: Led by Dr Christopher McGonigle, Ulster University, the 15 day research voyage in the shelf seas around the north coast of Ireland was part of the Backscatter and Biodiversity on Shelf Sea Habitats (BaBioSSH) Survey.
Date: 17 September - 7 October 2018
Artist: David Stalling, German sound artist and composer
Survey: Led by Dr Sergei Lebedev, Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS). The team of scientist deployed ocean-bottom seismic and acoustic-sensors in the North Atlantic Ocean as part of the SEA-SEIS-D project (Structure, Evolution and Seismicity of the Irish Offshore)
Date: 28 July - 10 August 2018
Artist: Carol-Anne Connolly, Irish visual artist
Survey: Led by Dr Aaron Lim, University College Cork, the two-week survey researched the Control of Cold Water Coral Habitats in submarine canyons in the Mid-Atlantic.
Date: 19 - 26 April 2017
Artist: Louise Manifold, Irish visual artist and curator of Aerial/Sparks
Survey: Led by Margot Cronin, Marine Institute, the RV Celtic Explorer crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Galway to Newfoundland, Canada.
Aerial/Sparks is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland Project Awards, Galway 2020 and the Marine Institute.
For more information on Aerial/Sparks visit the Galway2020 website