“Light Keepers” by Geraldine O’Sullivan in association with The Arts Office, Cork County Council & with the goodwill of the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
I have been working on my new project which is titled “Light Keepers”. Eventually when all the ground work is completed I hope to have a collection of fifteen multi-layered paintings/collages and 10 large canvas paintings based on oral histories, archive material and photographs capturing the unique lifestyle of Lighthouse keepers on Ireland’s coastline and territorial waters.
The Lifescapes will portray personal and subjective narratives of this diminishing community and the raw and isolated scape that was home to these “keepers”. “Light Keepers” is a time sensitive project .There is a danger that this unique heritage will be lost. My project seeks to seize the opportunity to meet the former light keepers and their families, quantitatively documenting their narrative, synthesizing this information, exploring the remnants of a lived landscape and using it as a unique resource to produce a body of work entitled: ”Light Keepers”.
The project will be completed in December 2017 and will tour in 2018, accompanied by a catalogue, partly funded by me and partly funded through a Cork County Council bursary awarded in February 2017.
Background; Lighthouse and Lightship keeping was a way of life for men and their families for well over 100 years. However in the late 1980’s advances in technology meant that the lighthouses could be automated and there was no longer a need for permanent light keepers to be stationed on site. The last lighthouse was automated in 2012. Today all lighthouses are automated, no longer ‘kept’ by Keepers, but by remote control.