Manhattan’s Irish Hunger Memorial
Anne O’Neill in conversation with Kathy Scott
Date : Fri 12 October
Venue : Limerick City Gallery of Art
Time : 6pm
Tickets : Free, booking advised
Carlow-native Anne O’Neill moved to New York in 1986. In her work with Battery Park City Authority, she is involved with the Irish Hunger Memorial. Designed by sculptor and public artist Brian Tolle, the Memorial occupies a half-acre on the southern tip of Manhattan. It is a stunning recreation of an Irish field and cottage, rested on a modern architectural structure, and in the shadow on One World Trade Centre. Anne was privileged to be part of the recent renovation team to the memorial, giving her the opportunity to rethink plantings as part of her contribution. She believes that the Memorial is now an even stronger representation of the haunting empty beauty of famine ravaged rural Ireland.
Kathy Scott is the head and heart behind The Trailblazery, a project focused on creative spirit and the sense of home, and The Census of the Heart, a national project which ran parallel to the 2016 State Census, with the goal of capturing the emotional state of the nation.She is currently working and training with The Pocket Project – an international programme led by Thomas Hubl dedicated to the restoration and integration of individual, collective, intergenerational and cultural trauma .
Anne will be in conversation with Kathy at the Limerick City Gallery of Art, telling the story of how the Irish Hunger Memorial came to life in Lower Manhattan, discussing the impact of the Famine on the modern iteration of New York as a city, and sharing her own personal journey from Carlow farmland to Brooklyn brownstone.
About the Speakers
Anne O’Neill is from Ballon, County Carlow, now lives in Brooklyn, NY and works in Battery Park City as Director of Horticulture, Sustainability and Landscape Design. She was a curator for Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and a Community Horticulturist for Bronx GreenUp, New York Botanical Garden, in previous roles. The Irish Hunger Memorial is in Battery Park City, and was fully conceived, created and developed by Battery Park City Authority. It is an important memorial, a highly regarded piece of public art, and is a surprisingly authentic recreation of an abandoned home and plot of land. Brian Tolle, the artist, conceived and helped to create an incredible piece of art. Richard Faraino gardens this space with deep appreciation of the plants and brings an overall feel of the rural Ireland from a different era. It is beautiful and haunting. Many others have been instrumental in both creation and maintenance, and when a major flaw was discovered, Battery Park City Authority had the commitment to completely renovate the Irish Hunger Memorial.
It was reopened to the public less than a year ago. Anne has been with Battery Park City during this time and is privileged to have been part of the renovation team, and had the opportunity to rethink plantings, as part of her contribution. She believes that the Memorial is now an even stronger representation of the haunting empty beauty of famine ravaged rural Ireland.
Kathy Scott is the creative director of The Trailblazery and is passionate about creating and curating experiences that celebrate the human spirit. She has worked and played with a host of artists, collectives, activists and pioneers around the world to make cultural projects that animate the times we live in. She is dedicated to creating work that orients around our shared heart-centered qualities of courage, compassion and care. Kathy has worked professionally as a curator, producer, creative strategist, communications director and campaign leader in the cultural arena in Ireland for the last 15 years.
She is the creative director of the ireland : iceland project – an ongoing collaborative creative project connecting the islands and people of Ireland and Iceland. She co-curated and produced Pilgrimage Project – an ongoing series of multidisciplinary artistic residencies featuring artists and critical thinkers from Ireland, Iceland and Greece. She curates and produces Wonderlust – a bespoke cultural stage at Body&Soul Festival. She is currently artist-in-residence at Trinity College Dublin.