Constellation

Constellation is the public art component of the Rockingham project (2014). The site for this project is located on a traffic island near the car park on the edge of Lough Key. The video Rockingham (located on the Video page and below), chronicles the process of the work's installation on the site.

Rockingham House, which was located near Lough Key (near the town of Boyle in Co. Roscommon, Ireland) burned down in 1957, and was bulldozed in 1971. Its stones were sold off, or 'quarried', with some of them ending up in other locations near the site of the house. One location was the farm of my Grandparents (these stones were re-located down to Lough Key in 2012 after the sale of the farm), and the other was at Kingston Hall (the original house for the Rockingham Estate, and later the farmhouse). Constellation is a project to relocate the stones at Kingston Hall to a site in Lough Key Forest Park.

The arrangement of the stones at their new location was based on the cartographic relationship of three sites on the former Rockingham Demesne: Trinity Island, Church Island, and Kilbryan. On each of these sites is a ruined church. The stone Ionic capitals used in the arrangement are salvaged remnants of the former mansion Rockingham House. They are turned on their side to emphasise their spirals, which are derived from the Fibonacci sequence, and are grouped in threes to represent the pagan triple spiral, a symbol found on pagan monuments and believed to be philosophically related to the spiral of the Ionic capital.

In this configuration the pre-Christian spiritual symbol is used to represent the 3 Christian sites, which is intended as a reversal of the Christian superimposition of its spiritual systems over pagan symbols.



Rockingham (2014), single channel video 8'43"

Many thanks to Linda Shevlin and Padraig Cunningham, Xavier Flanagan, Louise Fitzpatrick (and Lough Key Forest Park), Joan and John Rafferty, Claire Bothwell, Feelystone, Coilte, and Marese McDonagh.

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