Carrying the Songs

Carrying the Songs

An image from ‘Carrying the Songs’

Imagine starting a story on the Aran Islands and bringing it all the way to Istanbul in Turkey, via more than 400 people, 50 languages, and 29 countries.

This elaborate game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ forms the basis of the ‘Carrying the Songs’ exhibition which runs at Aras Eanna in the Summer of 2021.

The story began with young storyteller Liam O Falthearta on Inis Mór in March of last year and was passed on through 29 European countries until the final version was shared in Istanbul.

Artist Alannah Robins recorded each version of the story as it made its way from Inis Mór to Istanbul, and a visual-artistic process made the same journey as the story.


Alannah Robins putting the finishing touches on the exhibition in the Aras Eanna gallery.

Artists were asked to make their own contributions to an evolving drawing. The drawing was also started in March 2020, by artist Seán O Flaithearta of Inis Mór, and was passed via email.

Every small change made to the drawing contributes to a gradually evolving stop-motion animated film.  Limited edition prints of the drawing at key stages of its evolution have been printed.

Áras Éanna is delighted to welcome the ‘Carrying the Songs’ exhibition to our art gallery from August 10 to 22 and September 8 to 30. It is open daily from 11am to 4pm, but closed on Mondays.

The Irish artists who took part include Seán O Flaithearta, Fionnuala Hernon, and Cyril O Flaithearta from Inis Mór; Galway artists Aoife Casby, Andrea Rossi, Lelia Ní Chathmhaoil, Maeve Curtis, Noelle Gallagher, Frank Monahan, Dolores Lyne, Louise Manifold, Leah Beggs, Selma Makela, Jennifer Cunningham, Angela Williams, Bernie Dignam, and Margaret Irwin West; and Breda Burns from Co Mayo.

Artists from Scotland, France, Germany, and The Netherlands are also featured in the exhibition.

Thanks to Creative Ireland, the Galway County Arts Office, Ealaín na Gaeltachta, the Arts Council of Ireland, and the Federation of European Storytellers for supporting ‘Carrying the Songs’.

Jennifer Cunningham’s interpretation of the piece of art which was passed on like a game of ‘Chinese Whispers’

Alannah Robins at the Aras Eanna gallery.