Galway was awarded the designation as a European Capital of Culture for 2020.
The European Capital of Culture puts specific regions at the heart of cultural life across Europe. Through culture and art, European Capitals of Culture improve the quality of life in these regions and strengthen their sense of community.
The concept for Galway 2020 was Making Waves. It was about creating new ways of thinking, new ways of working, new conversations and new partnerships aimed at ensuring a more creative Galway and in the regions around Galway.
A number of Clare artists and artists with strong connections to Clare, such as Ceara Conway, Sarah Fuller and Deirdre O’Mahony, featured strongly in the Galway 2020 programme which explored the themes Migration, Landscape and Language.
Exploring the theme of Landscape, Clare County Council commissioned Burren College of Art to create Coming Full Circle, a restorative performance intervention on the Burren to repair and respond to Richard Long’s iconic stone circle in Doolin.
In 1975, world-renowned sculptor Richard Long created A Circle in Ireland at The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland, one of the most dramatic and iconic environmental sites in the world. Over the years the stone circle had fallen into disrepair. A group of post graduate students at the nearby Burren College of Art created a performative restoration of the circle during the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown which allowed only 15 people to gather together outdoors. The group, directed by their lecturer and visual artist Áine Phillips, performed an evocative action of reconstruction that represented a deeper metaphor, not only a reparation of the stone monument but human and environmental healing. The soundscape was created by percussionist Brian Fleming and the performance was filmed by Tom Flanagan and produced by the Burren College of Art.
Coming Full Circle was premiered in April 2021 and has been screened at Irish and international film festivals: IndieCork, art(ist) Film Programme 2022, New Wave FF Munich 2021, Toronto Multicultural FF 2021, Cucalorus FF WIlmington NC 2021, Nobel India 2021 and Roma Shorts FF Italy 2021
The commission was supported by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, Clare Arts Office and Creative Ireland