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Feb 18, 2020

Kari Kola to light up Lough Nafooey this March for Galway 2020

This March 14th – 17th, Finnish artist Kari Kola and his team turn their attention to the majestic landscape of Connemara as he attempts to create the largest lit artwork ever made.

Galway 2020

Following the Galway 2020 theme of landscape Kola will head west to transform the spectacular valley of Lough Nafooey/ Loch na Fuaiche near Corrnamona, Connemara with a dazzling display of technical virtuosity that will “green” the mountain range to coincide with the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Lough Nafooey will become the backdrop for extraordinary endeavours of modern technology cast upon centuries of geological wilderness and “savage beauty”.


Landscape and Imbolc

It is no coincidence that this event is taking place during the season of Imbolc where the Celtic Goddess Brigit is said to walk the land, heralding a season of new beginnings as the darkness of winter gives way to the growth of spring. Hailing from Finland, with its long, cold winters, Kola displays a unique understanding of the concepts of darkness and light, death and re-birth in his extraordinary illuminations.


Loch Nafooey / Loch na Fuaiche

Lough Nafooey is one of the most spectacular valleys in the west of Ireland. The name translates to “long narrow fissure”, “trench” or “grave-like opening”. It is also known as Finny’s Volcano, the site where 490 million years ago the oceans closed to bring the two halves of Ireland together. There are still some volcanic rocks preserved in the area today.

Those who have had the pleasure of rambling through what Oscar Wilde called Connemara’s “savage beauty” have a deep reverence for this sense of timelessness. In his book “Anam Cara”, John O’Donoghue reflects on the mystery of the landscape. “No two stones on this landscape are the same. Each stone has a different face. Often the angle of the light falls gently enough to bring out the shy presence of each stone”.

Standing aloft the hills of Connemara, you will see the sunlight dance through the scenery like a candle gently throwing light around a dark room, casting shadows and inviting the eye to frolic over the ancient landscape. Your reward: Discovery.

So how will we react when Kari Kola invites us to experience the mountain valley in the dark, stripped of its usual framework for understanding? The natural features, craggy glens, loughs, trails and pathways become indistinguishable in the dark and he creates a mise-en-scene that may challenge or confront our understanding of this evocative ancient landscape.

“To celebrate Galway European Capital of Culture, I want to create something that all Irish people and people around the world will remember for the rest of their lives! The idea is to make a very large and unique landscape installation for four days. We are playing with the scale and stillness of the place. This work will underline the beautiful nature of Ireland using light art on an unseen scale. The lighted surface will be around 6,000,000m2, so in terms of lighted area, this is probably the largest installation ever created”, says Kari Kola.

We wish Kari Kola and his team every success in their spectacular lightwork illumination and hope to make the journey to Lough Nafooey this March.

Note about Brigit’s Garden

Brigit's Garden is a Celtic Garden and Visitors Centre and not-for-profit charity located in Roscahill, Co. Galway. We are located along the N59 between Moycullen and Oughterard and if you are attending the Kari Kola event, you will more than likely drive past us. We would be delighted to welcome visitors to the Garden – itself an inspired design weaving old wisdom with contemporary consciousness. Our 4 Celtic Gardens are based on the Celtic festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa providing beautiful and tranquil reflective places and celebrate nature and the cycle of life.

Special offer

Book your tickets to Brigit’s Garden online and use the code “KARIKOLA” to receive a 20% discount on the cost of admission. Valid for entry to the Garden from 14th – 17th March 2020.

Opening Hours

Brigit’s Garden is open daily from 10am – 5.30pm.

The Garden Café is open from 10.30am – 4.30pm serving teas/coffees and sweet homemade treats. Hot lunch is served from 12pm – 3pm.

Insider Tips for travelling through to Connemara

-      Stop and the Quiet Man Bridge and re-create the scene from Maureen O’Hara’s and John Wayne’s famous movie The Quiet Man

-      Watch out for sheep along the road. They often wander out of the fields and meander along the road

-      If you are staying in the Oughterard, Moycullen, Roscahill area try one of our many walks to suit every ability. Maps available at reception in Brigit’s Garden

-      There are many islands on Lough Corrib some of which were inhabited up until the last 50 years. Head to the pier in Oughterard, and take a trip out to the historic island Inchagoill Island with Corrib Cruises

-      The first Wednesday of every month is free entry to the OPW sites so make sure to stop and visit the well preserved Aughnanure Castle in Oughterard and Padraic Pearse’s picturesque cottage in Rosmuc


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