An Cosan Glas light up Italian skies

Annjo Carr, Seamus Kennedy, Billy Wynter and Deirdre Brennan were invited to bring their unique art to the annual event Energia nei Colli (Energy in the Hills) in Bologna.

The artists spent nearly two weeks doing workshops with children and making new sculptures for the trail which was to be the highlight of the event.

Energia nei Colli is held for the Parco Cavaioni project to regenerate an area in the hills around Bologna where an old villa surrounded by gardens and woodlands that has become a centre for ecology and sustainability and was to be the setting for the Cosán Glas sculpture trail.


The four artists also brought piece from some of their colleagues with them – including work by Mickey McFadden, Kevin McGee and Ewan Berry – making it nearly 30 pieces which created the trail around the woodlands of Parco Cavaioni.

An Cosan Glas have been doing their sculpture trails since 1995 and are this year hosting their seventh Loinnir night at Magheraroarty beach in association with Earagail Arts Festival, but in Italy they had one added dimension thanks to the festival’s theme.

The large scale sculptures were powered by ‘ri-ciclo’ (re-cycle) bicycles, developed in Bologna, that generated energy through pedalling illuminating them brightly under the Italian sky.

An Cosán Glas were invited to be part of the festival on foot of a one-day exhibition they held in Bologna in January 2010 and with the help of architect Elizabeth Frances, who lives in the Italian city, they organised to bring the large scale project over for the unique festival.

While the artists were working on their sculptures for the grand finale of the festival, they also spent two days working with Italian children making lanterns and other pieces in their workshops, proving that art easily crosses the language barrier.

The event was supported by Culture Ireland much to the appreciation of the artists and the lighting up ceremony was attended by the Irish Ambassador to Italy, Mr Patrick Hennessy and his wife Pauline who travelled from Rome to be at the event.

Deirdre Brennan said: “Our visit to Italy just proved that a large scale project like ours is very do-able on an international level. We now know that it can travel and we’ll look forward to returning to Bologna where it went down really well.


“They are surrounding by wonderful art in Bologna, yet our sculpture trail was something completely new and unique to them so we were so happy that they were blown away.”

Today, the An Cosán Glas artists begin the first part of their annual Loinnir project- the hugely popular children’s workshops which again were in great demand.

Deirdre said: “We were inundated with calls for places which were quickly filled. Loinnir is always three parts, the first is the workshops with the children, the next week we work on our on sculptures in a factory in Falcarragh and it all culminates in the two nights in Magheraroarty on July 16 and 17.”

The annual free event at Magheraroarty beach attracted 2,500 people last year over the two nights and Deirdre said this year will once again be very special.

“Loinnir is not only about the trail and the sculptures, it’s about celebrating the beautiful landsapce they are displayed in and then there’s the social aspect as well. There’s also going to be some special guests this year to provide some musical entertainmen.”

It is always recommended that you wear warm clothing when you go on the Loinnir trail at Magheraroarty beach and take a torch with you.

Deirdre said: “We would also like to invite anyone who want to help us at the trail as stewards to contact us via the website,”


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