05 Sep 2023
Three giant art installations have been created to showcase the geology, archaeology and heritage of Northern Ireland’s spectacular Sperrins.
The Giants of the Sperrins Sculpture Trail consists of three innovative, unique, yet linked artworks created by internationally renowned Danish artist, Thomas Dambo. They are installed at key locations within the beautiful Sperrins region at Mullaghcarn, Glenelly Valley and Davagh Forest.
The inspiring artistic creations celebrate the ancient mythology and natural unspoilt beauty of the region and signify the giant spirit of the local landscape and its people.
Ceoldán, the Stargazer, (named after the Irish words ceol, which means music, and dán, which means poem) is installed at Davagh Forest, where astronomy meets archaeology at OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory.
Ceoldán is trying to capture the brilliance of the ‘Seven Sisters’ star formation in his spiral. The Seven Sisters also refers to the seven trees of Ireland – oak, apple, hazel, ash, yew, alder and elder – and these trees were planted in the area surrounding the giant by local school children.
Walker on the Sperrin Mountains trail, Gortin Glen Forest Park, Co. Tyrone.
The artwork in Glenelly Valley celebrates the island of Ireland’s reputation as a land of myth and legend. The giant Nowanois rests with his younger self within a ringfort – a portal which in Irish mythology can connect with other dimensions, worlds or regions, past and future. The two giants share the same name which comes from the English word ‘now’ and the Irish word for now ‘anois’. They are one and the same, from different times, exchanging memories and stories.
Darach (The Guardian) can be found at the summit of Mullaghcarn Mountain. She is named after the Irish word for ‘oak’, which is associated with protection and is also the material from which all the giants have been constructed. This sculpture focuses on the ecology and landscape of the Sperrins. Darach overlooks the region and is protector of the land.
Dambo took a sustainable approach to making the three sculptures, adhering to the ethics of responsible forestry and using natural preservatives. Known for using recycled wood in his sculptures, he also salvaged tons of residual wood from Danish furniture makers to ensure this work aligned with his core environmental values.
Beautiful walking trails and dramatic driving and cycle routes can be used to travel between the sculptures enabling visitors to combine an experience of the cultural heritage of the Sperrin Mountains with leisurely enjoyment of its stunning landscape.
Davagh Giant on The Giants of The Sperrins Culture Trail, Co. Tyrone.
Nowanois the Storyteller, The Giants of The Sperrins Culture Trail, Co. Tyrone.
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