16 Dec 2020
An exhibition centre that honours Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh has triumphed in the Film and Video category at the Heritage in Motion Awards 2020.
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre in County Monaghan in Ireland’s Ancient East, has won a prestigious European award for its video exhibition, an immersive triple projection entitled The Pincer Jaws of Heaven.
The projection clinched the top place in the Film and Video category in the Heritage in Motion Awards, which are a celebration of the best examples of innovative multimedia and digital projects in cultural heritage in Europe.
The Pincer Jaws of Heaven connects viewers to the raw power of Kavanagh’s words, and the places, and rural landscapes that inspired them. Key works are read by Kavanagh and a selection of local friends, associates and fellow poets.
The Pincer Jaws of Heaven is the centrepiece of the exhibition in the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, which celebrates the poet’s life and craft, and interprets his work through multimedia including touchscreens, memory boxes, letters and early twentieth-century ephemera.
Housed in an early nineteenth-century church in the poet’s home town of Inniskeen, the innovative Centre recently underwent a €1m refresh.
Kavanagh is buried in the graveyard adjoining the church.
Patrick Kavanagh Centre, County Monaghan
One of the most popular Irish poets of the twentieth century, Patrick Kavanagh was a self-taught poet and writer who grew up and worked for many years on a farm. His literature reflects his love of the County Monaghan landscape of which he wrote: “O Monaghan hills when is writ your story, A carbon-copy will unfold my being.”
Fans of Kavanagh’s work will also enjoy following the Kavanagh Trail, which starts from the Centre and passes through Inniskeen village, down lanes and over the fields that Kavanagh knew so well.
A key stopping point is the Kavanagh homestead, which was the inspiration for his novel Tarry Flynn and his poems The Great Hunger and A Christmas Childhood, which evokes a magical Christmas when he was six years old.
The trail also passes the fields that inspired Spraying the Potatoes, Billy Brennan’s barn, which was immortalised in Inniskeen Road, and the village’s eleventh-century round tower.
Another of Kavanagh’s poems, On Raglan Road, was set to music by Ireland’s traditional music superstars, The Dubliners, becoming one of the island’s best loved songs and recorded by many international artists including Ed Sheeran, Van Morrison and Billy Joel.
Inniskeen Round Tower, County Monaghan
Patrick Kavangh Centre, County Monaghan
Need more resources? View our images and videos from across Ireland