Horror stories (Frozen in time)

Horror stories (Frozen in time)

In doing my homework on things to see while I was in Dublin early in December, I was particularly struck by the description in one book of “Famine”, a sculpture group by Rowan Gillespie. The sculptures represent victims of the enormously tragic famine of the mid-1800’s, where a full quarter of the Irish population died or left the country in hopes of better elsewhere.

I walked out to the sculptures on the first of my two nights in Dublin (which was a long haul). It was indeed a incredibly powerful piece of art, perhaps more so in the dark. It was a bit weird, though, to have the holiday lights as the back drop for this harrowing set of figures.

It’s not clear in the shot above, but the man is carrying what I presume to be a small girl across his shoulders, and is bowed beneath her weight. Quite terrifying, really.

Moving fast (And moving slow)

Sadly, as the assassination of Benzir Bhutto makes clear, we’re still learning how to live together on this small rock, and often not doing a great job of it.

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2 Responses to Horror stories (Frozen in time)

  1. Dori says:

    I saw these when I was in Dublin, and along with the sculpture of the swan children, they are part of what I define as Ireland in my head. Fantastic, moving, and more than a little scary. What a way to help us wrap our supersized mentality around the absolute horror of starving. Of course, the fact that those same skeletal folks hopped on deadly ships, then made it to the US and had cool great grandkids (like me) also makes me proud of my heritage.

  2. Phi says:

    I hear you. There’s apparently a companion sculpture group in Toronto that represents them arriving, and is correspondingly a little more upbeat. I’m sure it must have been scary to arrive in a strange land with no clear sense of what you were going to do, but to have survived the journey must have given one some real hope.

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