Omagh - Tyrone

Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

1845: Memento Mori


1845: Memento Mori is a Famine Memorial dedicated to the Irish Potato Famine. Made by Seattle based Irish artist Paula Stokes, this installation of 1,845 handblown glass potatoes, has taken 15 years to complete. The title of the project, references the year that the potato blight came to Ireland, marking the beginning of a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration. Over 1.5 million people died, and a further 1 million emigrated to Australia, Canada and America.

As a modern-day member of the Irish Diaspora, Paula Stokes reflects on her own history as an immigrant to examine historical events that have shaped the present. She has opened a dialogue on how one can learn from the past and in doing so hopes to elicit compassionate reflection that transcends the polarizing politics of our current time.

The form of the installation differs in response to specific locations, changing shape and volume depending on light, accessibility and exposure of each site. Finding context that is anchored in place, and its history, is part of how the work is uniquely created for each location. In previous installations it has taken the form of a cairn (a traditional stone pile). This presentation specifically implies a grave. Site visits and continued research form the evolving artistic exploration of this work.

At this time, the work is in Ireland as part of a multi venue tour. It includes working with national institutions and famine specific sites, including indoor and exterior heritage sites, and museums.


Time: Any Timepm - Any Timepm

Genres: Visual Art / Visuals


No Booking Required