Latest Laois Event: Vicarstown stop for Eco Showboat as it sails to east coast

Latest Laois Event: Vicarstown stop for Eco Showboat as it sails to east coast

ECO SHOWBOAT “Journey to the East”

On Saturday, July 1st, the Eco Showboat – a fully solar-powered boat which has slowly been making its way along Ireland’s waterways with a mission to spread awareness on climate change through the arts – arrived in Vicarstown, County Laois. Supported by Laois County Council.

There they collaborated with local artists to create an event around the observation and appreciation of Ireland’s delicate ecosystem, particularly in and around Laois. After presenting a talk on their long adventure along the inland waterways, the Eco Showboat team left the stage to artist Emily Miller, recent graduate of NCAD, to show her strange and wonderful work which showcases the threat that we humans pose to the animals that surround us. Stretching the taxidermized hides of creatures killed in roadside incidents over handmade frames, Emily Miller both reveals and revels in these small disasters that we ignore each day. Her work, which is a stark reminder of human responsibility, will be shown in the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery in Dublin this autumn. 

In the afternoon, audiences were treated to delicious and sustainable refreshments by musicians Anna Tanvir and Maninder Singh, who seek to bring together different arts and cultures in their work. Their love of food and music has brought them to invent performances wherein audiences are served colcannon-samosas with a dash of traditional music from Ireland, Madagascar, and India. Stomachs and heads replete, the crowd finally walked down to the harbor in the end of the afternoon to see the Mayfly solar boat and meet with the SVT Canoe and Kayak Club, who came out to support the project and highlight how important it is to clean canoes and kayaks thoroughly to prevent the spread of invasive species. 

Next up, the Eco Showboat will be making its way to Carlow for an event on July 22nd, where they will continue to bring people together around ecology and arts in ways that are enjoyable and fun.

The Eco Showboat Journey to the East is a five month arts expedition, from Askeaton to Dublin aboard the solar powered Mayfly, flagship of the Eco Showboat project. Brain child of artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly, the project is supported by the Arts Council, SFI, Creative Ireland, Waterways Ireland, and LAWPRO (full list of partners here).