Photo : Ivaylo Petrov From L-R
Dave Andreucetti, Charge Hand Gardener, Niki Collier resident artist, Studio 24 in Marlay Park, Lorraine O’Hare, Executive Parks Superintendent, Ray Walsh, Foreman of the Park, Louise Connolly, Assistant Foreman of the Park, Paul Burke, Charge Hand Gardener, Gerard Sinnott, District Supervisor of the Parks.

Fairy Yew Woods- a new home for the Fairies just next to the coffee shop near Marlay Park House.

This year, in March, Lou, the gardener in Marlay Park overheard the fairies looking for their homes in the woods. The children showed her where the fairies want to live. They had trekked to the hidden fairy door and chatted to the small but powerful woodland creatures in the last year so often that they made a path in the woods.  The children and Lou, knew – it is time to make the fairies and the bug factory good for all to visit. After all it was just a plea from the magic creatures and the children to play and make magic together.  So Lou rolled up her sleeves and asked a few friends and the Park Gardeners to help.

She put down golden gravel to illuminate the woodlands and invite folk to wander in and out.

She chatted to Dave and Paul, the Park Gardeners, asking them to fix the fairy door, make the bug factory and carve the seat of thousand wishes. And they did.

She asked the Away with the Fairies folk from Galway to send some doors for the fairies to be able to come and go as they please. And they did.

She found a talented woodturner who generously made the sign so we all know where to visit if we want to see the fairies and talk to the bugs. And he did.

She worked with Niki, who makes fairy houses to get some done for the homeless fairies. And she did.

And on Winter Solstice we all came together to celebrate the launch of Fairy Yew Woods. And when the light was in equilibrium fairies and bugs found their new home. As we all need to make a bit of magic in our life, why not come and visit this hidden gem.

The Fairy Yew Woods walk was unveiled on Winter Solstice 21st December in the presence of Gerard Sinnott, District Supervisor of the Parks, Lorraine O’Hare, Executive Parks Superintendent, Ray Walsh Foreman of the Park, Louise Connolly, Assistant Foreman of the Park, Dave Andreucetti and Paul Burke Charge Hand Gardeners and Dr. Niki Collier an artist with a studio in the park.

The Fairy Pods project was commissioned by the Parks. It is a lockdown collaboration between Lou, a myriad of artists and the Gardeners. One of them, artist Niki Collier, has a studio in the park. The project was devised by Lou as a participatory led project to bring joy and an extra dimension to the life in the park. Fairy Yew Woods aims to raise the profile of the park, by adding a playful and inviting experience for the visitors. No matter their age or their connection to fairies.

Niki Collier is an award withing artist who uses scale to evoke empathy often though disruption of science and art. Most of her stories use wool.

The pods are sculptures informed by pollen pods. A version of the pod installation was curated in 2017 in Sculpture in Context at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin. The current body of work on the pollen pods was developed during lockdown in a series of international artist workshops over Zoom.

In her speech to express her gratitude, Niki, originally from Bulgaria, mentioned that yew trees are a symbol of the Irish-Bulgarian relationships. A Yew tree was planted in Dublin by the Bulgarian Ambassador Emil Yalnazov in 2008, to commemorate the acceptance of Bulgaria as a EU member during the Irish Presidency.

Niki is planning a series of engagements throughout the year to celebrate the the Fairy Yew Woods collaboration.

Come and visit this new experience and check out some of the fairy events- they are always up to something.

Photographer: Ivaylo Petrov
Instagram : @petroffivaylo
Facebook @IPetroff Photography

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