Derek Gladwin

4 Documentary map-making and film-making in Pat Collins’s Tim Robinson: Connemara Derek Gladwin A map is a sustained attempt upon an unattainable goal, the complete comprehension by an individual of a tract of space that will be individualized into a place by that attempt.1 – Tim Robinson In sum a film is a map, and … its symbolic and political effectiveness is a function of its identity as a cartographic diagram.2 – Tom Conley Documenting through map-making and film-making In the documentary film Tim Robinson: Connemara (2011), director Pat Collins spotlights

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Tim Robinson, culture and environment

Unfolding Irish landscapes offers a comprehensive and sustained study of the work of cartographer, landscape writer and visual artist Tim Robinson. The visual texts and multi-genre essays included in this book, from leading international scholars in Irish Studies, geography, ecology, environmental humanities, literature and visual culture, explore Robinson’s writing, map-making and art. Robinson’s work continues to garner significant attention not only in Ireland, but also in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, particularly with the recent celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his monumental Stones of Aran: pilgrimage. Robert Macfarlane has described Robinson’s work in Ireland as ‘one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a landscape that has ever been carried out’. It is difficult to separate Robinson the figure from his work and the places he surveys in Ireland – they are intertextual and interconnected. This volume explores some of these characteristics for both general and expert readers alike. As individual studies, the essays in this collection demonstrate disciplinary expertise. As parts of a cohesive project, they form a collective overview of the imaginative sensibility and artistic dexterity of Robinson’s cultural and geographical achievements in Ireland. By navigating Robinson’s method of ambulation through his prose and visual creations, this book examines topics ranging from the politics of cartography and map-making as visual art forms to the cultural and environmental dimensions of writing about landscapes.

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John Elder

2 Catchments John Elder Rain is general all over Connemara. In every month of the year and for parts, at least, of two days out of three, it swirls in over Roundstone Bog then drums down onto Errisbeg. Some of these spatters will wash due south, over the two-lobed peninsula of Goirtín and out to the sea, without relying on a fixed channel. Others, relinquishing their individual surface tension after being hung up in the sphagnum, will pool eastward over the sheep tracks that edge the bog, eventually arriving at the newly paved roads and driveways of an

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
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The geographical imagination of Tim Robinson
Patrick Duffy

1 Genius loci: the geographical imagination of Tim Robinson Patrick Duffy It was as if he had walked under the millimeter of haze just above the inked fibres of a map, that pure zone between land and chart between distances and legend between nature and storyteller.1 – Michael Ondaatje Introduction For forty years Tim Robinson has been engaged in a uniquely detailed exploration of the rocky outposts of the Aran Islands, Connemara and the Burren – ancient environments deeply incised with the marks of human occupation for more than two thousand years. His maps

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Matrixial gazing in Tim Robinson’s walk-art-text practice
Moynagh Sullivan

landscapes and the lives of those he meets. Robinson writes that Mandelbrot’s work ‘surprises us yet again with the unfathomable depth and richness of the natural world; specifically it shows us that there is more space, there are more places, within a forest, among the galaxies or on a Connemara seashore, than the geometry of common sense allows’.7 Ettinger notes how the limits from the symbolic order  – from what Robinson calls the ‘geometry of common sense’  – construct ‘evocations of and irruptions from the feminine/ prenatal encounters and emergence of matrixial cross

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
The deep mapping projects of Tim Robinson’s art and writings, 1969–72
Nessa Cronin

), Oileáin Árann/A Map of the Aran Islands, County Galway (1980; 1996) and Connemara (1990), along with his books on the west of Ireland, have established Robinson as one of the foremost writers, cartographers and thinkers of the Irish landscape over the last forty years. While he is primarily known for his contributions to Ireland’s cartographic and cultural heritages, his earlier work as the visual artist Timothy Drever is less known. In November 1972 Robinson famously left ‘the visual for the verbal’ and departed the London art scene for the west of Ireland with his

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
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Postcolonialism and ecology in the work of Tim Robinson
Eóin Flannery

living dignity and agency of the physical topographies and cultural geographies under scrutiny. Not Essayist of place: postcolonialism and ecology Figure  26  Essayist of place  – Robinson at his desk juxtaposed against the Connemara landscape (from Pat Collins’s film Tim Robinson: Connemara, photo by Colm Hogan). only should the essayist of place display requisite self-reflexiveness in tracking their own rapport with place, but Ryden’s communal and empathetic vision also highlights that interdependence and mutuality are components of the essayist’s ecological

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
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Ireland’s ‘ABC of earth wonders’
Derek Gladwin and Christine Cusick

Introduction: Ireland’s ‘ABC of earth wonders’ Derek Gladwin and Christine Cusick In my face, the Atlantic wind, brining walls of rain, low ceilings of cloud, dazzling windows of sunshine, the endless transformation scenes of the far west … The hill is Errisbeg, which shelters the little fishing-village of Roundstone from the west wind, in Connemara; … it has been my wonderful and wearying privilege to explore in detail over the last fifteen years, the Burren uplands in County Clare, the Aran Islands, and Connemara itself.1 – Tim Robinson Setting foot on the

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Úna Newell

4 Poverty and the Irish language Land purchase alone would not afford an adequate solution to the poverty prevalent in parts of County Galway. Even if all of the land in the Free State available for the relief of congestion was used for the resettlement of the people of the west, the plain fact was it would still not be sufficient for the purpose. The problem that the Cumann na nGaedheal government faced was an economic one. The new state’s beginnings had opened with reports of famine-like conditions in parts of Connemara and each year brought a recurring

in The west must wait
Úna Newell

across the whole county. Republican resistance in Galway was strongest in Connemara and in north Galway, but it appeared to lack precise direction. In east Galway agrarian agitation shaped the nature of civil war violence (this aspect of the campaign is discussed in the next chapter). Seventeen big houses were destroyed in Galway during the war. Of the more prominent residences, Castlegrove House, the property of Thomas Lewin in north Galway, was burned by republicans on 26 July 1922. In south Galway, Roxborough House, the home of Major W. A. Persse and birthplace of

in The west must wait