independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Artist completes dramatic art installation in Cyprus

A PORTMARNOCK artist has completed a dramatic installation at a UNESCO world heritage site in Cyprus known in English as ' The Handkerchief Tree'.

The artwork by Miriam McConnon is formally known as The Megalo Tama and has been commissioned by the Government of Cyprus to mark the country's presidency of the EU this year. In Miriam Mc Connon's installation artwork, The Megalo Tama, a huge handkerchief encompasses the entire tree at the site of Saint Solomoni in Kato Paphos. Tama is the Greek word for a votive offering (handkerchief ) that people hang on this ancient tree to offer a wish or prayer for loved ones who are sick or who have passed away. The huge handkerchief is draped over the tree loosely allowing it to take the form of the tree and also keep its own form and identity as a handkerchief, holding onto the domestic element that is so strong in her recent work. The piece of cloth (400 metres sq.) that covers the tree is made up of handkerchiefs and lace that have been collected over the last two years from the people of Paphos and abroad and have been sewn together carefully by the artist herself. Each handkerchief has been a personal possession of somebody and therefore carries its own individual story. Some carry personal inscriptions to loved ones. Miriam Mc Connon's recent work is concerned with the stories behind simple domestic objects and the power they have over our sense of identity. The Portmarnock artist has been selected to participate in two prestigious art festivals in the coming weeks in Beijing and in Prague.

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