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Sunday 25 February 2018

Gone with the wind: vandals destroy meditation space built on mountain

'Windphone' had been put on Two Rock by artists

The destroyed windphone Photo: Noel Donnellon
The destroyed windphone Photo: Noel Donnellon

Ed Carty

A windphone, which was designed as a space to meditate on life and loss, has been destroyed by vandals.

The destruction of the installation has left the artists behind it "a little bit heartbroken".

The windphone, or fon gaoithe in Irish, was installed at the top of Two Rock in the Dublin Mountains in recent weeks, with the art collective behind the project choosing to remain anonymous.

The group Altruchas said it was informed by a walker that it had been demolished and the remnants piled up at the site.

"Given the nature of how it was destroyed and how what was left was laid out, it seems clear that the destruction of the installation was not regular vandals but a strong statement from people that didn't like the project," the art collective said.

The structure, with an old telephone inside, was made from salvaged material and made to look like an old-fashioned phonebox.

The structure, with an old telephone inside, was made from salvaged material and made to look like an old-fashioned phonebox.
The structure, with an old telephone inside, was made from salvaged material and made to look like an old-fashioned phonebox.

A note said that it was designed as "a place where you can speak privately and openly and your words will be carried on the wind to wherever you want them to go".

The inspiration for it came from the windphone in Japan, which became a popular pilgrimage site following the 2011 tsunami.

Some 25,000 people there use the windphone in the town of Otsuchi to communicate with dead loved ones.

Otsuchi was devastated by the tsunami in March 2011, with 1,285 people dead or missing.

Less than two weeks ago, a similar device was positioned at the summit of the Dublin mountain - a spot which is very popular with hillwalkers.

It was erected without planning permission, with the creators stating that they had put it there simply for people to enjoy.

"Of course we are sad it has been destroyed, but we will not let such a mindless and selfish act take away from the positivity of the project," Altruchas said.

"We know from some feedback that we've gotten that it genuinely helped some people struggling with grief, so that makes the project completely worth it.

"We also hope that the destruction of the wind phone opens up some conversation about our society, goodwill, creativity and open mindedness."

Poignantly, when the installation first hit the headlines a fortnight ago, the group behind the project said: "We have made many creative compromises to ensure its safety. We also intend on maintaining it indefinitely. With that in mind and giving the reasons and nature of the project, we hope that it will be left alone for people to use when they need it."

Irish Independent

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