Leaf Work by John Gerrard

I took an afternoon off yesterday to go and see Leaf Work by John Gerrard. The installation is a ‘mirror pavilion’ situated on the historic Derrigimlagh Bog in Connemara, County Galway.

In 1909, this was the site of Marconi’s station that sent and received the first transatlantic radio signals. Ten years later, it was where Alcock and Brown crash-landed their plane having flown non-stop across the Atlantic for the first time.

The Pavilion is a beautiful and striking structure, with three sides and the roof clad in mirrors and the fourth a high–resolution LED display. The screen shows a lone, melancholic virtual character, clad in oak leaves who performs a lament for the effects of human advances (like the two examples that took place on this spot) on the non-human world.

Connemara always seems to have the most fantastic light and this visit was no exception. As it got dark, the light and cloud cover changed constantly and added further drama to that of the natural environment.

I first heard about this installation a couple of years ago. It was due to be part of Galway’s 2020 program during its year as European City of Culture. COVID meant that this program was decimated and spread out over a couple of years, but I’m delighted that they found a way to make this happen – it was truly memorable.


All pictures made with a Leica M262 and variety of lenses…

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