Veronica Straberger and Keekill Community
Keekill Boat launch – the making
Keekill Boat launch – the Pitfiring
Our Keekill neighbourhood project concludes with a pit firing. Following in the footsteps of the Keekill brickmakers, we fire our clay pieces in a pit. First we dig a pit. Then we nestle our clay boats in sawdust. Carefully we stack kindling and fire wood and pit fire our vessels over night. Next day we dig through soil and ashes to find our hidden treasures. Through water and fire, moulded by our hands we hold the memories of our clay journeys.
Keekill Boat launch
‘Born Of The Land’
In Keekill, Killeany, Cloughanover, Co. Galway lies a hidden treasure. Clay buried in the soil. Recorded in the 1911 census fourteen Keekill families lived off the land, harvesting clay, shaping it into bricks, firing it in pits and shipping it on Lough Corrib to Galway and Cong.
The year 2020 finds the local landscape much changed, with many ‘blow-ins’ occupying new homes and commuting for work elsewhere. In a series of workshops, the local neighbourhood was invited to learn how to dig for clay, how to process it and shape and form it into clay vessels.
‘Born Of The Land’ is a community clay art project created by local ceramicist, Veronika Straberger, to honour the history of those who came before and to mark the changes brought on by a new migrant community.
For more information about the artist.
Veronika Straberger is a ceramic artist living in the small village of Keekill on the shores of Lough Corrib, Co. Galway. In her work she draws on the memory of clay to tell stories of belonging. Following in local traditions she digs her own clay from the soil and continuously explores old and new techniques of craftsmanship. Her work has been exhibited in Austria, France and Ireland.