FROM County Carlow, Anne O’Neill moved to New York permanently in 1986. In her work with Battery Park City Authority, she was instrumental in the realisation of the Irish Hunger Memorial, designed by sculptor and public artist Brian Tolle.
Today Friday 5, the artist and horticulturalist will be in conversation with Kathy Scott at Limerick City Gallery of Art about this Memorial icon at 6pm. The talk is part of the I.NY global festival. Free in, book first at website //thisisiny.com for the Pery Square event.
The Irish Hunger Memorial is a mark of respect to the immigrants who braved the coffin ships to Ellis Island. It covers half an acre on the southern tip of Manhattan and is a fabulously realistic recreation of an Irish field and tumble-down stone cottage. Ironically, it rests in the shadow of the One World Trade Centre.
O’Neill was privileged to be part of the recent renovation team to the memorial, giving her the opportunity to rethink plantings as part of her contribution. She was previously a curator for Brooklyn Botanic Garden and a community horticulturist for Bronx GreenUp.
Kathy Scott is the head and heart behind ‘The Trailblazery’, a project focused on creative spirit and the sense of home. Also to ‘The Census of the Heart’, a national project which ran parallel to the 2016 State Census, with the goal of capturing the emotional state of the nation.
Anne O’Neill will be in conversation with Kathy Scott at LCGA, telling the story of how the Irish Hunger Memorial came to life in Lower Manhattan. They will discuss the impact of The Famine on the modern iteration of New York as a city, and she will share her own personal journey from Ballon farmland in Carlow to Brooklyn brownstone.