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Glass potatoes

A BRAND new exhibition at the Ulster American Folk Park, which features meticulously hand-crafted glass potatoes, pays tribute to those who lost their lives during the Famine.

The exhibition entitled ‘1845: Memento Mori’, in reference to the year the famine came to Ireland, has been 15 years in the making, and it has been created by renowned Irish American artist, Paula Stokes.

The exhibition, which has travelled extensively around Ireland, will run from Saturday, September 28 until November 17.

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The exhibition is being installed in the ‘single room cabin’ of the Folk Park, which dates from the late 1700s to early 1800s, and is an example of the type of dwelling occupied by many poor tenant farmers.

Seattle-based artist, Paula Stokes, commented that she wanted the pieces to help people talk about the past and how it has shaped our current.

“As a modern-day member of the Irish Diaspora, I have reflected on my own history as an immigrant to examine historical events that have shaped the present,” she explained. “I hope that this installation will open a dialogue of how one can learn from the past, and that it might elicit compassionate reflection that transcends the polarizing politics of our current time.”

The Folk Park is very excited to host the exhibition, which shares a theme with many other items and installations at the museum.

Liam Corry, curator of emigration at the park said, “As a museum dedicated to telling the story of those who emigrated from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries, we are delighted to host such a tangible symbol of the Irish Potato Famine.

“At National Museums NI, we believe that learning and inspiring curiosity is a lifelong activity, and this exhibition helps us to communicate the story of emigration in a creative and engaging way to a new generation.”

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‘1845: Memento Mori’ exhibition is included in general admission to Ulster American Folk Park. Visitors are asked to pre-book time slots online.

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Please note: The Ulster American Folk Park is the only place to view the exhibit in the North.

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BY THOMAS MAHER 

t.maher@ulsterherald.com

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