Lights in the Darkness – Lantern installation is a wonderful example of a Community Art project in rural Ireland. The installation featured 50 life size sculptural lanterns of men, women and children placed in Longford town. The project was undertaken as part of Longford’s programme of events to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and the sculptural lanterns making up the installation set out to symbolise and pay tribute to all those who died or were injured during the events of 1916.
This project was unveiled during the special 1916 Commemorative Weekend in Co. Longford in April 2016, attended by 5,000 people from home and abroad, including representatives from Longford’s twin towns in Sparks, Nevada USA and Noyal Chatillon-sur-Seiche, Brittany France. This project was led by community artist Tom Meskell, a grandson of Patrick Doyle, one of the 15 Longford people who took part in the Easter Rising
In order to realise Tom’s vision, over 100 people from a diverse range of community groups and secondary schools in the county assisted in creating the sculptural lanterns through a series of workshops in various locations across Longford over a two month period. This collaborative community effort helped drive a sense of ownership of the project and its aims, and brought a new 21st century perspective to the commemoration of a pivotal moment in our nation’s history by incorporating new cultural and ethnic influences.