Noah Rose

The Uncanny Cityby Pippa Goldschmidt
26th January 2021
‘Ní Rabhas ach Seal/ It was only a Matter of Time’ by Noah Rose
23rd February 2021

Noah Rose is an artist based in County Galway, Ireland.  He is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at  Glasgow School of Art, researching the intersection between place and minority language.  As part of his research methodology he is learning Irish and Scottish Gaelic.  Between September-November 2020, he undertook a 2 month research residency on Oileán Chléire/Cape Clear, an Irish (Gaelic) speaking Island, off the coast of County Cork, Ireland.

‘Ní Rabhas ach Seal/ It was only a Matter of Time’ part one.
 – one of the titles in: ‘An Leabharlann na gClocha Ceilte/ The Hidden Stone Library’ 

Between September – November 2020, I was resident on Oileán Chléire/Cape Clear Island, an Irish (Gaelic) speaking Island, off the coast of County Cork, Ireland, as part of the Oileán AiR artist residency programme. The residency asks, as its starting point, the question:

‘Cad a thárlódh dá gcaithfeadh ealaíontóirí agus deantóirí am ag smaoineamh ar a gcuid oibre agus an caidreamh idir é agus an Ghaeilge i gcomhthéacs Gaeltachta?’

‘What would happen if artists, thinkers and other creators could take time to reconsider their practice and its relationship to community and the Irish language in the context of the Gaeltacht?’

Over the course of the residency, through a series of related research activities: walking, exploring, thinking, drawing, making photographs, sound and video recordings, and through improving my Irish through reading, talking, researching archives and experimenting with typographic design and lettercarving, I developed the work:

‘An Leabharlann na gClocha Ceilte / The Hidden Stone Library’

This library comprises a number of initial titles. Each title is a tablet, made of natural stone slabs. These images show the four tablets that together comprise Title 3) ‘Ní rabhas ach seal / It was only a matter of time’.

Each of the four tablets is carved with a single line from an poem entitled ‘Inis Cléire (author unknown) sourced from the national folklore archive. The lines are reproduced below, with English translation by Diarmuid Ó Drisceóil.

Ní rabhas ach seal ar an gcaladh im’ aonar /  I was only a short while on the pier alone
Nuair a mheasas mé féin fé gheasaibh draoidheachta /  when I imagined myself under a magic spell

Nuair chualadh mé gutha mar ceol Orphéus / when I heard voices like the music of Orpheus
Sa teanga Ghaedhilge bhlasda bhinn /  in the tasty sweet Irish language