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SUBJECT: Grenfell - Grenfell College Art Gallery is first North American stop for Irish and Scottish national treasure
DATE: Dec. 21, 2007

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, in partnership with the Gaelic Arts Agency (the national development agency for the Scottish Gaelic Arts), will bring An Leabhar Mòr, The Great Book of Gaelic to Corner Brook as the first stop on its North American tour. This touring exhibition of contemporary art brings together the work of more than 200 poets, visual artists and calligraphers from Ireland and Scotland and is scheduled for exhibition at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery from June to September, 2008.
            The Great Book of Gaelic exhibition explores the shared mythology, languages, music traditions and history of Scotland and Ireland. The project is an immense source of pride for both countries, highlighting a resurgence of the Gaelic language. An Leabhar Mòr celebrates the Gaelic poetry of both Ireland and Scotland, from the earliest written sources to the 21st century, interpreted by artists and calligraphers working in a variety of media. The images are responses to Gaelic poems, from the nature poetry of early monasteries to the original version of the hymn “Be Thou my Vision”, to 21st century Gaelic reggae and rap. Not all of the poems referenced in The Great Book were recorded in writing. Many were songs passed down through oral tradition. The poems offer vivid openings into Gaelic culture as a living continuum from approximately 600 AD to the present. The images, translation and diversity of themes make the exhibition accessible to non-Gaelic readers.
            In addition to the collection of 100 works of art on paper, the Great Book project has generated a book publication, a website, a television documentary, a series of BBC radio programs, a music CD, a public schools education pack and an extensive interdisciplinary events program. The final outcome, following the exhibition tour, will be a visual anthology collected in one bound volume that will become a permanent visitor attraction. The Great Book will become a 21st century Book of Kells (The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript that has survived from the Middle Ages and has been described as the zenith of Western calligraphy and illumination).
            “We seek to explore the shared traditions between Newfoundland and Labrador and the Gaelic cultures of Ireland and Scotland,” said Gail Tuttle, director of the gallery. “We are developing an exciting program of public events that will accompany The Great Book exhibition at the Grenfell Gallery.”
            Community groups with a special connection to the cultures and heritage of Scotland and Ireland will be contacted to join Grenfell as plans are made to celebrate the tour and exhibition.
            Please contact the art gallery at (709) 637-6209 for further information.

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