Séamus Heaney Exhibition

An exhibition exploring Heaney's links with County Wicklow

Séamus Heaney moved to Wicklow in 1972 when the situation in Northern Ireland became too much. He began to write as a fulltime occupation in a cottage in Glanmore outside Ashford. It was a perfect secluded rural idyll and the isolation helped focus his writing. This time produced many loved pieces including the Blackbird of Glanmore.

43 years later the heritage society in Ashford, along with Wicklow County Council's Arts Office, launched an exhibition of printed pieces, snapshot of history, letters, manuscripts, images and carvings to celebrate this time. The exhibition lasted 5 months as the inaugural show in Ashford Heritage Centre.

As so much of the exhibition's material was on a small scale the hall was book-ended with large-scale type and lettering. The main exhibition wall featured a hand-written manuscript by Heaney filling the wall, with exhibition materials mounted on it. At the other end were two formally typeset stanzas on either side of a bronze-cast bust of the poet.


The exhibition's identity revolved around a single scan of the poet's signature. His handwriting was exquisite, of a different generation to today's typists. Instantly recognisable it thereby injected his personality directly into the show.


The job was a joint production between Wicklow County Council, Ashford Heritage Centre, the curator John Dunne and A Worthy Cause. The requirments were large - mounted photography and printed displays, signage, interior signage and navigation, promotional items, website. The team assembled included calligrapher Oona Tully, signmakers MG Signworks, printers Pace Print and the Copperhouse, display printers Redmond Signs and hosting by Squarespace.

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