Projects by Tom Ryan
Projects of an Installation, or Educational nature done, or being prepared by Tom Ryan, since 1988.
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Droichead na nAmhrán - Bridge of Songs


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Droichead na nAmhran-Bridge of Songs Mostar August 2001
Flights of the Imagination Mostar September 2001
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Dearbhaíonn obair Dhroichead na nAmhrán an saothrú sna hEalaíona i gcultúir eagsúla, mar mhéan chun tuiscint daoine ar a chéile a mhéadú

Droichead na nAmhrán - Bridge of Songs set out to be a song of recall urging that Stari Most be restored, whilst expressing hope that healing was taking place on peoples hearts and minds. Stari Most is scheduled to be repopened, a restored bridge, on 23rd July 2004, almost 10 and a half years after its destruction in war. There is just reason for celebration and I am glad to be invited by the European Commission Mostar Head of Office, and The Mayor of Mostar, to be present in July at the opening and dedication.

Droichead na nAmhrán-Bridge of Songs was developed in Mostar, for August and September 2001 This was an exploration of cultural connection as expressed through song and artwork, with the ideal that song language would link people as they express their cultural diversity. Mostar was the venue, for an exhibition of photos and drawings made during 7 years of journeys there. The exhibition in August was put on display at the Centre for Culture.
Web Sites were developed to help this endeavour. In August 2001, The Bridge of songs was presented for the period that the exhibition was on display.
A presentation was made in May on the present walking bridge, featuring lanerns made by 5th grade primary school Irish children from St. Kieran's in Limerick, Ireland, with young people from Mostar based schools, which were signed by The Mayor of Limerick in 2000, 2001, John Ryan. The President of The Assembly of The Old Town in Mostar advised that we may present the Star Bridge artwork during 6th to 12th August. The work was spread between the months of August and September 2001. 12 more lanterns were produced in Mostar at the Special School, and were displayed there in September 2001 with 40 children from Donja Mahala primary school present.
Music compositions were composed. 39 minutes of music commissioned for Star bridge in 1997 and for Droichead na nAmhran - Bridge of Songs in 2001 were put on CD and played on an FM station in the city by agreement until the end of September. These included work by Colm O'Snodaigh, Stuart Gray of St. Mary's Cathedral, Eamonn Hehir, Enis Sipovic. Photos and drawings made during 7 years of journeys to Mostar were exhibited in The Centre for Culture in August and The Pavorotti Music therapy Centre in September. Bridge of Songs was presented in August and models for children were presented in September. Colleagues assisted and Photos and drawings featured on television and in Most a regional culutral magazine. Work is going ahead to produce a book and publicity from the project. I aim to create a professional document bringing together the strands of work involved in making Droichead na nAmhran - Bridge of Songs.

My thanks to President of the Assembly of Stari Grad, Mostar Mr. Mustafa Hadzailic, Director of The Centre of Culture Mostar, Ms Jelka Kebo, Head of Eu Mostar, Murray McCullough OBE, The Pavorotti Music Centre, School Principals, Ms Rizanovic and Mr. Jakirovic, The Minister for Education, The Director of the Special School Mostar, Muyo, Aldin, Vanja, Zlatko, the Editor of Most.

60 children from schools in Zalik & Donja Mahala greeting Irish and especially Limerick children,
during a presentation of lanterns made by children at St. Kierans BNS Limerick signed by the Mayor of Limerick on the present walking bridge beside
Stari Most
,Mostar BiH, May 10th 2001.

I aimed to build artistic bridgework through Mostar as a way of creating an overarching work about linkage and expression by working with numerous committed artists. My role was to realize this idea that I have had, as a concrete fact. The plan involved building a realization of connection. The ideal is for people from all of Mostar to be linked with people across Europe. The WWW has assisted this work and will continue to do so.

There were a series of dialogues between cultures as part of work, to bring people and voices together in performance as part of a large scale Artwork, dedicated to Stari Most, its builder Hayruddin Neimar, and to each of the peoples and cultures which crossed the arc of white stone, through the more than four centuries of its existence. The work was a song of recall as builders prepare the foundations of Stari most to be rebuilt.
There were 2 visits in 2000 and and three in featured from the 6th to the 12th of August 2001 at The Centre for Culture, there was apresentation at the Chancellery, and Bridge of Songs was presented. In September work with additional photos, was presented at The pavorotti Music Therapy Centre. The Special School and The primary School of Donja Mahala participated together in a presentation of models and lanterns for children made in Limerick and Mostar.

I wish to acknowledge the support of:John Hunt, The Hunt Museum, Berlin City Manager, Martin Wright, John Lannon, The Chancellery for Mostar,The Pavorotti Music Therapy Centre, The Centre for Culture Mostar, EU Office Mostar, Murray McCullough, Mostar Old City Administration, Bord na Gaeilge, The Arts Council, The Mayor's Office Limerick, Eamonn McGuinness, Patrick Punch, Frank Egan, Fergal McGrath, Joe Harrington, Euro Pak Ltd, Rooney's Auctioneers, IEC Ltd Limerick and Cargo Partner Vienna, Customs Officers, Shannon Development, RTV Mostar, Vanja, Aldin, Zlatko, Muyo, and others for their help.


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