Canadian artist Seema Goel, now based in Carndonagh, will be hosting a spinning workshop in the Diamond in the town on Saturday 28th August from 3pm to 5pm.
Seema has been granted residency in Inishowen to explore how art can address issues around global warming and climate change, specifically in County Donegal.
Seema’s project, Carbon Footprint, uses wool and spinning as the primary resource to help merge the relationship between climate change and economics.
“Locally, sheep wool has become valueless and is a zero profit material for the farming community. Yet this material has incredible versatility, history, and worth, if explored,” Seema explained.
“I was very surprised to hear this as globally Irish wool is very expensive. It is an amazing material, and it is even used on the outside of the space shuttle! But here, in Ireland, it’s worth seems to have been dismissed.”
Seema will be holding the workshop to try and teach people how to spin wool using a drop spindles outside empty shop fronts in the centre of Carndonagh.
“I want to highlight the significance of doing the spinning outside the empty shop fronts.
“Many businesses in the town centre in Carndonagh have closed in recent years, whether it be due to people moving, recession, or just competition from larger shops.”
Seema was selected out of over 100 applicants globally to take part in the project to try and link the idea of art and science and she hopes that if people take part in this that it will eventually reduce the carbon footprint and global warming.
“The notion of global warming is such a huge thing that many people can’t understand it, so I hope to make people think about it on a local scale by taking part in spinning local wool. That way people will engage with it on some level and thus be able to relate to the concept of reducing your carbon footprint. People always say act locally when it comes to global warming and by us using local wool we can eliminate the transport of material.”
“Wool is also a form of carbon capture, obviously it is no where near as effective as trees, but it’s nice to have that connection between wool and global warming.”
Local County Councillor Charlie McConalogue will be attending the event on Saturday, and he will be spinning with the help of Seema.
“It can be hard to get the message across to people about climate change and the importance of global warming. What Seema is doing is great because it makes use of the resources everyone has at their disposal,” said the Local Fianna Fail Councillor.
The spinners will then be invited to come into Seema’s studio and make socks with the wool they have spun.
“I have a sock knitting machine, and so everyone can come and make a pair of socks, I thought that would be a good idea seeing as the project is called ‘Carbon Footprint’.”
The socks that will be part of the gallery show in Regional Culture Centre in Letterkenny in November.
For more information on these events and the work that Seema is doing, check out her blog on carbonfootprintproject.blogspot.com