GIAF & Flogas Mirror Pavilion

Mirror Pavilion, Corn Work at Claddagh Quay, Galway. Commissioned by Galway International Arts Festival for Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture. Supported by Flogas.

Mirror Pavilion by John Gerrard was commissioned by GIAF for Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture and this remarkable installation featured a large-scale structure, clad in highly reflective mirror panels incorporating a high-resolution LED screen.

In 2020, it hosted a new artwork called ‘Corn Work’ at the Claddagh Quay in Galway City and a second artwork, ‘Leaf Work’, at the 4000-year-old Derrigimlagh Bog in Connemara in March 2021.

“Mirror Pavilion was a very striking structure situated in iconic locations. Viewers were looking at themselves reflected in the landscape while at the same time looking at cutting-edge technology delivering a hyper-realistic virtual version of the exact same landscape on a giant LED screen embedded in the structure,” explains John Crumlish, CEO of GIAF.

“In addition, the artwork operated on a 24-hour cycle, so that the time on the artwork was always the same as for the viewer who was experiencing it, further pulling them into the same reality as was playing out on the screen.

“This was an intriguing proposition when combined with the digitally-created, very lifelike characters populating the piece, involved in never-ending performances relating to our escalating climate crisis. Overall Mirror Pavilion made for a very different and engaging cultural experience. Over 120,000 people viewed the installation live while 27,303 viewed it digitally.”

GIAF’s partnership with Flogas was hugely important to this project, Crumlish adds. “In addition to helping GIAF address the challenge of reducing its overall carbon footprint over the next number of years, Flogas committed to supporting Mirror Pavilion, which is the single-biggest project the festival has ever been involved in. In particular, the company delivered a sustainable energy source to power the project which was very appropriate given its focus.”

For Tony Lawless, Head of Strategy Europe at Canada Life and a Business to Arts Awards judge, the Mirror Pavilion installation was special in a number of ways.

“I think the project had to overcome adversity to get it to completion so the dogged determination and ability to see it through without losing sight of the end vision is something to be commended,” he says.

Mirror Pavilion’s sustainability message was important and resonated with people, but I think accessibility was also important – it wasn’t tucked away in a gallery, or available to view on a ticket-only basis. It was there for everyone to access whenever they wanted to and I think that is an important facet in bringing creativity to the wider community.”

Design by New Graphic.