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Revenge of the Fairies

Permanent site-specific installation, 2022, 650 clay Marasmius Oreades mushrooms in various dimensions

For millennia, the inhabitants of rural Ireland have held fairies in fearful reverence while keeping a safe distance from them. In Irish folklore, fairies are ancient stewards of the land and mischievous beings that manifest their presence through “fairy rings,” naturally grown, circular formations of mushrooms that appear in strategic spots. In 1888, Irish poet Jane Wilde – mother of Willie and Oscar Wilde – wrote about the deadly consequences that humans would face if they disturbed or set up their homes on fairy rings: “a warning to all who would arouse the vengeance of the fairies by interfering with their ancient rights and possessions and privileges.” 

Located on the Inishowen peninsula, Fort Dunree and the military camp that surrounds it were built under British colonial rule. Red bricks, iron chains, massive cannons and wooden huts are all part of a military compound that was never engaged in battle or war. As nature takes over the fort and camp, ‘Revenge of the Fairies’ introduces a series of large fairy rings made of hundreds of clay Marasmius Oreades in different spaces at the site, signalling that the fairies are gradually reclaiming their territory.

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