Artists, creatives and members of the public are invited to get involved in creative activities at Tramore Valley Park

We met Sean Taylor and Marilyn Lennon of the Tramore Valley KinShip Project to find out more about their weekends
Artists, creatives and members of the public are invited to get involved in creative activities at Tramore Valley Park

Sean Taylor and Marilyn Lennon of the Tramore Valley KinShip Project. Picture: Darragh Kane

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Sean: I grew up in Ballinlough and studied at the Crawford College of Art and Design many moons ago. I left Cork and wandered around Europe for a while before ending up in Glasgow for a number of years. I moved back to Ireland to teach in Limerick School of Art & Design. Currently I live in Clonmel, Co.Tipperary.
Marilyn: I’m originally from Co. Monaghan, I first came to Cork to study at the Crawford College of Art and Design and stayed. For a while I lived, studied, and worked in Dublin and Limerick and came back to live in the city when I married my husband, Colin. Now I’ve altogether lived here longer than anywhere else, and recently I joined the Crawford College staff, so it’s a full circle. Cork and I have a long history.
Both: We’re both artists who’ve been making public art that is participatory and collaborative for decades. Until recently we taught together running a third level masters programme in social art practice for more than 10 years, so when it came to thinking about developing a large-scale art project together, we knew we’d work well. Our newest project is based in Tramore Valley Park, the old landfill site off the Old Kinsale Road. The KinShip project is partly about creative actions we can take in the face of waste management and climate action, but it also asks about the relationship we as a community of city dwellers have with the natural world around us. 

We’ll be exploring how creative practices can create space for conversation and pave the way for more responsible and sustainable approaches to inhabiting places.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Sean: Meeting up with friends for drinks or going out for a meal, gig or play.
Marilyn: Same as Sean.

Sean Taylor of the Tramore Valley KinShip Project. Picture: Darragh Kane
Sean Taylor of the Tramore Valley KinShip Project. Picture: Darragh Kane

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Sean: Up with the lark, sometimes before the lark!
Marilyn: I’m a night owl by nature, but I’ll be up and at it if there’s something to do.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Over the next year we’ll definitely be working on the weekend, as one of the activities in the KinShip project is a citizen-led programme of walks, talks and workshops that’ll be held in the park on the last Sunday of each month from February onwards. 

We’ll be there to support people or groups who have something to share with the public, from folklore to foraging, from rambling to woodcraft or astronomy, composting, birdwatching or anything that goes on underground, on the ground or in the air in the park!

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Marilyn: Swedish archipelagos, hopping around some of the 10,000 islands with Colin.
Sean: Reykjavik, Iceland, and I’d be bringing my partner Angela with me to walk in such an amazing landscape.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

Marilyn: Garyvoe for a good long stretch with the dogs, Fish and Chips in Skinny’s Diner, Ballycotton afterwards.
Sean: Walking in the Comeraghs, going for a quiet pint in Four Mile Water after a long day on the mountains.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Sean: Most weekends we are on the mountains or meeting with friends.
Marilyn: These days Mam and I usually have a long chat on the phone after ‘Strictly’. Mam and Dad were amateur ballroom dancers so there’s always a fun debrief!

Marilyn Lennon of the Tramore Valley KinShip Project. Picture: Darragh Kane
Marilyn Lennon of the Tramore Valley KinShip Project. Picture: Darragh Kane

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Marilyn: Colin and I love getting out into the country hiking, we’ve walked the Camino together. Last year we discovered kayaking on Inniscarra lake, it’s so peaceful and great for the head. Looking forward to getting back out on it.
Sean: My partner Angela and I are avid hillwalkers. Recently we both became members of SARDA and are training our dog for search and rescue (hopefully). We are both beekeepers which is a rewarding hobby.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Sean: I’m a feeder or so they tell me, you will never starve in our house!
Marilyn: I love cooking spicy Indian food.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Both: We’re lucky that our partners get on well, as two couples we’re all good friends, so now and again we all go out for a meal. Last time we went to the Glass Curtain on MacCurtain Street and then had a couple of drinks afterwards in Dennehys on the Coal Quay, a fun night out and the food was delicious.

We all like Ichigo Ichi on Sheares Street for that memorable and special meal in Cork!

For coffee it has to be Cork Coffee Roasters for a good cup of ‘Joe’.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Sean: Hanging out with family and watching a good movie.
Marilyn: Getting some decent sleep to get ready for the week ahead!

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

Sean: About 7.30am but I tend to try and ignore it for a while (does not work!).
Marilyn: The radio wakes me up at about the same time, then the dogs finish the job off.

Sean Taylor and Marilyn Lennon of the Tramore Valley KinShip Project. Picture: Darragh Kane
Sean Taylor and Marilyn Lennon of the Tramore Valley KinShip Project. Picture: Darragh Kane

More about the Kinship Project

THE KINSHIP PROJECT is an ambitious public artwork, which incorporates a variety of socially engaged cultural initiatives, is officially underway at a former landfill site south of Cork City.

The KinShip Project is a 15-month durational public artwork at Tramore Valley Park by artists Marilyn Lennon and Seán Taylor, in partnership with Cork City Council, funded by Creative Ireland’s Creative Climate Action Fund. Other project partners include Cork Healthy Cities,Cork Nature Network, Cork UNESCO Learning Cities Green Spaces for Health, MTU Clean Technology Centre, and UCC Environmental Research Institute.

Tramore Valley Park, spanning 170 acres off the city’s South Link Road, has a history of great environmental change. From the 1960’s until 2009, the site was used as a landfill and over 3 million tonnes of waste from Cork homes and businesses were deposited on site. Plans were made to repurpose the land, and ten years after the landfill’s closure, the site was transformed into a public park for the people of Cork city and a habitat for a whole host of living things.

We often think about parks as resources that serve a community. What if we started to listen and change our thinking about this park? Could we develop a more meaningful relationship, a kinship with all living creatures who’ve made their home in this place? 

The overall aim of The KinShip Project is to develop a kin-like connection between the community and its park, encouraging people to treat the park like an extension of their own family.

Throughout 2022, the project invites you to participate in, and experience, four interconnected activities:

Becoming Kin: THE KINSHIP CITIZEN LED PROGRAMME The KinShip art project is creating an open invitation to any Cork city based person, group, organisation, or group of friends who have knowledge, know-how or skills to share with the public.

● 1 ECOLAB CONSTRUCTION: If you’re an architect/designer, you can participate in the international open call for a temporary architectural space to be built in the park as a shelter and a place to run workshops, talks and activities.

● 10 ARTIST PLACEMENTS: Artists from different disciplines are invited to participate in an Artist Placement in the Park. 

● COLLABORATIONS - THE CITIZEN SCIENCE PROGRAMME:   Get involved in the exploratory long term creative investigation by KinShip Lead Artists, Marilyn Lennon and Seán Taylor in ‘The Citizen Science Programme’. 

For more information on how you can get involved in The KinShip Project, or to register for a free event, visit https://www.corkcity.ie/en/kinship/

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