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Colm Cille's spiral

Colm Cille’s Spiral was a contemporary re-imagining of ideas from the distant past spread by the sixth-century Irish monk Colm Cille, or St Columba, through an ambitious collaboration of artists, writers and academics.

The project explored how early medieval culture can inform contemporary creative practice across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. 

The spiral tracked the journeys of the Columban mission from what is now Northern Ireland through to Llandeilo, Wales, and Dublin. Six contemporary artworks linked revered and significant sites from the furthest reaches of the UK and Ireland along once-vital perimeters and sea routes. The commissioned works, each exhibited at their originating sites, were re-presented in December 2013 in Derry-Londonderry as part of the UK City of Culture 2013. The artworks and performances were accompanied by talks and discussion in each ‘knot’ of the Spiral, enlightening and inspiring new understandings of a fascinating shared history of these islands. Colm Cille’s Spiral used the inspiration of the past to fuel creativity in the present and collaboration in the future.  


The project was supported by the university's Culture team.

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