Caoine    Michelle Collins
Working Artist Studios

Opens Wednesday 30th July

This audio and visual installation explores the Irish tradition of caoineadh/ keening –improvised laments and wails sung by bean chaointe/keening women at funerals and wakes. The practice continued to be sung in Ireland from pre-Christian times until the middle of the 20th century.
The bean chaointe were considered to be in a state of ‘Divine madness’ for the duration of the mourning period, guiding the dead person’s soul to the afterlife while also expressing grief through the sounds and actions of their keen.
This space invites you into an experience of vocalized grief within the context of contemporary Ireland. Please allow some time for your eyes to adjust to the dark upon entering the room.
Credit and special thanks to:
Music Engineer – Delia Fano Yelia
Camera work and assistance with visuals – Cork Film Centre


West Cork born artist Michelle Collins works predominantly with sound/ music. She recently completed a Masters in Traditional Arts with distinction at Telemark University College in Norway. Her master’s research – ‘Spaces For Vocalising Grief’. The de-ritualisation and re-ritualisation of keening in contemporary Ireland – discusses the tradition of keening and the presence of it in Ireland today. The installation has been exhibited in Ireland and will be exhibited again in Norway in the Autumn.