Michele Horrigan Back
Where Does The Law Stand With Leprechauns?

Video (duration 10 minutes), collaborative artworks, lenticular photographs, archival and found material

This artwork’s origins date to 1938, when my two aunts, then young children growing up on the foothills of Knockfierna in Limerick, were mistaken one day for fairy folk. Soon, buses of sightseers arrived in the local town, on the hunt for supernatural phenomena in ditches, behind trees and up on the slopes of the nearby hill. The story persisted, the local economy boomed, and crowds continued to arrive.

Considering such a subject, typically kitschified beyond any reasonable level of critical cultural commentary in Ireland, an ensuing exhibition attempted to reclaim a common ground between our own humanity and that of fairies and leprechauns, suggesting the presence of a hidden, yet mutually dependent relationship, stretching across time and continents.

Working with a diverse group of collaborators, Where Does The Law Stand With Leprechauns? was an experiment probing this cosmology. A narrative video voiced by Manchán Magan found comparison with the Twilight movie series, shot in the North East of the United States. Seanie Barron’s wooden sculptures and walking sticks, ceramics by Joanie Carrig, photography by Liz Ryan and a music video realised by Steve Maher all featured. Jazz records, b-movie material, and merchandise from Dublin’s tourist shops ethnographically point to the ways fairy folklore permeates wider culture.

A key element of the exhibition was a series of lenticular prints, a form of three-dimensional photography. A single tree, photographed from two different angles was depicted. As viewers moved position around the gallery, each print changed composition as if branches were moving in the wind. As they sway, there might be an anomaly hidden behind them, lurking in an obscure and out-of-the-way place…