1845: Memento Mori
Nov 13, 2021,
Duration - 197 days
Location - National Museum of Ireland-Country Life, Castlebar, County Mayo
1845: Memento Mori is a Famine Memorial dedicated to the Irish Potato Famine. Made by Seattle based Irish artist Paula Stokes, this installation of 1,845 handblown glass potatoes has taken 15 years to complete. The title of the project references the year that the potato blight came to Ireland, marking the beginning of a period of mass starvation, disease, and emigration. Over 1.5 million people died, and a further 1 million emigrated to Australia, Canada, and America.
As a modern-day member of the Irish Diaspora, Paula Stokes reflects on her own history as an immigrant to examine historical events that have shaped the present. She has opened a dialogue on how one can learn from the past and in doing so hopes to elicit compassionate reflection that transcends the polarizing politics of our current time.