From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Visual Arts
The Gallarus Oratory A Buffer Zone
By Isabela Basombrio Hoban
22, Apr 2018 - 10:06

TWINNING the Gallarus Oratory with the Nazca lines of Peru as part of declaring The Gallarus Oratory a Buffer Zone.

​An artistic act by Irish based Peruvian artist, Isabela Basombrio Hoban. ​
Feile na Bealtaine Festival. Dingle, Ireland May 3-7, 2018

Images of the twinning​
​will be exhibited
at the Gallarus Oratory Visitors Centre.


​"​These images, which transpose (cause 2 or more things to change places) the Nazca lines of Peru  -a series of large ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert, in southern Peru - with the Gallarus Oratory. These are two heritage/archaeological sites that I am twinning as an artist in relation to declaring the heritage site a Buffer Zone. It is making a connection outside of time and space which crosses boundaries or exists in between boundaries, which is the reason for the declaration of a Buffer Zone during the festival​"​.


Mayo based Peruvian artist Isabela Basombrio Hoban declares The Gallarus Oratory a buffer zone during Feile Na Bealtaine.


Heritage sites as shock absorbers.


The artwork declares The Gallarus Oratory a buffer zone for the duration of the Feile. A buffer zone is a zonal area that lies between two or more areas. Common types of buffer zones are demilitarized zones, safe zones, and environmental zones. Buffer zones have various purposes, political or otherwise. They can be set up to prevent violence or to protect the environment. Buffer also implies protection, safety and a temporary physical reprieve and liberation from borders and their limitation/politics/violence. In other words, a safe zone. Metaphorically, a place to relax imposed and internalized boundaries and limitations, including the limitations of what art is or does. Buffers reduce shock or form a barrier between incompatible or antagonistic people or things. A time out, so to speak.

Heritage sites are places that come from another time (zone) which are present with us today. They are with us but at the same time, out of time. Therefore, are special zones where liberation from transient boundaries and were a more solid reality can manifest. The quiet way of these places signal other possibilities of living. They have "witnessed" the change of many boundaries/politics/people and have survived. They have survived the shock of change.

The beautiful Gallarus Oratory is a protective structure that lends itself to reflection, to peace and to ease. The word Gallarus (Irish: Séipéilín Ghallarais), is being interpreted as either "rocky headland" (Gall-iorrus) or "house or shelter for foreigner(s). I am a foreigner, a Peruvian artist, living in Ireland. Peru has many beautiful and profound heritage sites which co-exist with Modern living. These sites were always "special" and sacred, corresponding to another reality, to another zone. These sites always feel that they belong to us all. Mi casa es tu casa.

This "exhibition" acknowledges the artistic, quiet and profound contribution of heritage sites as Buffer Zones in today's world.

The artwork is the declaration of The Gallarus Oratory as a temporary buffer zone between physical, internal, mental, spiritual, artistic boundaries. And, between the boundaries of TIME. Each visitor to the Gallarus Oratory during the Feile, is invited to reflect on their own boundaries and limitations, mine vs. yours mentality, and to experience the freedom and the deep understanding that all borders are ultimately transient as we are.

Festival website:


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