Image shown: Day of the Straws. Photo credit: Marie Brett.

Image shown: Day of the Straws. Photo credit: Marie Brett.

Day of the Straws is an online experience to be remembered: a response to the collective healing of hope required in this unprecedented time. Commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival, in partnership with Sirius Arts Centre, this new art piece has been created by artist Marie Brett (E.gress, The Amulet, Torpedo) in dialogue with community historians, people of faith, Elders, spiritualists, healers, those cocooning and other interested people, and writer Katie Holly (Crowman, Marion, Sharon).

June 1832, Charleville, County Cork. An epidemic has taken hold of Ireland, spreading from continental Europe. With it came panic, conspiracy theories and ‘otherworldly’ events. Sound familiar? Rumours, gossip and contemporary legend surrounding Covid-19 are the children of folk cures, supernatural phenomena, social ritual and spiritual belief; this online artwork explores the connections between now and then.

Day of the Straws was made intensively over a three-week period, during lockdown in Ireland, in June 2020. A huge number of conversations (online/phone calls) contributed to the piece, and the artists are indebted to the enthusiasm and generosity of people, many of whom they met for the first time in the making of this work. The artwork is inspired by these conversations, and by many stories like (and including) ‘Day of the Straws’.  

Marking this strange time we are all experiencing, Day of the Straws stands testament to the people power of hope and courage amidst adversity.

Day Of The Straws is now live at:

Day of the Straws has been commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival in partnership with Sirius Arts Centre, and is supported by Creative Europe, Cork County Council and the Arts Council. The work has been inspired by Marie Brett’s recent Creative Enquiry and Artist in Residency, Cultural Lore (harnessing cultural traditions and knowledge), which focused on issues of how arts and ageing relate to community access and personal impact.


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