Anseo, i bParthas – 15.05.2014

Sneem on the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way: Paradise starts here.

 Here in Paradise is an intriguing exhibition. This summer the village of Sneem in Co. Kerry is the theatre for a creation in public space by its inhabitants, locals and blow-ins alike. The outdoor show opens on Saturday 31st May 2014 and runs until 18th September 2014.

 Here in Paradise is about a place and its inhabitants in Ireland today; it is the expression of rural people who, together, are ready to take a look at themselves, discuss the future and invite the many visitors of the “beautiful destination” from near and far to find out how they see their environment, their country and also their share in Europe.

 Internationally renowned German artist Jochen Gerz ( created Here in Paradise with the contribution of well-known landscape photographer Peter Zoeller, both living in Sneem. 40 inhabitants of the village chose to participate. Jimmy Deenihan, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs will, together with the ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Germany and France, HE Dr. Eckhard Lübkemeyer and Jean-Pierre Thebault, open the Here in Paradise exhibition.

Sneem Tidy Towns, 2013 Silver medal winner, commissioned the artwork as part of this year’s submission. The small rural community of approximately 200 inhabitants is situated in an idyllic setting on the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way. For everyone the creation of Here in Paradise has been a fascinating and innovative participation to the Competition and a way to continue Sneem’s encounter with international art in public space.

A national initiative links Here in Paradise directly to the Irish media news of recent weeks: “The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative”.

What is it about? 

 All inhabitants of the village were invited to participate. They were asked three questions (If you had a free wish, what would you wish for the ghost estate reminder of the Celtic Tiger years Cul Fadda?.. what would you wish for Ireland?.. what would you wish for Europe?) and could choose to respond to one of them. Their answers and photographic portraits are a self-portrait of the village.

 What stunned the artist was the readiness of so many inhabitants of all ages and backgrounds to make their personal views and ideas public, while the ease of people reflecting on Europe may catch most continental visitors off guard. Initially, the Tidy Towns Committee had hoped for 20 participants but, following the spontaneous response, needed to set a limit.

 During the summer months, this colourful village can have over 50 buses a day, discharging tourists from around the globe as part of their tour of the Ring of Kerry. Here in Paradise offers a surprising and often courageous insight into the mind of contemporary people living, often by choice far from the cities, and their visions for themselves in the “beautiful destination”.


Here in Paradise is supported by the Goethe-Institut, the embassies of France and the Federal Republic of Germany in Dublin and Kerry County Council.

 Location: Sneem’s Sculpture Gardens (North & South Squares).  Free, accessible to all (including wheelchairs).

Opening: Saturday 31st May 2014, 6.00pm. Contact: Jane O’Sullivan, Email:, Tel: 087 926 1223

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email:

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