‘Reflections on ‘The Haw Lantern’

Reflections on the Haw Lantern


35 minutes, HD video projection with sound on loop, live performance


Video, sound and site specific live performance. This installation based on the ‘Haw Lantern’ poetry cycle by Seamus Heaney, was commissioned for the Seamus Heaney HomePlace and premiered in the village of Bellaghy, Northern Ireland, in Russian and English, in April 2017



In a new departure for the ‘Performance Reflections’ series at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, where a leading artist is invited to respond – in whatever way they choose – to one of Heaney’s collections, this month sees the first visual artist take to the stage.

Award-winning Russian artist Varvara Shavrova lives and works in Ireland and has created a unique multimedia installation, especially for The Helicon at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, in response to the poet’s collection, ‘The Haw Lantern’.

Reflecting the influence of Russian poetry on Heaney when he was writing the collection, Varvara’s audio-visual installation will use the voices of two actors – Larissa Kouznetsova from Russia and Matthew Duggan from Ireland – who have been recorded reading selected Heaney poems both in English and in Russian translation.

The installation will also feature stunning video portrait footage of two Irish actors – Olwen Fouéré and Tony Murphy – and this piece will be projected onto a large screen in The Helicon. The video and sound installation will be complemented by music from one of Ireland’s most creative and versatile musicians, Paul Roe and from English composer Gavin Bryars.’

‘The Haw Lantern’ installation by Varvara Shavrova will be opened at 12pm on Saturday 22 April by Barry Devlin, of Horslips, writer of the recent BBC hit series ‘My Mother and Other Strangers’ and brother-in-law of Seamus Heaney.

Extracts from the installation and live performance of ‘Reflections on The Haw Lantern’ from Varvara Shavrova on Vimeo.Vimeo.


‘Reflections on ‘The Haw Lantern’ multi-media installation is a site-specific commission by HomePlace festival and is aimed at exploring the Eastern European sensibility and its connections within Heaney’s poetry. The installation will be open to the public between April 21-23, 2017, from 12-5pm daily, and will stay open throughout the week, to include Poetry Day Ireland.

Sat 22, Sun 23 & Thu 27 April, 12-5pm
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, 45 Main Street, Bellaghy, BT45 8HT
Tickets: Free

Extract of Live Performance at Goldsmiths College, London

Credits:  Gavin Bryars: Anail Deii performed by the Iarla Ó Lionáird (voice), Gavin Bryars (double bass) and members of the Crash Ensemble used with kind permission of RTÉ Lyric FM from the CD Hiccup: RTÉ Lyric FM commissions 2002-2008.
‘Jackdaw’, ‘a piacere….’, ‘Monster’ pieces selected from Between solos and duos music collection by Paul Roe. Text from Home Place press release


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