Mystical Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Project


The Lighthouse Project is a collaborative artistic response to lighthouses around Ireland curated by Dani Gill.

For maritime nations, safety at sea has always been a matter of life and death. Our ancestors worshipped sea gods and believed in mermaids who might steer them from storms and jagged rocks. In Ireland, pagan gods Lir and Manannán were said to tame the tides, while Clídna wailed out to warn fishers of danger – one of the first examples of the banshee! From Irish selkies to the rusalka of Poland and Ukraine, the jiāorén of China and Mami Wata of Nigeria, we all share stories of protective sea creatures.

As part of Baboró 2023, author Ellen Ryan and illustrator Ashwin Chacko will deliver a bespoke schools workshop exploring stories and myths surrounding lighthouses, from pagan gods to banshees and selkies. Ellen will work with students to inspire them to create their own contemporary legend which will be brought to life in a comic strip with the help of Ashwin.

This project is in collaboration with a designated school and is not available for booking.

Ashwin Chacko is an author,illustrator and motivational speaker. His books include: Keep At It, Little Optimist, A little book About Justice, Everybody Feels Fear and What Wondrous Shapes We Are.

Dani Gill is a curator, producer, writer, and educator, based in the west of Ireland. Dani served as Director of events such as Cúirt International Festival of Literature, the Ennis Book Club Festival as well as production and creative roles in theatre and film. As an Audience Development Officer for Words Ireland and LIVE Network, Dani works with venues and arts offices nationwide. She holds a Diploma in Community Development and Youth Work and is motivated by projects that seeks to engage, inspire and reflect community. A love of landscape and cross-artform collaborations inspired her to found The Lighthouse Project in 2020. Her book After Love was made into a dance/theatre production and premiered at the Galway International Arts Festival in 2021. Her second poetry collection Lessons in Kindness will be published in spring 2022.

Ellen Ryan is a writer and journalist from County Wicklow. Her debut book, Girls Who Slay Monsters: Daring Tales of Ireland’s Forgotten Goddesses was Children’s Book of the Year: Senior at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2022, as well as KPMG Book of the Year Award and KPMG Junior Juries Award 2023.