Celebrating diversity and creativity, the newly-established Donegal-based Celtic Center for the Imagination – the only one in Ireland – enjoyed an informal launch earlier last month at a colorful event in the Gaeltacht village of Bun na Leaca.
Attendees at a special ‘Out of This World’ gathering from the fields of writing, sculpture, art, media, photography, yoga, music and dance dressed in the vibrant costumes of extraordinary personas including Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie’s 1970s creation, pirates, white witches, devils, angels, classic superheroes, Biblical characters, avatars, aliens, Uda-Khalid, from ‘Star Wars,’ Tsahìk, spiritual leader of the Na'vi clan in ‘Avatar,’ and even the first-ever droplet of water to land on Earth inside an asteroid that started the Human Race.
“The ‘Celtic Center for the imagination’ will use well-known local Celtic legendary figures such as Balor, Lugh and the mystic tribes of the Fir Bolg and Tuath Dé Danaan to understand and enhance human imagination and attract tourists to the inspiring landscapes of west Donegal,” said Columbia Hillen, the brains behind the project. “The centre will link the inventive power of science and technology with the critical analysis of the humanities and the expressive insight of the arts.”
Hillen, an Irish citizen from Transylvania, said she has already held discussions with local councillors and with tourism officials for funding and made contact with other centres of imagination abroad, which want to collaborate on the idea. These include the ‘Arthurian Center’ in Brittany, France; the ‘Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination’ at the University of California, San Diego and ‘The Labyrinth Society’ in New York.
She continued, “As an expression of belief in Man/Nature strength of spirit, the Bun na Leaca centre will also construct the first labyrinth on the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ to crown local mountain, Cnoc Fola,” she said.
“It will be the highest one in Ireland. Named ‘Anamcara Labyrinth,’ it will be a gateway to our most powerful thoughts, offering both an exhilarating and tranquil place for people to find strength, self purpose and unconditional love. Research has shown that labyrinths help people suffering from depression, addictions, bi-polar and other mental health problems.”
Perhaps, as the prologue to 'Star Wars tantalizingly offers - 'A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....' - so might Donegal's only 'Celtic Center for the Imagination.'
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