AIT artists turn Kells into a tapestry of type

Students from Athlone Institute of Technology are on a mission to turn the town of Kells, Co. Meath into a tapestry of type, says AIT Graphic and Digital Media Design Lecturer, Eoin Heffernan.

Students from Athlone Institute of Technology have been selected for the fourth consecutive year to exhibit at Kells Type Trail 2018, an annual festival celebrating the rich heritage of typography in Kells, Co. Meath. Now its 9th year, the summer arts festival aims to build upon Kells’ reputation as the birthplace of the world’s most famous medieval manuscript and one of Ireland’s notable cultural treasures, the Book of Kells.

Among the artists chosen to exhibit at the prestigious festival were Graphic and Digital Media Design students Shauna Horan, Rebecca Collins Darby, Daria Kotlowska, Dave Curran, Philomena Macken, Eimear Hannon and Lauren Payne.

The festival, which kicked off at the Church of Ireland in Kells, was attended by poets, artists and musicians including Peter Fallon and Simon Blackwell, Niamh Farrell and Ham Sandwich. Eoin Heffernan, a graphic design lecturer at Athlone Institute of Technology, was also in attendance to deliver the opening address. “I’m honoured to stand in this church and the site of the actual scriptoria responsible for producing world-famous manuscripts like the Book of Kells and other great works. It is truly humbling,” he said.

“Since its inception, the Kells Type Trail has formed part of Ireland’s rich cultural tapestry. The festival is a celebration of lettering as a modern art form. We’re incredibly proud of the seven of BA (Hons) Graphic and Digital Design students who were chosen to participate in this festival. It is a testament to the hard work and talent of the students themselves and of the quality of education they’ve received at our award-winning institute,” he finished.

This year’s theme, colour, can be seen permeating throughout Kells in myriad typographical forms by artists of local, national and international acclaim. In total, more than 40 art installations feature along the Type Trail, the majority of which are temporary in nature. One of the installations will be chosen as a Type Trail legacy piece and will reside permanently in the town.

Visitors are invited to pick up a Type Trail map from businesses around Kells and follow the typographical trail throughout the town. At each juncture, visitors will see the participating artists’ interpretation of this year’s theme. The Kells TypeTrail commenced on June 21st and will continue until mid-August as part of a summer arts festival in the town of Kells.

Athlone Institute of Technology offers a suite of Design courses including a BA in Graphic Design, a BA(Hons) in Animation and illustration, and a one-year add-on BA (Hons) in Graphic and Digital Design. AIT Design students enjoy one-to-one learner/lecturer interactivity and have access to purpose-built studio space and production facilities.

Further details about Design at AIT can be accessed at and via the faculty’s Facebook page.

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