Aisling O’ Beirn


The star BD+42 a G0 V is in the Andromeda constellation, 100 light years from Earth. The light seen from this star by us, now, was emitted 100 years ago, at the time of the Easter Rising.

All of the stars in the night sky are at different distances from the earth, ranging from the nearest, Proximi Centuri, at a mere 4 light years away, to early generations of stars, billions of light years from us.

To look at the night sky is to look into many pasts simultaneously. Depending on where we look we can see light ranging from the start of the Islamic Hijri calendar (622) to the launch of Sputnik (1957).

Cultures across the world have used the stars to tell the time, plan land use and speculate about the future. People have long used the stars to navigate and stargaze. 

The project ‘Light Years from Here’ involves a range of Galway residents from different ethnic / cultural backgrounds who contributed dates and related anecdotes that have political / historical or cultural significance.

The Centre for Astronomy in NUI Galway helped to identify stars related to the dates to make up the ‘Light Years from Here’ star chart and stargazing event.

Aisling’s work is concerned with the way in which information and space is politicised and how this politicisation is communicated, read and interpreted. Social and political events and the frameworks that they are presented in, be they formal or vernacular, urban or virtual inform this interest.

The work attempts to find formats and story telling strategies that will facilitate possible readings of these politicised arenas. These themes are explored through a variety of means, from sculptural works to site specific installations and urban interventions to web based work. New formats and media continually present themselves, as there are always new contexts to try to read space in a contemporary manner.


Aisling O’ Beirn