Derval Dunford

Derval's exhibition a world first for Westport

EXPERIENCE ancient wisdom through modern tech in the world’s first audio-visual interactive art, breath and Gaeilge exhibition.

In this, her first solo exhibition, Derval Dunford offers what Irish author Manchán Mangan calls ‘a sudden spailp (spark/surprise kiss) of insight'.

This is an opportunity to learn how to use your daily quota of 25,000 breaths wisely, receive a free virtual breath to post a friend, and maybe feel a little grá for the Gaeilge as a side effect.

A unique exploration that connects nature and inner nature using breath as the bridge. Visitors to the exhibition, titled Land and Language - Talamh agus Teanga, get to feel the essence of land and language through Derval’s guided mini breath practices, novel Irish words and ink images.

Having trained with world renowned teachers including breathwork pioneer Dan Brulé, psychiatrists and breath researchers Doctors Gerbarg & Brown, Derval considers breath to be a language. Her interesting mix of ancient languages (Gaeilge and breath), modern technology and visual art is a novel and nourishing journey for the spirit.

This creative exploration was inspired by Irish philosopher John Moriarty, author Manchán Mangan and Derval’s late brother, artist and author Steve Dunford.

Reflecting Moriartian ecology, Derval’s audiences are encouraged to make friends with the ancient land and language, and to walk beautifully on the earth. The audience is immersed in the ocean, the bog, the breath, the resonance of sound, and powerful Irish words.

Talamh agus Teanga is an environmental enhancement initiative. It creates awareness, and in a simple natural way enhances participant’s relationship with land and language.

The Land and Language exhibition continues Derval’s intriguing penchant for firsts.

In May 2022 she joined the creative team on Ireland’s first collaborative project between Irish Hospice Foundation, HSE and Creative Ireland.

In 2008 she produced Ireland’s first mindfulness CD, and in 2011 she co-produced Ireland’s first mindfulness course for teachers. She has also had a series of world firsts as Gaeilge.

Musician Sharon Shannon, an advocate of environmental enhancement, will make a special guest appearance at the opening next Friday evening. Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin, director of the Translation Programme, Maynooth University, will perform the short opening ceremony, including of course cúpla focal as Gaeilge.

Land and Language – Talamh agus Teanga, a unique ink exploration of eco-creativity, opens at Westport Town Hall Theatre on Friday, July 8, at 6 p.m. The exhibition runs until Saturday, July 30. Please come along to celebrate, to experience a breath of fresh air and to explore the genuine depth and richness of the Irish land and language.

Funding from Creative Ireland Mayo for this exhibition is gratefully acknowledged.

For more information on Derval’s other work, see