Our Newest Space: Droichead
It’s not a new room, but it’s a space with a new name. Last year we named our second floor lounge Tiġ Ċaleb in honor of our friend Caleb Walker. Now we’ve done more work to the back portion of the lounge, and last month unveiled a new wall mural in that section that has given us a name for that space: Droichead, which is the Gaelic word for “bridge.” You’ll have to stop in and ask one of the Irish lads for the correct pronunciation!
We commissioned this 8′ x 16′ oil painting from local artist and friend Aaron Shiflet, founder of the Fulton Street Arts Cooperative. This mural was painted on four panels and unveiled at Tellus360 on December 16, 2015.
We encourage you to come and spend some time visually exploring the world of Droichead, but here is a picture of it, with the description of the work from the artist.
“This grand exploration into a phantasmagorical landscape is intended to depict a visual narrative about the blending of cultures between Ireland and Tellus360 in Lancaster. Please allow this statement to provide you, the viewer, with insight into my artistic vision and guide you through the symbolism within the piece.
The two female figures blending into their respective environments are representative of the female characters predominantly featured in Irish folklore. Their role is to support the connection between two cultures physically and spiritually. They literally hold up the bridge connecting Pennsylvania to Ireland. They also serve to visually and metaphorically connect the planes of earth and sky; a symbol for the bridge between the physical and the spiritual, expressing the duality of mankind.
Set against a sky that transforms from day to night, representing the time difference as one travels from PA to Ireland, is an impossible landscape whose perspective and depth are intended to allow the viewer to step into a dream-like environment. The buildings to the left were chosen for their shape and compositional balance to the Lancaster buildings on the right. Symbolically they were chosen to represent the Dublin skyline, and combined with the landscapes below, represent the various geographical locations including Cork and Galway, as well as the general diversity of the staff that own and operate Tellus360. In contrast, the right side of the composition represents Lancaster City specifically, while allowing the landscape below to insure the viewer knows they are indeed in Pennsylvania. Within both landscapes are two culturally specific conveyances traveling in opposite directions. Their positioning and direction tells the story of the constant flow of people, ideas, and influence of all the various cultures that cross paths under this roof.
Set dead center are two people engaged in a hand shake at the very apex of where the cultures combine. One is a young musician, the other an experienced traveler. They are symbols of not only the adventure, creativity, and ambition embraced by Tellus360, but also a bridge between generations of people. They literally meet over a pint, shown on its side as if tipped toward the viewer in the act of drinking. The hand shake itself is a stand-in for the Irish Claddagh symbol. The two hands coming together over the heart of the background figure match the meanings of the Claddagh; representing friendship, love, and loyalty.
Taaffes of Galway and Tellus360 are simply representative of how Tellus brings us in Lancaster the genuine hospitality, kindness, and friendship of its Irish roots. Though Tellus is depicted as its own local twin to Taaffes, the choice to change its architecture and appearance is purely for compositional balance and bears no foreshadowing of the future look of Tellus360…or does it?”