Aoife McKenna


Astray is an animation based on the medieval Gaelic poem Buile Suibhne (Frenzy of Sweeney), later known as Sweeney Astray. It follows the adventures of King Sweeney as a madman in rural Ireland after he is cursed into a bird-like madness and flees his kingdom to live in the wilderness. What is remarkable about Mad Sweeney is that, while he complains about the harsh conditions he endures, he begins to enjoy being mad. His agitation, discomfort and despair at living in the wild is matched by the insight, creativity and freedom that he experiences through the beauty of nature. This project explores Sweeney’s dilemma in a modern context; provoking the idea that having one’s mind run astray can be as freeing as it is frenzied.

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