Pentalum at Kilkenny Arts Festival – Review

Pentalum Kilkenny Arts

Kilkenny Arts Festival 2014 08-17 August


Architects of Air have created a new inflatable structure which they have called a Pentalum which is their latest luminarium. It is a “hymn to the beauty of geometry” and with the leaving cert results just published where Higher Maths is starting to show a resurgence, it is timely that Kilkenny in the arts is complementing this national educational endeavour.

You buy your ticket at a booth at the entrance to the Castle grounds, queue probably for no more than fifteen minutes if you are unlucky and not at all if you are lucky, before you are asked to take off your shoes (remember to wear socks without holes!) and place them in a vacant triangular space where they will be safe until you return.

You then enter through a flap into a small ante chamber where various bits of information of a housekeeping nature are relayed before you pass through another flap and enter the world of green, red, blue and various mixed hues which are all created by the natural light penetrating the inflated fabric which creates the structure. Five cornered structures have an inherent imbalance because they do not have a symmetrical axis. The various spaces which are created inside the Pentalum have an ability to disorientate and it is described as a maze. Lie down in one of the many alcoves away from the more populated spots and let your mind drift to the accompaniment of the low gentle soothing music and the air pumps which keeps this delicious structure afloat. I spent a relaxed 45 minutes or so in its charms. I emerged a little bit more benign. Also take a peek at it after it goes to bed for the night after six pm, flaccid, just a kaleidoscope of coloured material. A wonderful metamorphosis.

Continues until Sunday.

Where – Kilkenny Castle Park

Prices – €5

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