Stunningly designed and highly visual, See The Wood From The Trees, by Marion McGarry & Dermot O’Donovan, documents the story of trees felled by storms in Áras an Uachtaráin and subsequently gifted by the President, Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina, to GMIT Letterfrack to be used by students. Around this simple but inspired gesture, the book tells of the chequered history of trees in Ireland as well as the story of Áras an Uachtaráin and the plantations in its grounds, and the remarkable story of the transformation of Letterfrack Industrial School into the prestigious GMIT campus in Letterfrack.
Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, has long supported developments in Letterfrack. In a thoughtful foreword he speaks of the connection between Áras an Uachtaráin and Letterfrack as ‘one founded on innovation and artistic vision’ and recalls that the Presidential Inauguration Chair used in his inauguration in 2011 was designed by Letterfrack graduate John Lee.
Architect and broadcaster, Duncan Stewart, provides the introduction to the book and states that ‘for me, the outstanding element of this book is its potential to act as an exemplar for forms of synergy, symbiosis, and collaboration that could be replicated across Ireland, across Europe, across the globe’.
See the Wood from the Trees is informative and complemented by its excellent expressive visuals and by the inclusion of poems The Farmleigh Tree Alphabet by Theo Dorgan. It is appropriate that this beautifully designed book is published by Artisan House, Letterfrack, whose commitment to high production values and design echoes the vision of GMIT Letterfrack for the creation of beautiful objects.