Seamus Heaney's last words were Noli timere; the poet and Nobel Laureate died at the age of 74 on the 30 August 2013, and his son, Michael, recalled that these were written “in a text message he wrote to my mother just minutes before he passed away, in his beloved Latin and they read, 'Noli timere' - 'don't be afraid'. "Heaney's words had the magical effect of shining light into darkness, at a societal, communal and individual level. "He epitomised the nature of the poet as a wellspring of humane insight and artful imagination, subtle wisdom and shining grace."
Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” To recreate Noli timere in neon endows Heaney’s last message with a fitting luminosity. Neon work is filled with gas that pulses into life and expresses emotion as electricity courses through it. It bursts with optimism and reflects the journey that this farewell text would have taken through the 'invisible wires'. "It was a brilliant stroke of Heaney's, as a man who lived by his words, to recall the briefest final phrase that could yet only be taken as serious poetic insight."
Credit Bernadette McAllister