is a living online archive centered of the folklore collection and place-based

work of Michael Fortune and is an ideal entry point into living superstitions, beliefs and customs from throughout Ireland.


All of the material which he has collected, archived and re-presented on stems

from localised field work which Michael Fortune has undertaken within communities and with individuals the length and breath of Ireland since the late 1990’s.

Speaking in October 2016, author and broadcaster Manchán Magan stated that

“There have only been a few people - guardians, sacred recorders - who have collected and documented this material and Michael is one of them. Michael Fortune in years to come is going to be Ireland’s Alan Lomax.”


About Michael

Michael Fortune is many things to many people. Some people know him as an artist and filmmaker, more as an educator, more as a collector of folklore and more as a lover of traditional song. He grew up in The Macamores, on the east coast of Wexford and completed his BA in Fine Art (1999) and MA in Film (2003) and since then has been a pioneer in the area of socially engaged work within Ireland. During this time he has widened the conversations regarding the intersection of traditional and contemporary cultures and the general appreciation and understanding of culture in all its manifestations.

In the late 1990’s he picked up a video camera and began collecting stories and accounts in day care centres, halls, schools and private homes around the country and shared them back to the communities from which they came - a decade before YouTube and social media and the ‘share’ button concept ever came into existence. At the core of his practice are people and his genuine connection and engagement, plus his inquisitive mind, results in uniquely rich and personal and often unrecorded material. The intimate nature of the relationships with the people and circumstances he encounters, and the subsequent reflective treatment of the material at hand, is a key feature of Fortune’s work.

His work sits as comfortably in an international conference, film festival or gallery, as it does in a day care centre or in a local village hall. His treatment of his source material is never compromised and he doesn’t make work to suit a certain audience; the material is the material and the audience comes to it. Each viewer connects and reacts to the work in their own way and with their own understanding.

Growing up in an area rich in folklore and belief has awarded Michael a natural understanding of the crossover between traditional and contemporary beliefs and customs, and the fluid borders where fact and fiction meet. As a result he has been commissioned to undertake multiple folklore collections, oral history programmes, mapping projects and project workthroughout Ireland over the past twenty years, and he has worked on and curated shows with the National Museum (Country Life), the National Library of Ireland, the Irish Traditional Music Archive and a host of local museums, libraries and institutions around the country. His work also brings him into classrooms all over the country at Primary, Secondary and Third Level and for the past 10 years he has worked at Limerick School of Art and Design on the MA in Art and Design Teacher Education programme.

Since 2016 he has used social media to share content while also acting as a research platform based on the responses he receives from viewers and followers. He also contributes articles and features to various national papers such as The Journal, RTÉ Culture and Irish Central, RTÉ Television and Radio and also BBC Radio. Social media plays a pivotal role in his work and he has used it as a tool to generate conversations around the area of folklore, belief and custom. His popular page on Facebook receives between 500,000 – 2.5 million interactions every four weeks which showcases local Irish content and sources. In his home County of Wexford, he has spearheaded a resurgent interest and confidence in local customs and beliefs and in particular those around the month of May and Hallowe’en and has reestablished the May Bush tradition back into the fabric of the county with The Wexford May Bush Festival.

He continues to live in his native Wexford, at the foot of Mount Leinster, with his partner Aileen Lambert and their three young children.

The 2023 Irish Dresser and Folklore Calendar        |            The Folklore Collection Work of Michael Fortune   

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The Folklore Collection (2005 - 2016)

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Irish Dresser and Folklore Calendar”