New Bealtaine art commission announced

New Bealtaine art commission announced

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The Clare County Council Arts Office is inviting artists and communities across the county to participate in a new initiative celebrating the Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival – Ireland’s national celebration of the arts and creativity as we age.

The initiative, which is being hosted by Arts Offices in Clare, Galway, Roscommon and IMMA’s Residency Programme, involves a visual artist aged 50 and over being commissioned to create a new work in response to the 2019/2020 Bealtaine theme of Hospitality and relating festival slogan: Be Our Guest.

The commission will involve a public art engagement in the Mid-West Region, as well as a development and research residency in IMMA. The commission will also culminate in a significant public sharing of work for the Bealtaine Festival 2020.

The selected artists; Maeve Collins, Julie Griffiths and Monica de Bath are long-time members of Ground Up Artist’s Collective which supports, promotes and advocates for rural based art projects and events which engage with local communities of place or communities of interest.  Their project, ‘Tar Isteach | Come In’, will draw on the artisanal skills and cultural perspectives of participants, combining these with the experience and knowledge that each of the artists bring.

Artworks will be created by participants, in a sharing of art practices and cultural traditions, through an exchange of knowledge, skills and experience. Somalian bracelet making, Syrian basket weaving, Georgian knitting, German salt dough sculptures all may feature in the project, as well as walking, drawing and bread-making workshops.

Speaking about the commission Age & Opportunity’s Arts Programme Manager and Bealtaine Festival Director, Tara Byrne said, “This project is a central part of Bealtaine’s national remit and intention to work with every local authority in Ireland. Through it we want to celebrate the work of older artists working in every corner of Ireland and offer them the chance to develop a new work with communities in those localities over a two-year period. We are thrilled to be working with Clare, Galway and Roscommon Arts Offices, as well as the Irish Museum of Modern Art and to have commissioned the Ground Up Arts Collective for this exciting project.”

Siobhan Mulcahy from Clare County Council Arts Office said, “As a county that prides itself on hospitality, we are delighted to be supporting the local Ground Up Artists Collective, as they work throughout the West of Ireland on this exciting and important project. We envisage this project will resonate with communities of interest throughout the West, enabling experienced artists to share their skills whilst embracing new shared experiences that may in turn influence their own way of working and the artworks created.”

See www.bealtaine.ie for more details.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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