Rekindle Festival of Lost Skills returns to Ennistymon

The Rekindle Festival of Lost Skills, now in its second year, will take place Sunday 14th May 2023 at The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, Co. Clare hosted by Common Knowledge and admission is free.

Rekindle is an intergenerational festival of lost skills celebrating and showcasing the knowledge of older people in our communities that can help us all to live a truly sustainable life.

In 2022 Rekindle: Festival of Lost Skills saw more than 500 people meet 18 exhibitors who showcased skills ranging from pen making, Aran knitting, rope making, boat building, basket making and also included a farrier who brought his anvil to display blacksmithing skills. The festival also had traditional music and storytelling led by the well known musician and sheanachai Aindrais de Staic taking place at the Salmon Bookshop and Literary Centre.

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Speaking about the festival, coordinator Katie Cogan says: “We want to bring together those with once traditional skills and those curious about the old ways of previous generations. So many valuable skills are diminishing in popularity and in danger of being forgotten. And we need these skills now to live in a truly sustainable way. We want to bring together older people and younger people to share skills involving making useful things, repairing, creating beautiful crafts, growing materials or foods, mending belongings or building habitats.”

The exhibitors will display and share their skills (blacksmithing, weaving, basket making, water divination, storytelling, traditional music playing and more) at The Courthouse Gallery as well as in partner venues Salmon Books and Stack Weavers. Byrne’s Violin Shop and Gallery will also be open for visitors to experience a fully restored traditional shop. In addition to demonstrating skills, the festival will have a market at this year’s festival featuring businesses making products by hand and with traditional methods!

Tickets are free and registration is online. 

In addition to the day festival, ‘Embers’, a specially-commissioned audio visual exhibition portraying the ways of seven skilled craftspeople of Clare who hold a lifetime of learning and dedicated practice to their creativity will run for 10 days.

The exhibition will take place at The Courthouse Gallery from May 11th – 22nd led by artist Nicola Henly with photographs by Myriam Riand of people using traditional skills as well as interviews by Paula Carroll of Cuimhneamh an Cláir/Clare Memories. The exhibition captures the stories and images of people who’ve lived a lifetime making a life from traditional skills. Cuimhneamh an Chláir/Clare Memories is an independent voluntary charity, which digitally records, archives and shares the oral heritage of Co. Clare, through interviews with the county’s older citizens.

‘Embers’ exhibition launch: May 11th, 7pm,,The Courthouse Gallery. Click here for tickets.

Festival Highlights

Water diviner will demonstrate the skill by finding a secretly buried 10c coin

Irish Lace workshop

Drop spindle workshop at Stack Weavers

Makers market featuring local producers of handmade food and crafts

Storytelling with Doolin Folklore Group

Open trad session in the afternoon

Featuring a Common Knowledge Kitchen pop with chef Ashley Gribben (formerly of the renowned Ash @ Pot Duggans). Expect a delicious meal featuring fresh produce, Lebanese flavours and a very satisfied stomach

‘Turning the Collar’ Short Film Screening (2022)

Reflecting on our material relations with objects, through processes of fixing and mending. ‘Turning the

Collar’ follows artist and researcher Teresa Dillon on a journey around the midland’s county of Westmeath, where she speaks to craft, restoration, and repair professionals about their work. Touching on the values that underpin what we choose to care for and mend, the documentary highlights the poetic and situated nature of craft-based work and the joys and struggles that skilled trade professions now face. Closing reflections speak to planned obsolescence, the global Right to Repair movement and associated changes in law and legislation. Funded by: Creative Ireland, Climate Action Programme (2021-22).


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