Claremorris Community Arts & Heritage Festival 19-28 Aug 2016 Featured
It's that time of year and the sun is sporadically shining for us in the heart of the west. We've got a great line up of cultural events and more participants for this year's festival, as well as support from the local governing bodies. This support is greatly appreciated as it is important not only in sustaining community arts in rural areas but developing creative practices which reflect the arts and heritage of our local community.
Our sense of identity goes hand in hand with the landscape we grew up in, as does our understanding of arts, heritage and environment. As a teenager and towny who considered the country and culties as being different from us they only were goegraphically and as a teenager I was rather fond of the company of the young ladies who would visit the town on a Friday night for the disco.
Having lived most of my adult life in big cities abroad I think a bit more globally, try and act locally but what I appreciate most living in a rural community on the outskirts of town surrounded by countryside is having the best of both worlds, that are really only one and that's what we're looking at with Clive Bright's Exhibiton on the secret life of soil, our heritage bus tours taking in some of the historical sites and places of great beauty that we don't visit often enough, especially when we're feeling bored watching the screen.
There is so much going on in this community and in the countryside that we are unaware of and if our agri-cultural world were to be forgotten or to decline like our bees there wouldn't be much colour or taste in town or country.
Apart from the exhibtion and heritage tours, we've also got theatre and film that looks at what else shapes our culture and sense of identity: Mise Eire represents us nationally, while the theatrical performances and postshow talks created and inspired the journey many of make only to find ourselves returning home again sometimes wiser, sometimes weaker from our experience in the wider world but as Freud suggested and T.S. Eliot poetically put it sometimes, the way forward is the way back. The Railway Theatre Group's Three plus One:
The Railway Theatre Group was formed in 2015, when four local Mayo ladies joined together with the common ambition of devising an original piece of Irish Drama. Over many months, Stacey Flaherty, Sharon Cameron, and Ainé Mc Nicholas under the direction of Mary Ellen Conlon worked at developing ‘Three Plus one’ . The play is based on fictional characters and explores the complexity of female relationships. The play examines the dynamic of three sisters, the unlikely support of three strangers and the complex and highly nuanced nature of the mother/daughter relationship. While the play focuses on serious life issues there are many light hearted moments especially in the character of homeless lady ‘Nancy’ and her dog ‘Danny’.
Behind Closed Doors is a black comedy about Irish disfunctionality in its many guises. The land of 'saints, scholars and schizophrenia' as Nancy Scheper-Hughes so aptly coined it. It's at how we cope rather confront issues past and present and how the ghosts can haunt us. Of course if we can't laugh at the folly of our addictive behaviour then it's very hard to talk about tackling dis-ease seriously and healing, which is what we'll be doing with our postshow talks to give the audience a chance to share their opinion about both pieces with a HSE counsellour talking about our emotions.
This is a festival about our performance as a community and how actions speak louder than words and examining things through the microscopic lens in order to see what shapes the macrocosm. So it's all about re-evolution in a environmentally friendly way and we're doing our bit to raise awareness of the fragility and beauty of life so we won't miss or ever take it for granted.
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