The Art of West Cork : Skibbereen Arts Festival

Posted on: 2nd July, 2018

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: Rosanne Cash

2018, July 27 – August 6

Art is everywhere in West Cork. In the scenery, in the people and in the atmosphere.

The tenth Skibbereen Arts Festival pays homage to this vital fabric of their community with an amazing programme of music, film, theatre, poetry, exhibitions, installations, workshops, walks, talks and a spectacular wild west street party. This year’s themes include the Great Irish Famine, the positive effect of the arts on mental health, a series of Irish language events celebrating 2018 being Bliain na Gaeilge, and the wild wild west.

Musical highlights include the world- famous Rosanne Cash from USA, Ireland’s leading traditional group Lúnasa, Declan O’Rourke’s Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine and the  world’s only orchestra that plays exclusively from memory, Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra.

Skibbereen itself becomes a gallery for the week with an amazing array of exhibitions and installations taking place. The undoubted highlight is the visit of Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger, an exhibition of contemporary and historical artwork from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum in USA. Other highlights include ‘Elements -West Cork Landscape’ an exhibition curated by Catherine Hammond and the Skibbereen City Project, a miniature city created by the pupils of 14 local schools.

Theatre highlights include a very exciting world premiere of a new play set during the Famine Welcome to the Stranger by Rua Breathnach, multi-award-winning The Man in the Woman’s Shoes by Mikel Murfi, Michael Collins’ Magpies on the Pylon and two exciting new plays from Dublin’s Theatre Upstairs Electric and Say Nothin’ to No One.

An incredible Festival of Poetry showcases the work of some of our most respected Irish language poets including Louis De Paor, Simon Ó Faoileáin and Aifric Mac Aodha.

As always there’s  a series of beautiful and thought-provoking films dealing with the transformative power of the arts in mental heath. Films include Nick Kelly’s The Drummer and The Keeper, Dónal Ó Céilleachair’s The Camino Voyage/Iomhramh an Camino and Traolach Ó Buachalla’s documentary Mise Sean Ó Riordáin.

  The programme also features some stunning nature and history walks and lots of interesting and educational workshops for all ages

The festival opens with a spectacular Wild West Street Party Once Upon a Time in the West- where the whole town goes back to the time of the cowboys.

The ethos of this remarkable festival is ‘inclusion and accessibility’ and everything is very reasonably priced with many free events and many opportunities to view or to take part. Undoubtedly The place to be this summer is Skibbereen Arts Festival 2018

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