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Galway’s shame comes under the spotlight in US premiere of play

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Lifestyle – Judy Murphy travelled to Denver in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies to see a production of ‘Stained Glass at Samhain’

It’s a long way from Galway to Denver, Colorado – 4,310 miles to be precise but that distance narrowed significantly last week as the University of Colorado Denver staged the American premiere of Galway writer Patricia Burke Brogan’s play, Stained Glass at Samhain. 

Audiences in America’s Rocky Mountains region got a glimpse into Ireland’s infamous Magdalen laundries thanks to this production, which was accompanied by a series of talks and information evenings on these institutions, which destroyed the lives of thousands of innocent Irish women.

Patricia Burke Brogan is best known for the groundbreaking play, Eclipsed, which was first produced in 1992 here in Galway and which had a major role in highlighting the terrible wrongs done to women in Ireland’s Magdalen laundries.

In recent times, there has been huge coverage of these religious run institutions, but in 1992, little was known about them. Eclipsed, by Patricia, a former novice in Galway’s Mercy convent, helped change that. It has been translated into many languages from French to Japanese, and been performed all over the world, with a new production scheduled for Peru next year. It premiered in New York in 1999 when it was staged by the Irish Repertory Theatre, a production described by the New York Times as a ‘sad but quietly charming play’.

Stained Glass at Samhain, which premiered at Galway’s Town Hall Theatre in 2002, deals with the same subject but from the point of view of an elderly, compassionate nun. This nun, Sr Luke returns from the dead to visit the site of a former convent and laundry during the Celtic feast of Samhain as the buildings are being demolished to make way for the ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom. She shares her life story with the audience via a series of monologues while also interacting with the church authorities, the penitent women and the young, progressive convent chaplain.

The US premiere of Stained Glass at Samhain was performed last week by students at University of Denver Colorado, under the direction of Dr Eileen Kearney, an authority on women in Irish theatre. Eileen did her PhD on the Waterford born playwright Teresa Deevy, who had six of her works staged at the Abbey Theatre in the 1930s, before a more conservative regime at the national theatre broke its links with her. Deevy is now an almost forgotten name in Irish theatre.

Given both Eileen’s Christian and surname, it’s no surprise to learn that the New York-born director and drama lecturer has strong Irish links – to Mayo and Cork – and is familiar with the traditions of the Catholic Church. Eileen was taught by Catholic nuns, she explained, and that experience was a help in directing Stained Glass, as her early education gave her an insight into how they operated.

For  more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Ceramic artist who found her creative home in Galway

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Tatiana Dobos...creative space in Galway.

A ceramic artist who made her home in Galway a decade ago is one of twelve creative pioneers to feature in a new series of abstract short films available for viewing on the TG4 Player.

Samhlú Croí Cruthaitheach is a season of twelve commissioned abstract short films featuring artists and creatives – among them Moldovan born Galway-based ceramic artist Tatiana Dobos.

Tatiana was born in 1982 in Bujor, and studied all kinds of ‘numbers’ till she was 27, when she discovered clay accidentally while doing sculpture in an art studio.

She describes it as being like arriving home for the first time. She had to quit my job, erase everything she studied and start her forever journey with clay which, since then, is a constant learning and discovering process.

She came to Ireland in 2010, and Galway felt like home from the first walk on its streets.

“Ten years later I can say that Galway is the true and only home to me,” she says.

“My studio is located in Knocknacarra, very close to the sea where I cycle almost every day for refreshing swims, and also close to Barna Woods, a place for reflection and reconnection. It feels really inspiring to be so close to Connemara and Burren, places that invite to rediscovering oneself,” she adds.

From her little studio, Tatiana creates ceramic artworks inspired by human emotions.

She seeks to materialize in her works the mechanisms of the inner battles, at the same time exploring the anatomy of the aftermath.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Land, Sea and Mind at heart of Kinvara show

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Some of the works from a new exhibition by Patrick Kenneally, set for the KAVA Courthouse Gallery in Kinvara

An exhibition of new work by artist Patrick Kenneally opens at the KAVA Courthouse Gallery in Kinvara, on Saturday week and runs until Sunday, August 8, from 10am to 4pm daily.

Of Land, Sea and Mind is a new series of oil paintings by the artist which is inspired by the mind’s adaptation and reaction to the restrictions placed on the mind and body by lockdowns over the past year.

“As an artist, being in and with the landscape is a vital stimulation for the creative process. You listen to the silence and vastness of the Burren. You take in the salty air of the Atlantic breeze,” he explained.

“The mind, without the direct stimulation of the environment you are so used to being in, will stitch you a new patchwork of colours, compositions and perspectives based on memory, thoughts and feelings. These “mindscapes” allow me to revisit the places that are restricted to me,” he added.

The paintings are a reflection of the self in isolation; a boat on the horizon, a windswept tree in the Burren, a single cloud in the sky, a rolling wave. The self is not present in the landscape but is present with the landscape.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway-made box office hit returns home to Film Fleadh

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Galway hit…a scene from Two by Two Overboard!

A Galway-made animation movie which outshone the big-budget studios at the box office is making a homecoming of sorts this weekend – in the open air.

Two by Two Overboard!, produced in Galway by Moetion Films, was the number one film at the UK box office in November 2020.

The film has also proved a big hit at home with top three spots in all Irish cinema during Christmas 2020.

This weekend, Galway audiences will be treated to a special showing during the Galway Film Fleadh on Saturday at noon, in the specially constructed open-air cinema located in Father Burke Park.

Distributed by eOne Entertainment, the film opened in multiple locations across the UK in late October 2020 – but now as restrictions ease, it is set for release in France, Spain, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Estonia and elsehwere.

Made in 3D animation, the film tells the story of young Nestrian Finny and his best mate Leah, a Grymp, who accidently fall off Noah’s ark and are swept out to sea.

Adrift on a flood, the two misfit castaways struggle to reunite an unorthodox family, out-run a volcano, and negotiate a peace deal on a creaking Ark.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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