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No bull as sculptor John Behan takes centre stage at the Kenny Gallery

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John Behan (left) with his friend, the author and playwright Tom Kilroy.

The Bull of Sheriff Street, a major new exhibition by sculptor John Behan RHA opens at The Kenny Gallery, Galway, this Friday, October 23, at 6pm.

The event will also see the launch of a new book, The Bull of Sheriff Street – The Life and Work of an Irish Sculptor, written by Adrian Frazier to celebrate the artist’s life.

John Behan was born in Dublin in 1938, but has lived in Galway for 40 years where he is an intrinsic part of the local artistic community.

Reared on Sheriff Street in Dublin where his family ran a corner shop, he showed a love of drawing and painting from an early age.  Aged 15, he started a seven-year apprenticeship as a metalworker, and soon began to use his skills to make sculptures. His first was a bull, and is for bulls he has become famous.

As a young artist in 1960s Dublin, John was involved in the Independent Artists group, a founder of the Project Arts Centre, and a board member of the Design Studio.

Bronze sculptures were traditionally the prerogative of museums or wealthy patrons but John wanted his work to be affordable to the citizens of his own country and wanted it to help them face their own experiences.

His work to promote the social value of art helped to see the Arts Council being reformed in 1973. John’s leading role in establishing the Dublin Art Foundry also made it possible for him and other Irish sculptors to produce work in quantity and in quality at more reasonable prices than before.

That’s illustrated by the fact that more than 5,000 of his works have been sold in this country.

A great reader who grew up surrounded by a generation of great writers, John was often inspired by motifs in poetry or drama.  After the publication of Thomas Kinsella’s translation of The Táin, he produced a series of figures and scenes from the Irish epic.  His graphics and bronze figures of crows follow from Ted Hughes’s Crow.

In the comic spirit of Joyce’s Ulysses and Cervantes’ Don Quixote, he has illustrated dozens of characters and scenes from these masterpieces.

Writers are among the greatest fans of his art, and John’s work are in the private collections of Tom Kilroy, Tom Murphy, Seamus Heaney, Edna O’Brien, Gerry Dawe, and others, including the late Brian Friel.

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

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Branar adapt Rockin’ Rhymes for classroom setting

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Branar adapt Rockin’ Rhymes for classroom setting

Rockin’ Rhymes, the hit musical from Galway theatre company, Branar, was due to be revived for a tour of Irish schools this autumn. However, that can’t happen now.

Instead, it’s getting a new outing as a multi-platform show that’s being made available to schools throughout Galway, Mayo and Limerick

Branar has joined forces with The Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar and Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre to create Rockin’ the Classroom, a project that’s designed for children from Junior Infants to Second Class.

Performed by a band of five musicians, this is a rock-n-roll adventure, featuring well-loved nursery rhymes which Branar has reimagined in funk, pop and rock stylings.

The show offers children and teachers an opportunity to explore these classic rhymes in a fresh context, while they learn about making music.

The project hopes to inspire children to create their own rocking rhymes, explains Marc Mac Lochlainn of Branar, who adds “we really miss performing for children”.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Covid caution pays off for Arts Festival

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Plans to site the Mirror Pavilion to Derrigimlagh Bog outside Clifden have now been deferred until March 2021.

The Mirror Pavilion art installation which was visited by over 120,000 people when it was displayed at the Claddagh during Galway International Arts Festival’s autumn programme will not be moving out to a Connemara location this month, despite earlier plans that it would.

The striking structure by world-renowned artist, John Gerrard, was due to be located at Derrigimlagh Bog outside Clifden in October but that plan has now been shelved until March, due to current Covid 19 restrictions.

The shiny cube which depicts an image on an LED wall 24 hours a day was a popular attraction while it was exhibited at Claddagh Quay last month. Images of it were circulated around the world, mostly on various social media platforms.

It was dismantled after September 26 and was due to move to Connemara, to the site where Alcock and Brown completed the first trans-Atlantic flight in 1919 and also the transmission site for the first trans-Atlantic radio signal from the Marconi station in 1907.

The installation, which was commissioned especially for Galway’s European Capital of Culture 2020 programme, was to be situated in Connemara for most of this month.

However, the Artistic Director of GIAF, Paul Fahy, told The Connacht Tribune that, some weeks ago, the Festival organisers had discussed the possibility of postponing it because of rising Covid-19 cases at home and abroad

“There was no point in going ahead with the Connemara installation in light of us going into Level 3, when the country’s population was in lockdown and couldn’t come into the county to see it, not to mention travel restrictions on other countries stopping them coming to Ireland,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Away with the Fairies – a spooky Halloween treat

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In recent years, Halloween in Ireland has become all about the imported American tradition of Trick or Treat – which may have, in a simpler form, originated in this country, according to experts.

But with Tricking and Treating off the menu for this year, it might be time to return to more traditional Irish traditions.

There’s no better place to start with fairy and ghost stories and these can be found in abundance in the latest book from city historian, William Henry.

Away with the Fairies, which is now in the shops, contains some 50 stories and tales gathered from across Galway, City and County, that have entertained countless generations.

“Ireland really is the heart of a supernatural tradition and some of its most famous manifestations include the Banshee, Cóiste Bodhar, Pooka, Leprechaun and the Fairies,” explains William.

“The stories and beliefs surrounding these characters formed part of everyday life for people long ago,” he adds. And it wasn’t so long ago either.

Introducing the stories, Mike Glynn, former editor of the Galway City Tribune, points out that in an era before rural electrification, “the sounds and movements of the night were truly frightening when there were only candles and crude lamps to cast limited light”.

Rural electrification only happened in the mid-20th century, which in the broad scope of history, is merely the blink of an eye.

William opens the book by introducing the reader to Ireland’s main fairy characters and this sets the scene for the extraordinary tales that follow.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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