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Personal and political meet in powerful Yael Farber drama

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Arts Week with Judy Murphy – judymurphy@ctribune.ie

She is renowned for creating drama that addresses big social and political issues, and has won awards internationally for this work, but South African-born director Yael Farber, who returns to Galway Arts Festival this year, says her primary role is to tell a good story and move people.

Her work for this year’s Festival is Mies Julie, Farber’s interpretation of August Strindberg’s 1880s classic play about class and gender, transported to a South African setting, where race is also added to the mix. 

In 2012 the production from South Africa’s Baxter Theatre in association with the South African State Theatre, won Best of Edinburgh Fringe Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award and an Edinburgh Herald Angel Award. Last December, Mies Julie was in The Guardian’s top ten best theatre picks of 2012 and The New York Times Top Ten Plays of 2012.

Yael is currently in Mumbai, India, where she is working with a group of Indian actors on a play based on the horrifying gang rape and subsequent death of a young woman, a medical student, in Delhi last year. The resulting play, Nirbhaya (Fearless) will premiere at Edinburgh in August.

She speaks quickly, but everything she says is measured – she is a woman who takes drama seriously and has done since her youth in Johannesburg.

“In making theatre I’m interested in just showing the tender human mess of it all, and don’t have grandiose notions about changing the world,” she explains.  “I have to be a very good storyteller and get good storytellers to join me because good theatre is about stories well told. They can be simple, but they have to be good.”

Theatre is a very powerful ritual and it links us back to our forefathers, she adds. “Telling people stories is a way of generating a capacity for empathy because it defies the myth that we are different.

“It works its magic if you bring magic to it, because the audience will give back what you give to it. My mandate is to make theatre that’s compelling and moves people.”

She certainly does that, as her previous production at Galway Arts Festival proved. Molora was adapted from the Greek tragedy, The Oresteia and based on South Africa’s Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

 Mies Julie too has won praise  everywhere it has played. And it was because of yet another work that Yael got a call from Indian actress Poorna Jagannathan last year following the death of the young Delhi woman, which affected Yael greatly, as it did so many people.

“Poorna had seen one of my works, Amajuba in New York,” the director explain. “I do two strands of work, testimonial or adaptations of classics and Amajuba was testimonial.”

The testimonial plays involve real people’s stories, recreated for theatre. It’s a powerful way of engaging with people and is the style she is adopting in India. Poorna who had been a victim of a sexual assault in her youth, told Yael that women in Mumbai were ready to talk about their experiences and invited her there. Otherwise, Yael would “never have assumed to arrive in India and tell that story”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

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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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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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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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