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Top names gather for Galway conference on art and disability

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UK writer and performer Jez Colborne.

Leading workers in the arts sector from across Ireland and the world will gather in Galway City in late January for Creative Connections, a two-day conference exploring issues around arts and disability.

Creative Connections will examine arts practice, professional development, support, programming, access to the arts, leadership, advocacy and policy for people with disabilities.

International speakers at the conference will include writer and artist Jess Thom who founded the UK based project Touretteshero; Betty Siegel Director of VSA and Accessibility at John F Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington DC; Emma Bennison the CEO of Arts Access Australia, a musician and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities; Josette Bushell Mingo, the Artistic Director of Swedish National Theatre of the Deaf (Tyst Teater) at the Swedish National Touring Theatre

The conference will also feature Irish practitioners, including several from the group Ignite, an initiative that facilitates the creation of new work by people with disabilities. They include English musician and performer Jez Colborne of Mind the Gap Theatre, who has worked with Galway company, That’s Life on several previous productions. Artist Aideen Barry of Ignite Mayo, Simon McKeown of Ignite Cork, Kris Nelson of the Dublin Fringe Festival, Bairbre-Ann Harkin of Kilkenny’s Butler Gallery and Willie White of the Dublin Theatre Festival will also take part.

Creative Connections will also feature a showcase of work and an after-party, with performances from critically acclaimed Irish and international artists. The event will be topped off by a night at the hugely successful Club Tropicana, produced by That’s Life.

The Creative Connections Conference will be held at the Town Hall Theatre, on Wednesday, January 27 and Thursday, January 28, at the city’s Town Hall Theatre and Black Box.

Tickets are €40, which includes access to the conference, lunch on both days, dinner on the Wednesday night and admission to the showcase and after-party. Booking at tht.ie, or 091-569777.

A number of bursary tickets will be available. Contact info@adiarts.ie, for guidelines and application details.

 

Connacht Tribune

Powerful debut novel from adopted Galwegian Edel

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Author and journalist Edel Coffey. Her debut novel Breaking Point is a gripping read. Photo Ger Holland.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Two years ago, journalist Edel Coffey made a New Year’s resolution – a short but powerful one.  “I decided on ‘achievement over perfection’,” says the Dubliner who has been living in Galway for the past six years. “You don’t have to do everything perfectly. And if you’re not obsessed with doing everything perfectly, you might be able to do everything.”

Having made that decision, she began working on what’s become her debut novel, Breaking Point, which has just been published and which is a compelling read.

Set in New York, it centres on Susannah, a high-achieving paediatrician, a wife and mother, an author and broadcaster whose life is choreographed to the last. On a morning when her rigid routine is disrupted, Susannah makes a fatal error while running on autopilot. It results in the death of her baby, who has been left in the back seat of the car.

This wealthy woman who seemed to have it all, is put on trial for negligence. The media converge, eager for every last detail of her life and lifestyle. Among the journalists is Adelaide, a woman who has also had to face her demons. Edel set the story in New York because the US social welfare system isn’t exactly renowned for maternity care. So, it’s more extreme than Ireland but the issues are the same, she says. And while Covid-19 initially seemed to herald a change in how we work, she isn’t sure.

“Initially, people thought it was great, but ultimately, you have work in your home and you end up working at night. There’s no distinction and no downtime.”

A recently-introduced code of practice in Ireland is the first step towards creating a balance, she says, and it’s needed.

The high-pressured life of someone like Susannah – a doctor, a mother, an author and TV personality – carries a cost. Each of those is a career on its own, but she’s caught in a world where “doing more means you’re doing better and it’s hard to say no”.

Much of the tension in the story arises from how the police, the prosecutor and public view her, based on assumptions and with no real knowledge of her life behind closed doors.

The courtroom and newsroom scenes are very true-to-life, and Edel had a certain degree of experience in the latter, she laughs.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Singer/songwriter expands her sound with new single

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Bríd Kenny....more experimental sound.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

It is close to two years since Galway-based singer/songwriter Bríd Kenny released her debut mini-EP, Doorway. Its three tracks offered a moody and melancholy introduction to her brand of Celtic folk – prose-y and poetic in its story and, instrumentally, stripped back and full of space.

Her latest project, though following those core principles, is slightly darker and, in her own words, more experimental. The Nenagh native’s new single, I Don’t Think, arrives on January 28.

The development in sound is partially indebted to the collaborators that have entered Bríd’s life since Doorway. Tadhg Kelly, drummer in the band she is currently writing with, aids her with production on I Don’t Think and, while the track remains a largely solo effort, the influence of Ella Partington, Donnchadh O’Dwyer and Kevin Maurice Handler in the burgeoning group is felt in the song’s fullness. The vocals – as Gaeilge and full of beautiful harmonies – are inventive and authentic.

“I recorded it in the summer, and I’ve been working on it with Tadhg. He mixed it for me and brought it to life in the last month or two,” says Bríd.

“I have a couple of songs that I’ve been working on and this is the only one that’s fully finished at the moment. It’s a little bit more experimental [than the EP] with the mixing. It’s kind of dark.

“I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say but I knew I was feeling very intense, strong emotions and I was finding it hard to express it with words. Through Irish is a good way because the meaning is a bit hidden, and the lyrics don’t have a ton of depth to them but I feel like the melody is very emotional.”

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Conamara siblings take to stage for TradFest

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Séamus and Caoimhe Uí Fhlatharta, who will perform in Collins Barracks next Thursday.

The musical talent of Conamara siblings Caoimhe and Séamus Uí Fhlatharta from An Áird Mhóir, will be on show at this year’s Temple Bar TradFest, which runs from January 26-230 in venues across Dublin. They will be performing at Collins Barracks at 1pm next Thursday, January 26.

Séamus and Caoimhe, who have won multiple All-Ireland titles for their music, are well-known among fans of traditional music as brilliant multi-instrumentalists, singers and dancers, whose vocal arrangements and harmonies bring new life to well-known and less familiar songs. Their performance on last week’s Late Late Show as part of a musical tribute to murdered Offaly woman, Ashling Murphy, was widely praised.

TradFest is one of the first largescale events to host live audiences again, something that performers and fans alike hope will continue.

Other participants include actor Stephen Rea, hosting a night of poetry and music with Natalya O’Flaherty, Sasha Terfous, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy and Neill Martin; Fairport Convention; Peggy Seeger, Aoife Scott and Wallis Bird; Maria Doyle Kennedy; Boxing Banjo; Dervish, Altan and 4 Men and a Dog; Séamus Begley, Oisín Mac Diarmada and Samantha Harvey; Martin and Eliza Carthy; The Lost Brothers; Maria Doyle Kennedy; Joe and Steve Wall; Cór Cúil Aodha and Seán Ó Sé; Karan Casey; Niamh Ní Charra; Brídín; Laoise Kelly; Brenda Castles, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh; Tim Edey, Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin and Ultan O’Brien.

Tickets and more information at tradfesttemplebar.com.

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