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FOLKLIFE Events Launched at the NMI Country Life with Imbolc Performances

Date: 04-02-2022

FOLKLIFE is an outdoor multi-disciplinary and residency programme funded by the Arts Council and locally by Mayo County Council Arts Service, The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, The Linenhall Arts Centre and Mayo Artsquad. The residency and events programme, curated by Culture Works, are inspired by the Museum Collection, the natural beauty of Turlough Park and the Great Western Greenway (Castlebar to Turlough). 

Culture Works creates and produces exciting and unforgettable arts and cultural experiences in Ireland.  They work in collaboration with artists and arts organisations to realise their artistic vision and create work that engages and captivates audiences. Their creative focus is on projects that explore locality and placemaking.

The first of these events; Imbolc, took place on January 30th when a limited audience was led by the Clew Bay Pipe Band on a performative walk to celebrate the spirit of Brigid, the hopeful coming of spring and with it, the opportunity to start afresh.  St Brigid promised fine weather from her feast day onwards. Spring, the season of hope and new life, brought better weather, longer days. With it came new life on the farm and new growth on the land.

Brigid’s Blessings by artist Mags Duffy, is a combination of the traditional Rag or Wishing Tree and Brat Bríde, when a ribbon or piece of cloth was left outside the house to receive Brigid’s blessing on the eve of February 1st. Mag's invited nursing homes and their carers and various communities from Mayo to contribute to this Wishing/Rag Tree. 

‘BEO’ is a new composition by singer Breda Mayock performed with choir leader and musician, Eriko Uehara Hopkinson and choir. The choir has come together especially for this occasion. ‘BEO’ draws inspiration from Ó Raiftearaí’s Cill Aodáin and the Irish Folklife Collection. 

‘REACH’ by dance artist Catherine Donnelly with music by Breda Mayock performed on fiddle by Julie Langan is an embodied exploration and response to the inspirational and extraordinary life and work of Brigid

‘A Song at Imbolc’ is a poem written by much-loved poet Moya Cannon. Musicians Freda Hatton (harp) and Julie Langan (fiddle) set this seasonal poem to music and the piece was given its debut by Mags Gallen. 

Further events will be held as part of FOLKLIFE. The programme will consist of artists’ residencies alongside a multi-disciplinary programme of high-quality, inclusive and engaging arts events and interventions to be experienced and enjoyed by the people of Castlebar and Turlough and the surrounding areas. 

For news on upcoming FOLKLIFE events see

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