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FOLKLIFE Finale at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

Date: 19-04-2022

FOLKLIFE, curated by Culture Works, culminates in an outdoor multi-disciplinary programme of inclusive and engaging arts events and interventions.

The programme, which included artist residencies and commissions, drew on the Irish  Folklife Collection at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, the natural beauty of Turlough Park and the Great Western Greenway (Castlebar to Turlough)  for inspiration.

Following on from Imbolc earlier this year, the final FOLKLIFE events on April 28th and 30th, mark the halfway point between the spring equinox and summer solstice, when we come together to, once again, celebrate the changing seasons. 

The Art of the World, Thursday April 28th, 6pm, National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

This unique event sees a collaboration between poets and musicians on a short section of the Castlebar to Turlough stretch of the Greenway.  Poets reading their work on the Greenway are Terry McDonagh, Ger Reidy, Geraldine Mitchell, Sasha Terfous and Nithy Kasa and they will be accompanied by piper Diarmuid Moynihan, singer/songwriter Tony Reidy, harpist Laoise Kelly and drummer Robbie Harris.  The event will culminate back at the Museum Café with complimentary hot drinks and a poetic finale. This event is also part of the Poetry Day Ireland national programme. 

Aibreán, Saturday April 30th, 8.30pm, National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

Aibreán is a programme of live outdoor performances and site-specific installations on the grounds of the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life at Turlough Park on Saturday 30th April, commencing at 8.30 p.m.

Fire breathers from Circus 250 will welcome everyone to the evening’s celebrations and audiences who will then pass through the May Arch by Breda Burns on arrival, symbolic of the liminal space between seasons. In the Museum’s Courtyard Cafe, poet/musician Seamus Barra O Suilleabháin in collaboration with the Gaoth Dobhair musician Robert Mulhern will perform newly commissioned work.   Acclaimed folk band Landless will perform their unique blend of the traditional, unaccompanied song. 

The audience will be invited to hear a performance of seasonal song to welcome summer by Mayo Youth Choir led by Eriko Uehara Hopkinson.  The choir will lead the audience to view newly commissioned works by artist John Conway. John's work, entitled In with the Old / Out with the New is a neon diptych installed on the lake island in Turlough Park inviting us to consider how we positively embrace new attitudes while reconnecting folkloric and seasonal belief systems.

FOLKLIFE artists in residence Jane Cassidy and Breda Burns in collaboration with Mayo Artsquad have explored ideas of growth, sensuality and mystical energy. Drawing on ancient rituals and preparations for the coming of summer, the team draws on the symbolism of the Goddess Flora and will fill the famous glasshouse on the grounds of the museum with sound, light and animated projections.  

The much loved Yew Tree on the grounds of the Museum with its natural canopy will also be filled with meditative sound and light, drawn from the experience of artists Jane Cassidy and Breda Burns working closely with Mayo Artsquad.

FOLKLIFE is curated by Culture Works and funded by the Arts Council through the Faoin Spéir/In the Open 2021 - 2022 nationwide programme and locally by Mayo County Council Arts Service, The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, The Linenhall Arts Centre and Mayo Artsquad.

For further information and booking visit:

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