Shorelines Arts Festival 2019 Programme Announced

Shorelines Arts Festival announces their Festival programme for 2019. It features a sensational programme of theatre, music, literature, film and visual art in addition to a series of family-friendly events and a wonderful schools programme. The Festival runs from 19 – 22 September in Portumna, Co. Galway and over the years it has grown in size and in reputation featuring many exciting and unique events in the Irish Festival calendar.

Festival Director Noelle Lynskey, is excited to reveal this year’s programme.

“Our 2019 programme is full of all that is excellent in the Irish arts scene as well as the visit of international performers plus collaborative projects supported by many partners that includes our community, local schools and artists.”

Theatre programme highlights include ‘Before’ by Fishamble: The new Play company, written and performed by Pat Kinevane, winner of Herald Archangel Award 2019 Edinburgh, ‘Arán agus Im’ with Manchán Magan featuring insights into the wonders of the Irish language food and local Irish food, with freshly baked sourdough and delicious butter churned by the audience. ‘Wingin’ It’ features a cast of seasoned performers from across Ireland for an unforgettable night of improvisation led by suggestions from the audience. Peter Duffy presents ‘The Great Hunger’ by Patrick Kavanagh. Branar Téatar do Pháistí presents their first music show for children and families ‘Rockin’ Rhymes’ featuring original songs based on well-loved nursery rhymes.

Literary events feature writers Brian Leydon, Thomas McCarthy, Tony Walsh, Nicole Flattery, Tony Walsh, One Man’s Way Home: Mark Boyle in conversation with Manchán Magan. Mark Boyle dared to press pause on technology by turning off his phone, laptop and electricity to live on his own terms. Younger audiences shouldn’t miss ‘Bumpfizzle’ with Patricia Forde and ‘Surge – A Spoken Word Showcase with Colm Keegan’ part of Galway 2020 Small Towns, Big Ideas series. Laureate na nÓg in association with Shorelines presents ‘We are The Poets’ with Sarah Crossan who is on a mission to take poetry beyond the classroom. The annual Nicholas Treacy memorial recitation competition also returns in 2019.

Musical highlights include the iconic band Scullion and the contemporary sound of ZoDoMo (Máirtín O’Connor, Zoe Conway and Donal Lunny), Galway’s ConTempo Quartet, an entertaining cruise on Lough Derg for ‘Folk on a Boat’ with Grainne Hunt, U.S. folk group ‘Betty and the Baby Boomers’. ‘Bone Road a journey in words and music’ with Geraldine Mills and Tommy Hayes, ‘Ensemble Revelare – Baroque Foursome’ plus Shorelines Mass with Tribetones featuring a performance from Ultan Conlon.

The Visual Arts Programme features a diverse range of artists working across many different mediums with the annual Shorelines Art Exhibition running for two weeks at the Gallery at the Workhouse and the students at Portumna Community School showcasing their work on school walls.

Margaret Hickey co-ordinates the Visual Arts programme for Shorelines which will feature work by local and invited artists including paintings, prints, photography and 3-dimensional art. “Our 2019 show promises to be more varied and bigger than ever before, with some very distinguished artists contributing. We are very proud of the huge range of high-quality work that people have come to expect from the Shorelines Art Exhibition and are sure there will be something for everyone’s taste and budget.” The art exhibition, which runs daily from 9th – 22nd September, will include prints and paintings from Mary O’Connor, landscapes from Merrily Harpur, art with pop influences from Debbie Chapman, prints, watercolours and paintings from Judy Powell, paintings evocative of Celtic mythology and fairy tale from Ann McKenna and soft, richly-coloured paintings from Eibhilinn Crossan. Lisa Griffin’s photographs feature images that are theatrically staged. In addition, Janice Gilmore will show her embroidered jewellery and Jane Seymour will exhibit her smoke-fired ceramic vessels. Siobhan Bulfin is a sculptor who specialises in equestrian sculptures, often life-sized and cast in bronze. There will be a time-lapsed film of the artist constructing a life-sized horse from scratch.


Photographic Exhibition Highlights include a world premiere, the international award-winning and much-loved Galway photographer Joe O’Shaughnessy presents his first ever exhibition at Shorelines. Joe is a staff photographer with The Connacht Tribune since 1980 and a regular contributor to the Irish Times. This exhibition centres on the simple bicycle. Also this year, Portumna Mart celebrates 50 years with an exhibition featuring the work of five local photographers Jim Hynes, Brendan Hoary, Michael Molamphy, Joshua St John and Kerry Kissane capturing the people, animals and dynamics of a day at the mart. Portumna Camera Club will address the urgent need to celebrate the beauty of our planet, while simultaneously highlighting the vulnerabilities and risks associated with climate change in ‘Nothing Is Ever Still’. The unique ’Double Take’ Exhibition features an outdoor photographic interpretation by local photographers in response to well-known portraits.

Other highlights include an exciting new sculpture by Donnacha Cahill which will find a permanent home in Portumna at the start of the Festival. The piece acknowledges the creativity of the festival and the spirit of the town and its environs. Aideen Monaghan’s cubes, which were commissioned for the Festival’s 10th anniversary will also be on display in addition to the specially-commissioned bench by sculptor Tommie Cragg. Ciaron Tuohy’s marvellous and moving exhibition of sculpture inspired by the Famine will be on display in the Workhouse and Red, a display of work by Feltmakers Ireland, will be on view in the Castle exhibition space.

Shorelines Film highlights include screenings of shorts and full-length award-winning documentaries including ‘The Silver Branch’ which features an Irish farmer/ poet who must stand up for all that is sacred to him when the government threatens his way of life. ‘The Camino Voyage’ which follows the inspiring, and dangerous, 2,500 km modern day Celtic odyssey all the way from Ireland to Northern Spain, featuring music by Glen Hansard and ‘Cumar’ follows Galway-based artists Máirtín O’Connor, Mike McCormack, Rita Ann Higgins, Noeline Kavanagh, Róisín Seoighe, Pádraic Reaney and Tommy Tiernan.

Family events include a Selfie Hunt, Púca Puppets, The Science of Dragons and the Science of Slime with Scientific Sue, A Journey through space with Trish Forde and Tarsila Kruse and a screening of the magical fantasy film ‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’.

There will also be an action-packed Festival Schools Programme which will highlight the artistic talents of students by showcasing their achievements and facilitating school visits by professional guest artists including artist Jennifer Cunningham, performance poet Tony Walsh and ceramics artists Jessica Canning and Angela O’Toole.

Shorelines Arts Festival is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland with individual events supported by Galway 2020, Creative Ireland, the County Galway Arts Office, Laureate na nÓg, Culture Night 2019, Bank of Ireland, Waterways and Athenry Credit Union as well as local Portumna businesses.

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Featured image courtesy of Shorelines Art Festival.

Shorelines Festival