Tuesday 27 September 2016

Giant floating whale one of highlights of Galway International Arts Festival

Published 28/05/2015 | 11:53

Cloudbusting in Galway! The Sky's the Limit as Paul Fahy, Artistic Director of Galway International Arts Festival celebrates the launch of the??Festival's 2015 Programme by the banks of Galway's River Corrib in the city centre. Photo by Andrews Downes XPOSURE
Cloudbusting in Galway! The Sky's the Limit as Paul Fahy, Artistic Director of Galway International Arts Festival celebrates the launch of the??Festival's 2015 Programme by the banks of Galway's River Corrib in the city centre. Photo by Andrews Downes XPOSURE

A giant whale floating over Galway city, mutant sculptures, half man half beast, and a searing looking at race will all form part of this year’s Galway International Arts Festival.

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The Skywhale, a 70ft tall and 100ft long floating marine mammal, will cast her smile over the city for the first week of the festival as she floats overhead in her European premier.

Paul Fahy, artistic director with the festival said he expected Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale to be one of the hits of this year’s event.

“Everyone falls in love with her when they see her. We will tether her in a few different places so people can see her close up and she’ll also be flying around the city. Talk about taking art to the city, people will have no choice but to see her,” he added.

Other highlights include the giant divas, which will see three enormous opera singers float 25ft in the air in oversize costumes blaring out opera and Relativity, startling sculptures examining the connections between science and nature.

“It imagines a world populated by people and creatures, mutants that are half human and beast. These sculptures are 8ft tall and include a child with a fish like mouth or an old woman with legs of a mermaid,” added Mr Fahy.

This year’s festival will also include premiers of five new productions including new work by Frank McGuinness, Hofesh Shechter, Amy Conroy and Enda Walsh.

Actress Cathy Belton will mark her festival debut in Frank McGuinness’ The Match Box while festival favourite Enda Walsh will unveil the world premiere of A Girl’s Bedroom, a theatre installation in a gallery setting.

Brett Bailey’s powerful theatre/installation Exhibit B will see 13 stages erected in the Blackbox theatre each performing a powerful critique on racism, ranging from Africa in the 19th century, up to present day migrant boats and Direct Provision.

The 38th Galway International Arts Festival which will run from July 13-26, will include 80 individual events.

Artists from Australia, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, and America will join forces with artists from Ireland for the two week event.

“Festival 2015 features a truly international programme of artists from all over the world, with a spotlight on Irish work and home-grown productions at the heart of this year’s programme. The Festival offers the very best of the performing and visual arts for two fantastic weeks this July,” added Mr Fahy.

Live music gigs at the Festival Big Top, co-produced with the Róisín Dubh, include Grammy Award winner St. Vincent with special guests Little Green Cars; Sinead O’Connor, Kodaline and The Coronas.

For Box Office and full programme setails visit www.giaf.ie

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