Friday 21 July 2017

Culture vultures swoop on cities for night-time adventure

Caoilfhionn Groarke, from Killiney, with her son Euan (8) and daughter Romilly (11), getting their faces painted in Boston College Picture: Kyran O'Brien
Caoilfhionn Groarke, from Killiney, with her son Euan (8) and daughter Romilly (11), getting their faces painted in Boston College Picture: Kyran O'Brien

Jane O'Faherty

As night began to fall, culture vultures raced around the capital in search of creative hot spots.

In spite of the Dublin Bus strike, thousands poured into the capital for Culture Night 2016 yesterday.

Aerial artists abseiled down buildings, there were magic lantern shows, yoga classes and trad sessions.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys was among the first to hit the cultural trail, arriving early to Dublin Castle.

"It's a busy night but a great one," she said.

Caoilfhinn Groarke from Killiney arrived into town with her two children Euan (8) and Romilly (11), and was one of the first in line to have her face painted in St Stephen's Green. "We just wanted to bring the children in while it's early," she said.

Hannah Thomson, from Glanmire, with Elisabetta Mazza of the Glucksman Gallery, Cork, having fun at the Teddy Bears’ Walk Picture
Hannah Thomson, from Glanmire, with Elisabetta Mazza of the Glucksman Gallery, Cork, having fun at the Teddy Bears’ Walk Picture

"We'll stick around the Trinity area tonight and bring them to see the Alliance Française, the Little Museum and the square," she added.

"We'd like to show them the atmosphere and what Dublin looks like at night."

There were spectacular scenes in Temple Bar's Meeting House Square, as Aerial Cirque performed a truly stunning and magnificent vertical dance.

Abseiling down the surrounding buildings, the troupe bounced off a canvas while weaving designs in red wool. Near St Stephen's Green, Boston College was the scene of a magic lantern show, a music for deaf audiences workshop and a Nigerian choir performance.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International invited the curious to Fleet Street to hear the stories and poetry of migrants in Calais and Dunkirk.

A late-night vintage market at Smithfield's Generator Hostel was full of bargains and DJ tunes.

Outside of the capital, Galway hosted events as wide ranging as stories of direct provision to a sneak peek into the building of Galway Hookers, the city's iconic fishing boats.

Those seeking more hands-on events were also treated to a brief lesson in aerial yoga, hoola-hooping and balancing acts with Galway Community Circus in Shantalla.

Night owls then headed to the Culture Night Party in the Róisín Dubh, featuring sessions from local acts like My Fellow Sponges, New Pope and Tracy Bruen.

Meanwhile, Wexford town embraced culture from outside of Ireland, welcoming three Shaolin masters for a spectacular Kung Fu display at the Irish National Heritage Park.

But the varied programme ventured far further than Irish shores. Capitals across the world also joined in the festivities, with the showcasing of several Irish artists. Belfast painter Colin Davidson opened his exhibition, 'Reflected Gleams', at the Irish Arts Centre in New York.

Colin has immortalised famous faces from Angela Merkel to Glen Hansard, and his new collection will run in NY until the end of the month.

Meanwhile, the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris hosted 'The Souvenir Shop', an art installation taking inspiration from Tom Clarke's 1916 tobacconist.

Irish Independent

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