Arts bursary for seanchai and composer
ASKING storyteller Ray O'Sullivan to say a few words certainly wasn't a problem this week as the Coolcaslough-based seanchai was presented with the 2013 Eamon Kelly Arts Bursary.
Ray was a joint winner, alongside musician and composer Séan Daly, and both recipients attended a reception in Killarney Town Council chambers on Monday afternoon.
It's the ninth year of the bursary which was presented to soprano Gemma Sugrue in its inaugural year and to performance artist Denis Buckley last year. On Monday the new recipients spoke of their honour at being listed in such prestigious company.
Formerly from west Cork and living in Killarney for 20 years, Ray also revealed how seanchai and actor Eamon Kelly had always been his inspiration.
"I was born in a black spot in the Caha Mountains with no TV reception and while my friends were watching Dallas or Hawaii Five-0 or Kojak, I was listening to Eamonn Kelly on tapes and to be mentioned in the same breath as Eamon Kelly is a great honour personally," he said.
"Our house was a rambling house as none of us had TV and such places weren't black spots, they were beacons of light – I feel a lot of the problems in this country are down to the fact that there are no platforms for people to express themselves artistically," he added.
He added that the bursary will help set up a website to promote storytelling and will also go towards a myths and legends workshop package for local schools, as well as a speech and drama teaching diploma.
Specialising in a rather different artistic field, Seán Daly is studying for a Master in composition at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. A graduate from the CIT Cork School of Music, Séan has been composing for two years and has completed many works for orchestra, choir, piano and chamber ensembles.
"I'm at the start of a journey but this connection with the arts award came at such a crucial time as I was on the fence about going abroad to study in Amsterdam at the time," he said.
"A lot of artists work in private and so we need more platforms such as the Killarney School of Music and I hope someday to give something back in this respect," he added.
Open to Killarney Valley residents, Killarney Arts will celebrate a special 10th anniversary bursary in 2014, with the focus being the development and promotion of the arts.
For more information email mpigott @killarneytc.ie or ring Tim at 087 2814550.