Live Art Week to make you think

DEGREE STUDENTS TAKE TO THE TOWN

HARRY KEANEY

Published 18/12/2012 | 18:06

THIS YEAR'S annual 'Live Art Week' in Sligo moved to the town centre for the first time.

And the IT Sligo performers who created a series of thought-provoking drama pieces say the experience made them more committed than ever to pursuing careers in creative arts.

The 19 third year Performing Arts degree students who staged their work, along with video installation artists from the Fine Arts programme, used facilities in the rejuvenated dockland home of Blue Raincoats, Sligo Youth Theatre and Branching Out.

Performing Arts Lecturer, Una Mannion said: "Working in the venues' performance spaces had been an invaluable experience for the students.

"We had interactive installations and solo performance that gave a fresh take on issues such as identity, loss, body-image, the power of words, peer pressure and politics."

David Kelly (22), from Cavan, said that in "Terrorists?" he was questioning a perception of Palestinians as being the only terrorists in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In it, he sat at a table, clad in an orange jump-suit black and his head hooded while an anti-American audio played and an audience of just one person at a time scrutinised a folder of photos of Israeli attacks in Gaza.

He said: "The piece was much stronger than I ever could have anticipated.

"People left crying, some thanked me and others left after only being there for 20 seconds. "It was incredibly tough and emotionally draining." A vacant shop window at Lower Quay Street framed Kimberley Tanoh (20) who was dressed as a doll while an audio track babbled.

It portrayed her concern about the irresponsibility of people who talk openly in front of children about adult topics such as sex and drink, crime and other dissolute behaviour, without thinking of the impact on the young listeners. Kimberley, who describes herself as French and English, currently lives in Co Laois.

She said: "Overall, I got very positive feedback from people who saw it. I'm loving my time in Performing Arts where I'm in the actor strand, and I hope to work in theatre after I leave."

Marsha Fleming, (31) from Co Galway, sat at computer against a background of tangled netting and a projection of virtual reality activity.

She "used the imagery of nets to show the entrapment of the individual in the world of the World Wide Web, illustrating how lines of communication are often distorted and lost."

For more information on the BA in Performing Arts at IT Sligo see www.itsligo.ie

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