Thursday 22 March 2018

Drop Everything and head west

She may be home to a Happy Hooker, golden beaches and Fr Ted's shipwreck, but Inis Oirr, one of the three 'wastes of rock' as described by Robert J Flaherty in his documentary Man Of Aran, can also lay claim to hosting Ireland's -- and Europe's -- most westerly arts and heritage centre, Aras Eanna. It's the only Gaeltacht to have one.

Next weekend it will be home to Drop Everything, a free contemporary cultural event designed to encourage and inspire creative exchange between artists and audience alike. A series of free exhibitions, talks and concerts across several mediums -- fashion, music and visual art -- this ticketless event allows artists to showcase their work in a general fashion rather than through a specific curated exhibition, the loose programme allowing participants to truly engage with the work and the people they meet.

"It's about bringing a lot of people together to buzz off of one other on a really small island," says Mary Nally, creator of the event, a waitress/ artist perhaps best known for managing the Festival Club at the Galway Arts Festival. Many of the artists are heading out to the island ahead of time to create work specifically connected to the area, including Icelandic song-stress Soley, who has a residency at Aras Eanna to devise her second album and play her first Irish gig.

The Soundwalk Collective, an international art group based in New York City, will be producing a site-specific sound installation.

Called The Focal Point, it uses radio scanners that capture passing conversations of fisherman and microphones pointed to sea to collect sounds of wave and wind against rock, and strained howls within shipwrecks.

Members of Icelandic groups Mum and Seabear will be collaborating on a secret art project before playing a set in one of the island's three pubs. Don Williams, of Ber-lin's Panorama Bar, will spin the decks in the island's hotel while fashion designer Sorcha O Raghallaigh, whose private clients include Lady Gaga, will give a talk on her career.

Register at, limited space.

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