Attendances at the 14th Annual Terryglass Arts Festival were significantly higher than previous years.
The festival which concluded on Sunday 19th featured top singing star Jack L on Friday night and international prize winning comedians Snatch Comedy Improv on Wednesday night. The festival was officially launched on Wednesday 15th August by the Mayor of North Tipperary, Cllr. Michael O’Meara followed by a music recital with acclaimed horn and harp duo Mary Curran and Aisling Ennis.
Local talent was celebrated on Thursday 16th August with a lunch time musical recital from County Fleadh Cheoil winners Roisin Heenan and Louise Ryan while Elvis, Napoleon, Kylie, Mother Teresa, the Statue of Liberty came alive in Gary Jermyn’s hilarious one man show ‘My Life as a Chatshow Host later that evening.
The original Guinness Jazz Band provided the music at Terryglass Quay on Saturday night 18th August followed by an after dark monster fireworks display which lit up the night sky for miles around.
A hit with all ages was the Family Fun Day on Sunday 19th August with craft demonstrations and street theatre including the Macnas tale of the Cockroach & the Inventor which entertained young and old alike. Terryglass Square provided the backdrop for a very unique piece of three dimensional pavement art specially created for the festival by international street artist Julian Beever. Entitled “Beneath the Surface”, Julian drew inspiration from local folklore and culture to bring to life a fantasy world beneath Lough Derg.
This year the festival celebrated a range of visual arts practices and commissions responding to the local environment. Evoking memories of school days past and present St. Columba’s Poetry Corner, an interactive installation at Terryglass Quay was created by Swedish born artist Veronica Forsgren. Comprising of a number of school desks facing a teacher’s blackboard on the lawn in the harbour area, the installation honoured the legacy of St. Columba who founded the Tir Dha Ghlas Monastery in 549 AD.
Mary Wycherly’s three-screen HD video “The Dance of Making” explored the human processes which lie at the heart of living culture. With music by Jürgen Simpson this unique work focussed on the act of creation in traditional handcrafts and activities such as uilleann pipemaking, hand weaving and dry stonewalling.
A photographic study of sheep shearing on an Irish farm by Berlin born photographer Anna Frins threw the spotlight on the oft forgotten hard physical work faced by today’s farmer, while Gerardine Wisdom’s rush work sculptures, which were scattered throughout the village and quayside attracted much attention from visitors and locals alike.
Speaking at the opening of the Festival on Wednesday night, Mayor of North Tipperary Cllr. Micheal O’Meara, paid tribute to the festival organising committee headed by Valerie Cotter for programming and sourcing funding for such a diverse festival.
“The current festival committee and all of those who have been involved over the years have developed a unique “Creative Space” here in Terryglass, and North Tipperary County Council is proud to have been amongst the festivals supporters since the beginning of the festival in 1999,” he said.
Festival sponsors were thanked by the Chairperson of Terryglass Arts Festival, Valerie Cotter who also paid tribute to the work of the many volunteers and supporters of the festival for their dedication and continued support.