Make Culture Night a Night to Remember in Laois

Live and online events this Friday

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

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culture night

Culture Night may be different this year but the Laois organisers of the annual celebration want as many people as possible to Make it a Night to Remember.

Taking place on Friday, September 18 the night features live and online across the county and is brought to you by The Arts Council in partnership with Laois County Council and Creative Laois.

Free live events include;  An exhibition at The Gallery Laois Arthouse, Stradbally from 2pm – 8pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to view a selected collection of work by 10  talented artists who are part of the Laois Arthouse Collective.  Also on show will be work by participants of Urban Art workshops and Eco Printing workshops that feature in the online programme of events. Numbers will be limited, in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

At Fitzmaurice Place Plaza, Portlaoise - In celebration of Helen Roe (1895-1988) from  8pm-11pm, view a looped video (10 min) projection that encapsulates and gives a fascinating insight into the life and work of Mountrath born, Helen Roe.  Well-known as a lecturer and collector of antiquities of Laois, Helen became the first County Librarian in 1926 and is lauded as one of the chief authorities on pre-Christian antiquities in the country.

The looped screening and soundtrack is the wonderful work of accomplished artist Caroline Conway.  Magic lantern slide shows have been incorporated into the projection alongside animated sequences and photometry to bring her story to life.  This original project was funded by Creative Ireland Laois assisted by Laois County Library Archive Services and Historian in Residence, Regina McGinley. This event is presented by Dunamaise Arts Centre and assisted by Laois County Council Culture Night Team.

The  Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise programme includes a wonderful exhibition entitled ‘Children of the Free State’ by Annie Holland from 10am-11pm. Photography, video and audio featuring older people from rural Laois born before or just after 1922. This exhibition encompasses and articulates our socio-cultural heritage through a range of media. Supported by Dunamaise Arts Centre and Creative Ireland Laois, as part of the Creative Ireland Programme 2018-2022 in partnership with Laois County Council.  

 See Live Portrait Painting with Blaise Smith from 6pm-9pm. Artist Blaise Smith will capture some well-known local faces in pencil/ink/charcoal drawings and oil paintings. Drop by to watch this acclaimed artist at work, as he chats to our special guest subjects.  Bring along your own sketchpad and pens/pencils from 6pm for a short masterclass with Blaise and a guest sitter. Selected works will be displayed for the evening in Dunamaise.  Blaise Smith RHA, from Kilkenny, is a figurative realist painter. Over a career of thirty years he has exhibited widely and won many awards, most notably recently the Irish arts review Portraiture Prize at the RHA in Dublin for his painting “8 Scientists”.

Numbers limited | Advance Booking recommended | 057 866 3355 | dunamaise.ie  

St. Vincents Hospital, Mountmellick, will host a performance by Mountmellick Comhaltas  outdoors in a central garden area,  for residents and staff to enjoy.  The event is subject to Covid-19 restrictions.  Mountmellick Comhaltas runs weekly traditional music classes.

ONLINE EVENTS: Laois Culture Night online programme this year includes a variety of workshops and performances for all to enjoy from the comfort of their own home.  Links will be available for all online events on www.culturenight.ie from 4pm-12pm midnight on Friday 18th September - to join in.  

-          The  Laois Arthouse Collective Urban Art Workshop, with artist Aishling Hennessy, demonstrating such things as  mandala making, earth art, installations and lots more to add colour to the local environment.

-          Eco Printing Workshop with Artist Angelina Foster shows how to create your own natural, botanical art print on paper, using leaves and flowers and learn traditional dyeing skills and experiment with different natural dyes and layouts on hand made paper, inspired by Ireland’s past. 

-          A series of Art Workshops from Mount Henry Arts Studios includes a Plein Air Workshop with artist Mary Slevin on creating work outdoors and two childrens’ workshops titled:  How To Make A Dinosour for  ages 5-8 year  and Creating Affirmation Cards for ages  9-12. 

-          Laois Series: A Sense Of Place: is a video featuring 26 young people including, Laois Youth Theatre, Laois Youth Dance Ensemble, Laois County Library Service, Music Generation Laois and young people interested in nature and biodiversity. Originally showcased on the Creative Laois YouTube channel, supported by Creative Ireland and Laois County Council. 

-          Bringing Bacon Home from Heritage House Abbeyleix explores the artist Francis Bacon's time at Farmleigh House, Abbeyleix, presenting a documentary style video on Bacon’s life there and how his time at Farmleigh influenced his work, focussing on a selection of Bacon’s artwork that was strongly influenced by his time in Abbeyleix. Take a journey into the home life of one of our most iconic artists.

-          For Music lovers view a short video ‘The Impossible Dream,’ directed by Naoise Kettle, that documents the production of a specially commissioned suite of music inspired by the life of Colonel James Fitzmaurice a pioneering historical aviator from Portlaoise.  Musician and songwriter Martin Tourish collaborated with Music Generation Trad Orchestra to create new music during the lock down period that unearthed many intriguing parallels between our current challenges, and those faced by Fitzmaurice in his lifetime. Supported by Creative Ireland Laois.

-          Stepping through Irish Music with Emer Dunne. Embark on an Irish cultural and musical journey, compiled by Singer Emer Dunne.  In this short video enjoy songs and music such as ‘Grace’ and ‘Willie Mc Bride’.   Emer has teamed up with outstanding musicians Robert Harvey (flute) and Simon Graydon (guitar) to present an enjoyable, entertaining cultural performance. 

-          For people who enjoy a chat through Irish, join Ciorcal Cainte ar Zoom from 6pm-7pm, from An Sean Chistin, Ballyfin, Portlaoise.  An informal chat as gaeilge and some music.  Fáilte roimh gach duine. Cláraigh le do ríomhphost go dtí Máirín Uí Chollatáin.  To book in email seanchistin@gmail.com with your request to join.

More details www.culturenight.ie