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24 Sept 2022

Laois to celebrate Culture Night with free county wide events

Laois to celebrate Culture Night with free county wide events

Maedhbh Doyle ( Mountrath C.S. ) and Kacy Millard ( Colaiste Dhun Masc ) - Laois Youth Dance Ensemble ) , pitured at the launch of Culture Night 2022, at County Hall. Photo: Michael Scully

Laois is set to celebrate Culture Night on Friday, September 23, squeezing in a whirlwind of free events across the county.

Ireland's seventeenth annual Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir has the theme One Night for All-Oíche Dár Saol.  It is the brainchild of the Arts Council and presented locally by Laois County Council Arts Office. 

Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir is a national moment, celebrating culture, creativity and the arts and seeks to actively promote the belief that this rich and varied culture is alive, treasured and nurtured in people’s lives, today and every day.  Laois have a broad spectrum of events to enliven the county happening from 4pm until late.

Below: Pictured at the launch of Culture Night 2022, at County Hall, were: Bernie Foran Laois County Librarian, Maedhbh Doyle Mountrath CS, Muireann ni Chonaill Arts Officer, Laois, Kacy Millard Colaiste Dhun Masc - Laois Youth Dance Ensemble), Bridie Keenan  Assistant Arts Officer and Catherine Guidera Clerical Officer- Arts Office. Photo: Michael Scully.

A highlight of the evening will be the official launch of ‘Protectour’ by Artist James Hayes. The polished concrete & stainless steel sculpture references the footprint of the historic Old Fort, Portlaoise and the celebratory nature of sport and participation to mark the nearby O’Moore Park GAA grounds. The seven smaller concrete forms represent the seven septs or clans of Laois; O’Devoy (O’Deevy), O’Doran, O’Dowling, McEvoy, O’Kelly, O’Lalor and O’Moore. Representatives of the seven clans are invited to come along for this event. The large portal and the smaller forms represent a historic transfer of power in Laois.  This artwork was commissioned under Open Competition by Laois County Council and funded by the Per Cent for Art scheme. The sculpture will be Launched by Cathaoirleach Thomasina Connell.

The Dunamaise Arts Centre host Live Sketching at as well as the opportunity to view the wonderful Fadó Faces Exhibition from early until 8pm. This wonderful exhibition celebrates the lives and stories of older people in County Laois, through traditional portrait painting and digital art by a selection of local artists: Bronagh Conroy, Aishling Hennessy, Ray Murphy, Kevin McCann, Mike Rafter, Pauline Conroy, Allen Scully, Antoinette Breen, Kate Deegan, and Mark Fisher. 

Also at the Dunamaise, enjoy a delicious & entertaining taste of international cuisine and culture in the company of fellow Laois community members from all over the world! Representing some of the many nationalities that make up modern Laois, musicians, poets and artists will present song, dance, spoken word, art and delectable treats to share together in this celebration of our vibrant contemporary Culture. 

Portlaoise Library will host an Art workshop for Children with artist Caroline Keane.  Suitable for children between 8 and 12, the children will use clay and a mix of other mediums to recreate pop up art of some characters from well-loved books.

For music lovers, Music Generation Laois will present award-winning Trad Flute Player Tommy Fitzharris, & Friends for a special evening of music celebrating our county’s rich cultural diversity, open to all members of our community, at Laois Music Centre, Church Ave, Portlaoise.  Lovers of the art of Dance can visit the Dance Laois Studio, Hynds Square, Portlaoise to see “Memory Lane’ as Laois Youth Dance Ensemble present a multidisciplinary exhibition, (film, photography, visual art, live dance performance at Dance Laois, Hynds Square.  ‘Memory lane’ is a collaboration with film maker Kristian Mantalvanos, visual artist Caroline Conway and photographer Terry Conroy.  

The programme also includes events around the county including an invitation to visit Charis Garden Ballyadams and view the wonderful Garden and historic site of Ballyadams House with a poetry reading from the head gardener Jeremy Haworth.  Clonaslee also has a wonderful event called “Where the Wild Things Grow” that includes foraging in Brittas Woods and a gathering at Clonaslee Heritage Centre for a chat and some local food and beverages from local foodies Hikers & Bikers aka the Sweeney sisters.  Open to all ages.   Emo Court will conduct a free guided tour of the exterior of this wonderful historical house.

Mountrath Youth Theatre will present an exhibition of photographs created as part of a series of free workshops for young people between the ages of 12-25, at the Square Mountrath weather permitting and indoors  a short video of the young photographers telling the story of their work. 

In Mountmellick a new street mural in celebration of the Swift – a bird that flourishes in the area will be unveiled. 

In Portarlington the Port Art Collective will present the Port Art Crawl. From the library down to French Church Street, places and spaces open up to showcase Portarlington's cultural and artistic talent, with pop up exhibitions, music performances, dance, craft, photography and more.  

At the Laois Arthouse Stradbally we have Myth & Magic as we invite you to Join artists Rebecca Deegan and Donna Kearns for a joint exhibition that will include selected work including paintings in acrylic and oil, watercolour illustrations, drawings and small sculptures that delve into Irish and Nordic Folklore as well as mythologies from other cultures. Musician Daithí Ó Nuanáin will officially open the exhibition with a performance, as Rebecca & Donna create live art alongside him. Daithí is a traditional musician and poet, incorporating English, Irish and Old Norse in his performances. Laois Arthouse Studio Artist David Tully will also exhibit some of his unique art works. The Stradbally Arthouse programme will also include and Open Studio event as Arthouse Bursary awardee Emily Miller invites the public to visit her studio as she talks through her practice, processes and influences. Emily will present some of the work she has created during her residency at Laois Arthouse. All welcome.

An online  Sculpture event by  Evgeny Chubatyy will demonstrate the process of creating a small-scale sculpture in wood in this pre-recorded short film, shot at his studio. Links for online events  available at www.culturenight.ie  from 3pm to midnight

Visit www.Culturenight.ie for all details on times of events and further information or visit www.laois.ie to download the Laois Programme of events 2022 with something for all.

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