West Kerry is going to have the most active and varied Culture Night in two years as artists emerge from Covid cocoons to stage events that appeal to all ages and all tastes.
he line-up on Friday night includes slam poetry, sean-nós dancing, art, music and publications of new work from an artistic community starved of opportunities to showcase their work to the public since the first lockdown happened in March 2020.
An Díseart and the surrounding gardens will host hours of cultural and artistic events. The highlight of the evening will be the first Dingle performance by Colm Mac Gearailt – the recently appointed slam poet in residence at An Díseart – who will be on stage with fellow poet Eoin P O’Neill and musicians Fionn O’Neill and Mattie Barker.
Culture Night will start early in the afternoon with a review of the unique illustrations created by Dómhnal Ó Bric in his career spanning 20 years. His visual representations of Irish language poems and songs as well as epic tales from Corca Dhuibhne such as Cath Fionn Trá, Raghadsa is mo Cheaití and Beir mo Dhuthrach, have provided a complex but accessible insight into the culture of West Kerry. A slideshow of Dómhnal’s work will be on display in An Díseart from 3pm to 10pm, with one break during which acclaimed Dingle writer Maria Ní Mhurchú launches her new audio book, ‘Caifé Caol/Skinny Latte’.
Meanwhile, An Diseart is collaborating with Tríona Duignan of Beo Binn to present ‘Cibéal Draíochta’, a showcase of traditional music and sean-nós dancing from 4pm to 6pm, with virtuosos Maebh Ní Bheaglaíoch and Niamh Varian-Barry providing the music for dancer Ranóg Townsend. This will be followed by soulful music from Eoin Duignan accompanied by Donogh Hennessey and Jeremy Spencer.
Depending on the weather, these events will be held either in the garden or in An Díseart chapel. If they have to be held indoors, numbers will be limited and attendees will need to provide evidence of vaccination or immunity. Under-18s, accompanied by an adult, will also be allowed attend indoor events, as per Covid guidelines.
Meanwhile, the Heidleberg Platten 1955 Press in Ponc Press has produced another hand printed book, ‘Cogar’, which will be launched on the evening with savouries provided by the neighbouring Thyme Out café on Dykegate Lane.
The book, curated by Áine Ní Chíobháin and designed by Tor Cotton and printed by Heiko Rolf, includes a collection of raps, lyrics, poems and illustrations. Áine, who was the creative force behind the project, described it as an illustration of the writer’s process. “I always found this feeling of flow and inspiration to be the most exciting time in the creative process, so this project was an attempt to capture this moment visually,” she says in her introduction to the book, which stems from her work with Other Voices.
She describes the project as a lifeline for the artists involved when they were separated from each other by coronavirus restrictions. “We were able to celebrate our native tongue and old traditions in a new way. I felt so grateful to be working with such brilliant people between all the artists, crews, poets, musicians, filmmakers, producers, publishers, designers and printers and everyone who helped along the way.”
The hand printed book sells for €60, and some of the proceeds will be donated to Pieta House and the Simon Community.
Meanwhile, Dingle Hub will launch a collection of new films online and Culture Night will close with a ‘super ceilidh’ at Paul Geaney’s Bar and Restaurant.
All the events are free, but to comply with Covid guidelines attendance at some events is limited and require pre-booking. Further information on these and other events is available at culturenight.ie