Sunday, 21 October 2018

Ardagh Fright Fest one week away!


We are delighted to announce the full line-up for Ardagh Fright Fest which runs from the 27th October to 3rd November this year and promises to be more exciting than ever. Thanks as always to the generous support of Longford County Arts Office we are able to bring you some very talented people from around the country for a host of spooktacular events for all ages.

All of your favourites return, such as Ardagh School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which featured on TV3s Six O'Clock Show last year.


We welcome back Jane Gilheaney Barry who has published her novel Cailleach~Witch since we saw her last year. We look forward to her creative writing workshop. Jane will also feature on our author panel with Kevin McManus whose third book in the Ray Logue Mystery series 9 Lives will be out in November. Both authors will share readings from their work and take part in a questions and answers session.

Internationally renowned poet, Adam Wyeth will present The Mythic Imagination full-day creative writing workshop which promises to leave participants with 'a deepened appreciation and awareness of modern literature, myth, tradition and writing craft' as well as some great new work of their own.

Candlelit Tales offer a contemporary reinterpretation of Ireland's ancient lore accompanied by live music score and perform in small venues and large festivals around the country. We are delighted to welcome them to Ardagh with their Shadows of the Táin show which is touring venues across the country including Whelan's of Dublin this month.

Robert Peacock will be dressing up and reading from his newly released book Cara and the Cauldron of the Round Hill at a free family event on 3rd November and we have to thank Mary Carlton Reynolds of Creative Ireland Longford for suggesting we include Gian Castello who will close the festival with an enchanting concert that evening.

Our Frightful Flash Fiction competition returns for the third year and we invite artists of all ages to send us in some Cailleach themed art for display during the week. We look forward to seeing what the TYs of County Longford under the guidance of Shelly Corcoran produce for the Photography Exhibition this year. It is always a highlight of the festival which aims to include work for and from a diverse range of age and experience.

Our popular Spooky Art Camp also returns for one day only on Thursday 1st November from 12pm to 4pm, contact us early to book your place and avoid disappointment.

Tickets for all events are available online or by contacting us on 086 3027602, 086 1717925 or creativeardagh@gmail.com

Monday, 20 August 2018

What a wonderful weekend!

Scéalta Beo - the first storytelling festival in the Midlands
Saturday started at 12pm with John Wilmott and Claire Roche of Bards in the Woods. John told stories of the Dagda, the forming of the landscape and the background to other mythology as well as sharing some of his poems beautifully accompanied by Claire on harp. Gerry Donlon and Kate Corkery had gotten together in London to prepare for the weekend and shared a turn and turn about version of the complete legend of Midir and Etain which kept the crowd enthralled for nearly to hours. After lunch Kate gave a workshop on Bringing Stories to Life and Chris Thompson finished the day session with a very enjoyable presentation on Midir's tasks in the Wooing of Etain, especially the construction of the bog road in Corlea. Unfortunately Isolde Carmody, the other half of Story Archaeology, was unable to attend as she is in hospital, but we got to hear her speak through audio recordings which was great.
The three hour evening concert was fantastic with a mix of music, poetry and stories including a surprise musical performance by Brian Dooley of the Kavanagh Festival in Monaghan who had travelled down especially for the event. Ann Gerety Smyth also delighted the audience with a story. Kate Corkery, Gerry Donlon, John Wilmott and Chris Thompson took turns to excite and delight with tales of Moytura, Brig, the Dagda, and many more while we could have listened to Claire Roche on the harp for hours. 











Thursday, 2 August 2018

Scéalta Beo schedule

Its getting close now! Gerry of Bards Aloud called in today and did a radio interview with Annette on Athlone Community Radio. Excitement is building. Tickets are still available on the Scéalta Beo website, get them before they are all gone!
Schedule of events below:

Monday, 30 July 2018

Scéalta Beo storytelling and mythology festival

We can't wait for this festival of storytelling and mythology. We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring world-renowned storytellers to the home of Midir and Etain on 11th and 12th August. Full details and tickets on http://scealtabeo.blogspot.ie

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wild Food Mary on Bilberry Sunday

We are delighted to announce that Wild Food Mary will join the Bilberry Sunday walk and celebrations this year, bringing it back to its food foraging roots.

In the ancient times of Midir and Etain people gathered on Brí Léith (Ardagh Mountain), home of the sidhe fairy people to collect bilberries for the High King's Lughnasa feast in Tara. The tradition of Bilberry Sunday, the last Sunday of July, continued until the mid 1960s when the forest was planted on the hill and so bilberries were not as abundant. Creative Ardagh and Brendan Farrell of Ardagh Eco-Gardens got together to bring the tradition alive in July 2012 and every year there is a walk and a search for the ever elusive bilberries - we found some last year!!

The annual community walk, in association with Cruthú Arts Festival, will start from Ardagh GAA pitch at 11am on Sunday 29th July and venture up Brí Leith.
Creative Ardagh will provide tea and scones and a talk from the famous forager, Wild Food Mary, after the walk in Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre.

https://wildfoodmary.com/

Thursday, 28 June 2018

King at the Back of the Hill traditional skills

Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July 2018

Everybody knew there was a King at the Back of the Hill in Ardagh so it came as no surprise to locals when a skeleton of noble origin was found buried in King Máine's fort during the excavation by Liam de Paor in 1967. Máine, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages ruled South Teabhtha and his fort was one of great importance at the time of St. Patrick's arrival in the midlands.
    After the excavation the finds from the dig at the Back of the Hill were recorded and left in the National Archives undocumented until Adel Coleman, an archaeology student in UCC chose it as the topic of her Masters thesis. At that time the skeleton was missing but has recently been rediscovered and Adel is still investigating.
    This living history weekend, starting a 12pm both days, plans to take visitors back in time to the era of the Fort of Máine in late Iron Age and Early Christian times, the era of Celts, Saints, Scholars and Viking invaders. Entrance is €10 for adults for one day or €15 for both days (excludes workshops) this includes tea and coffee and all children go free.
    Significant finds at the Back of the Hill fort included evidence of weaving and metalworking, a beautiful penannular brooch, glass beads, bone comb fragments and a stone incised with a cross. Life at the fort was busy for the residents whose occupation spanned several hundred years and we hope to give a flavour of this through living history displays, demonstrations and workshops. We are delighted to be able to offer a guided tour of the fort itself on Sunday 15th July at 3pm thanks to the generosity of landowner Micheál Keegan. A talk on the history and importance of the settlement will precede the visit at 2pm.
    We are excited to welcome Jodie from Living Legacies Ireland who will let you try your hand at wool weaving, and hear about what life was like during the Iron Age. Did you know there were marriage and divorce laws in the Iron Age? Or that iron was more valuable than gold? Find out about this and much more with 'Living Legacies Ireland'.
    Michael Moylan is a fountain of history knowledge, join him on Saturday 14th to try out ancient weapons and see if the armour fits. Irish History Live brings the museum to you with real artefacts from Bronze Age to Viking times.
    Evidence of Viking trade has also been found in the Ardagh area by archaeologists and we will be invaded by the Jofur Dregin (Boar warriors) band of Vikings on both days. As well as setting up traditional tents, showcasing their wares, demonstrating and sharing their fighting tips with new recruits we have a number of Viking traditional skills workshops on offer. These must be booked in advance through the website http://kingatthebackofthehill.blogspot.ie. Try your hand at Nalbinding (€25) and Haithabu bag making (€50) with Aneta or create your own combat-ready shield with Bartek over the two days (€200).
    Tracy from Hazelrocks Jewellery joins us for a half-day workshop at 10am on Saturday 14th July. During this workshop you get expert tuition and learn all the skills necessary to create your own beautiful Tree of Life pendant from precious stones and wire (€55). No experience necessary. Everyone will have their own gemstone tree of life to bring home.
    Ann and Annette from Creative Ardagh will help you create a clay model fort (free with paying adult) on Saturday 14th and guide you through the process of wet felting (€15) on Sunday 15th, an ancient craft that predates all other textile crafts.
    Prices for all workshops are per person and include tuition, all materials and tea and coffee as well as entry to the other events (excluding other workshops). Light lunch is included with shield making. Booking online is essential for all workshops.
    This promises to be a very memorable weekend so come along and time travel with us.

Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre
Annette 086 3027602 or Ann 086 1717925. creativeardagh@gmail.com

Monday, 18 June 2018

Criunnú na nÓg in Ardagh this Saturday



Schedule of Events:
(unless we get 'Midired' )

We'll be here from 12pm to 5pm, come and stay the day or just pop in and play a while.

Fairy/Fairy letter hunt
At your leisure and the fairies' pleasure.

Face painting with Mary Smyth
12pm to 5pm.
(with an odd little run around the garden, have a cup of tea break with the fairies for Mary)

Storytime with Daire the Oak Tree Fairy
Hear how Brí Leith got it's name and other myths and magic, write or tell your own magical tale in the story circle - 12pm
(If Daire comes. Fairies do what they like and at a whim they change their minds but he said he will be here and Oaks are known for being reliable)

Creative Art time!
Create a Brí Leith or Tree Fairy inspired art work in Batik, Clay and Painting workshops:
  • Batik 12.30pm
  • Clay 2.00pm
  • Painting 3.45pm

Dramatic Fairies
Take part in a drama involving Brí Leith's most famous residents Midir and Etain. 3pm

Woodland Games
Play woodland games and dressing up at your leisure and the fairies' pleasure. Play all day, every day. What else would you be doing?

Picnics
Don't forget to bring your own picnic to enjoy in the garden beside all the Presidents' Trees. (Ask Daire he'll tell you all about them, if we can find him, fairies are elusive.)