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.)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

EIlish Creamer exhibition and teacher pack launch

We are delighted to have the opportunity to exhibit the works of Granard-native Eilish Creamer. The exhibition is opening in conjunction with the launch of a teacher pack and website based on Eilish's work tomorrow night, Wednesday 18th April at 7.30pm. All welcome.

The '...and where are you from? Art of Longford Townlands' teacher pack is designed to be used with the website http://longfordtownlandsart.blogspot.ie thanks to the support of Creative Ireland's Longford Committee.

The project started when Creative Ardagh were approached by Eilish with her vision for an art project to enable students to 'increase their cultural identity and imagination by application of history and folklore to art'.

Eilish's own work had led her to explore the unique shapes of the townlands around the county on maps and with her local knowledge she began to see images in the shapes. Her recent paintings feature stories from local legends, folklore and history.

The teacher pack and accompanying website can be used as inspiration for a similar project in your local area. Inside you will find local history resources, lesson plans for introducing the project and ideas for a variety of interpretations in different media including drawing, paint and colour, fabric and fibre, clay and printing. All of this is linked to the primary school curriculum but the open-endedness of the project allows for adaptation for secondary school and adult groups also. 






Friday, 6 April 2018

Scéalta Beo coming in August

A new storytelling and mythology event in the Midlands

We are very, very excited to be able to announce that Creative Ardagh will be hosting a unique storytelling and mythology event this August 11th and 12th. Scéalta Beo will have a diverse programme for adults, teens and families including workshops and performances over the two days. Some of our panel of international storytellers and mythology experts have been working on new pieces on Midir and Etain especially for their appearances. The weekend promises to be an extremely memorable occasion. Watch this space for full details coming soon.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Midir and Etain in Wonderland

Our popular Easter egg hunt Midir and Etain in Wonderland returns on Easter Monday 2nd April at 3pm, €10 per child includes art workshop and egg hunt and free tea/coffee for accompanying adult.  Family discounts available.

Alice is revisiting the Wonderland of Ardagh, home of Midir and Etain. Is Fuamnach really the Red Queen or is Midir the Mad Hatter? Come along and join the White Rabbit in the quest for the way into Tir na nÓg and you might even find some eggs. Be inspired by the story and let your imagination run wild in the art workshop, help to paint the roses red or follow the White Rabbit down the burrow. Lots more family fun too.

Booking essential. Buy tickets online below or contact us to book on 086 3027602, 086 1717925 or by email to creativeardagh@gmail.com.

Thanks to Mary Smyth for the beautiful poster design and to our model Alice (Lily-May).


Tickets

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Annual Indoor Craft Fair next Sunday

Come along for the biggest craft fair yet in Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre from 12pm to 5pm on Sunday 18th March. Lots of stalls with handmade crafts, books, cakes and art. Great variety of stalls and activities on the day including a reading by author Eileen Moynihan at 2pm, sand and fairy door art all day and the annual Leprechaun and Fairy Hunt  with Creative Ardagh at 3pm.