Comedian Áine Gallagher this week launched NUI Galway’s 17th annual Arts Festival programme, Múscailt. The festival, which runs from 6-10 March, will present a superb free programme comprising of art, music, performance, live art, comedy, spectacle, song, sculpture, film, dance and talks.
Múscailt means to inspire, to awaken and to create. Each year the festival commissions new work from artists and curators and also shines a spotlight on artists working and studying within the University.
This year, the festival will open with a new multimedia Múscailt Exhibition at the School of Education on Nuns’ Island, which includes works by students from NUI Galway, The Jes and The Bish.
Múscailt offers a chance to lift the lid on artistic projects taking place on campus. This year there is an emphasis on the historic Anatomy and Physiology Departments, dating from the Victorian beginnings of NUI Galway, in the Quadrangle, circa 1847.
Art and installation will feature heavily throughout the week including: Ananya Gupta’s paper cut-out ‘Silhouettes of Life’, which will hang in the glass cubes outside the James Hardiman Library. Live art performer Áine Phillips will recreate her performance ‘Bag Lady’ and Fou Scarf will perform ‘Re: Search’. Artist James Fleming will present his exhibition ‘Sculptures from a Mobile Home’, made entirely from the recycled furnishings of his now ex-mobile home.
Artist-in-Residence Aideen Monaghan will project drawings onto the side of the Anatomy Building and Alan-James Burns, a photographer and video-artist, was given free reign to document Physiology, in its iconic position above the Archway. Catch a glimpse of some of their work in ‘Victorian Echoes’, a combination of photography and drawings exhibited in the Arts Millennium Building.
There will be interactive and improvised outdoor entertainment by Madame Fou and the Funfair which includes a gramophone, a fortune-teller, circus performers and troubadours, and a travelling kiosk/time-machine.
In a new departure, the Arts Office has commissioned a short dance film, ‘Ciúnas’, directed by Bernadette Divilly, that explores the place, power and presence of women at NUI Galway. This will be shown on screens throughout campus with a talk and screening of the film in the Bank of Ireland Theatre.
One of the festival highlights will feature a performance/lecture with music entitled ‘Portrait of the Nation,’ celebrating 100 years since the publication of James Joyce’s most autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Performed by Darina Gallagher and Sinéad Murphy, it will take place in the 100 years old Anatomy Lecture Theatre.
Rogha Bhríde, the award winning Irish language/multi-lingual radio music show on Flirt FM, will present MC/Ceoltóir Bríd Ní Mhaoileoin and a musical and storytelling treat with well-known Galway artist Little John Nee and guests.
Other events taking place throughout the week include:
‘Ponder’, a group exhibition of paintings and drawings; ‘Focus 17’, a selected exhibition from the Photo Society; and ‘Metamorphosis’ by the Art Society.
Art meets science events includes ‘Research Use Only’ by Bioscience student Patrizio Mancuso; and ‘Culture-itis’, knitted works in petri dishes by NUI Galway Knit and Crochet group
‘Moodboosters’, a new comedy by Áine Gallagher and fellow comedian Pearl O’Rourke
Curator Katherine Waugh will present film-clips entitled ‘Altered States’
Dr Mags Mannion, Artist/Archaeologist will present an illustrated talk on Medieval Glass Beads
Dráma Nua ‘Streets & Stages’, performed by Caroline Morahan as part of Arts in Action series
Commenting on this year’s progamme, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer, said: “Múscailt embraces all artforms and strands of creativity. It creates a safe and nurturing platform for new work and an opportunity for play, fun and improvisation. Everyone is welcome to participate and all events are free.”
For more information on the festival visit www.nuigalway.ie/muscailt, or phone 091 493766 or 091 495098.