Athlone Castle, Luan Gallery and Abbey Road Artists’ Studios will once again open their doors to welcome those interested in exploring arts and heritage sites this Culture Night which takes place on Friday, September 23.
Culture Night activities will commence with a Creative Writing Workshop led by Westmeath poet Jackie Gorman in Abbey Road Studios Community space from 3pm to 5pm. Participants will take part in a short introductory workshop exploring nature, ecology and place. Jackie’s poetry has been published in a number of journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The Lonely Crowd and The Honest Ulsterman. She received the Listowel Writers’ Week Single Poem Award in 2017 and in the same year was commended in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Poem of the Year Award. She completed a Masters in Poetry Studies at the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies at Dublin City University in 2019 and in 2021 she certified in the Amherst Writers & Artists Method. A short introduction to the methods to be used in the workshop will be sent to each participant in advance. After the workshop, participants will also receive a folder with resources for future reference. This is a workshop suitable for adults (18+ ) and places are limited and will be taken on a first come first served basis. Pre-bookings are essential. To secure your place contact Luan Gallery on 090 6442154 or email [email protected].
Mimi Seery and Ciara Tuite, two resident artists in Abbey Road Artists’ Studios, will open their studio doors from 4pm to 6pm on Culture Night providing a unique, behind-the-scenes view of the artists’ practice in their studios. The artists will be on hand to give an overview of their practice and showcase some of their existing artwork and work in progress, and to explain what inspires them to members of the public.
Mimi Seery is a multimedia artist working in mediums such as painting, traditional and digital illustration, mixed media collage, neon lighting and photography. Ciara Tuite is a visual artist/writer originally from the Midlands. Her background in fine art, performing arts and journalism results in a multidisciplinary approach, using imagery and word with a touch of colourful serenity and artistic license. Her extensive travels, living among Aboriginal artists in Australia, to Butoh dancers in Scandinavia, to researching refugee camps in Palestine and her more recent residencies at Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat, Co Kerry, Ireland has shaped her creativity. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit the studios of practicing artists in residence at Abbey Road Studios in Athlone. Studio visits will be facilitated in an open-door manner on a first come first served basis. For further information on the artists and their studio practice contact Luan Gallery on [email protected] or 090 6442154.
Culture Night visitors to Athlone Castle will enjoy free entry to the visitor centre and grounds between 5pm and 7.30pm. The castle team will be on hand to give visitors an overview of the castle’s incredible story from 1210 to modern times. Visitors will get to travel back in time and discover the rich history of this important stronghold and rediscover the joys of traditional games with an evening of fun in Athlone Castle’s courtyard. Visitors can enjoy playing popular games including, X&Os, Tumbling Tower, Connect Four, Snakes and Ladders, Hopscotch and more. A selection of period costumes will also be available for visitors to try on.
In addition, Athlone Castle is delighted to provide a guided tour of the visitor centre and museum at 5.45pm. Places are limited and will be taken on a first come first served basis. Pre-bookings are advised and will be taken on a first come first served basis, please register your interest by emailing [email protected] or phoning 090 6442130.
Athlone’s Municipal art gallery, Luan Gallery invites the public to visit its group exhibition, Breaking Borders until 7.30pm and staff will gladly provide an overview of the exhibition to those who are interested. This challenging exhibition brings together seven visual artists working in various mediums including painting, video, photography, sculpture, and performance. The artists respond to physical, psychological and societal forms of borders and how we, as a society including artists and art venues can address, debate, and challenge barriers. The exhibiting artists are Nicola Anthony, Trudi van der Elsen, Bernadette Hopkins, Benedict Hutchinson, Myra Jago, Vukas?in Nedeljkovic?, and Beata Piekarska Daly. This is a great opportunity to view this incredible exhibition which ends on Sunday, September 25.
In 2021, Athlone native, Jackie Gorman was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Agility Award to develop a new sequence of poems exploring the ecology and landscape of Westmeath. This meant engaging with the growing field of ecopoetics, which has at its core a focus on the local. In a recent essay on literature in Westmeath, her work was described by Dr Mary Shine Thompson of DCU as having a diction that is uncluttered, economical, understated and intense...For her, poetry is life and death. A sequence of 12 poems have been produced for this award and an associated Sound Cloud which will be online in September. A limited-edition book has been produced by All Around The Sun and will be available in September also. Jackie will be doing a reading of these 12 poems and some others for Culture Night in Luan Gallery, at 6.30pm. All are invited to attend.
Culture Night is an innovative public event taking place nationwide, that invites people to spend their evening exploring the best cultural offerings available to them on their doorstep. With museums, galleries and artists’ studios extending their opening hours all around the country, Culture Night is the perfect opportunity to visit sites that you may ordinarily miss out on due to your work schedule. Athlone Arts and Tourism look forward to welcoming the public to our celebration of culture! For further information and bookings please contact Athlone Castle on 090 6442130 or Luan Gallery on 090 6442154.