Kylemore Abbey to host arts festival First Thought talks

Julie Feeney.

Julie Feeney.

The Galway International Arts Festival will present a special edition of its popular First Thought talks programme in Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, on Sunday April 12.

Entitled A Celebration Of The Beautiful, this series of talks, discussions, ideas, and debate will culminate in a live performance by the award winning singer and composer Julie Feeney in Kylemore Abbey’s Gothic church.

The first talk, Look Up!, will examine the skyscape of Connemara. It will be given by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society, author of The Cloudspotter’s Guide and The Cloud Collector’s Handbook. In Capturing Beauty, world-renowned artist Hughie O’Donoghue and the National Gallery of Ireland’s Dr Marie Bourke will discuss how the west of Ireland landscape has inspired visual artists.

Poet Vona Groarke and architect Niall McCullough will discuss art, landscape, and memory in Eye of the Beholder, while Miracles of Development: From Irish Pigs to Celtic Tigers, with the University of South Dakota’s Dr Sarah L Townsend, looks at issues of Irish gentrification and stereotypes in Pat McCabe’s The Butcher Boy and Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs.

April 12 is also Yuri Night, the annual celebration of Yuri Gagarin, the first man to travel in space. To mark the night in Galway, broadcaster Leo Enright will present The Celtic Cosmos, taking audiences on a tour of the night sky. A Celebration Of The Beautiful also features a photographic exhibition of Nils-Udo’s environmental installations created on Clochar na gCon bog, Indreabhán.

The total audience capacity is just 80 places so advance booking is recommended. Tickets are €50 through www.giaf.ie

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