Cavan Discovered on Tour

Culture day in Cavan was a hot trail of art and theatre through blue skies, scudding clouds, all merging into a wonderful sunset behind the spire of the cathedral. It couldn’t have been a more artistic setting.
It was a great day which began with the Women’s Traveller Health and Social Care Project. They put on a wonderful spread of food but it was the knitting, the painting, and the chat that was brilliant to see and hear. I didn’t realise the project was so extensive. What a resource for the town to have.
In the evening, Julie and I started in the Library with Sally O’Dowd’s one line drawings. I was intrigued by these. I used to like doing one line drawings myself but mine only turned into scribble, unlike Sally’s. Maire, a friend of mine, reminded me of the toy we had as children: grey screen, red backing, two knobs in the front which you turned and created a one line drawing. Ahh yes, memories. Sally’s drawing made me wish I’d kept at it.
After the Library we headed up to the Moth Studios behind Church St. This is where I discovered parts of Cavan I didn’t know existed. Long beautiful gardens roll up a hill and there are interesting bungalows dotted on the horizon beneath an almost Swiss looking forest of conifers.
On down to The Living Thing exhibition by Jackie O’Neill and Joe Doherty in The Teacher’s Centre. This was a delightful surprise. The outside tree light sculptures were so pretty and so was Kavan Donoghue playing the harp. It was a lovely exhibition. It focuses on the concept of Mandella, the unifying centre from which everything evolves. Yes, a little hard to get your head around but the wooden artefacts were gorgeous and I loved the way the way they were displayed. I particularly liked Jackie’s Shannon Pot piece.
We got so excited about this exhibition that we missed the beginning of the Tapas Theatre on in the Town Hall but when we did get there, I really enjoyed this performance. With the Sinfonia orchestra on stage providing the music in between, the Theatre Lab Cavan brought us a few of the tiny plays collected by Fishamble and the Irish Times who received over 1,700 submissions when they asked the Irish public what could be achieved on stage in three minutes. I particularly liked the heart knitting piece, the two girls drinking and dreaming, and the banking scene. So clever, and so enjoyable. The stage setting was fab too.
As, indeed, was the launch of the Town Hall Programme by the crew. What a spectacular! Great lighting, smoke, creativity, charisma, charm, and engagement. I loved the lowering of the gigantic bar of lights to centre stage (isn’t it ironic how the lighting is rarely acknowledged in theatre despite often being the show piece) and the final wrap up with the wrapping up of the dancer by the stage hands. Brilliant.
We are so lucky to have the Town Hall as an arts centre in Cavan. It feels like home. There can be no greater accolade. Thank you everyone!

th prog benchjoe doherty


Eclectic Art in Cavan

Eclectic Art in Cavan

There is an eclectic exhibition at no. 61 College St, Cavan this weekend which is worth a visit. I love the line drawings by Sally O’Dowd. Most of them are drawn in one or two continuous lines but the sketches are very intricate. I love the idea that the pen has not come off the paper. Very clever.

Jane McCormick’s sick selfies series is grim, but powerful. She captures the sense of powerlessness and pain. I particularly like ‘silence’.

Mark Lawlor’s has a wolf theme going though his exhibits which are quirky and fun. Be warned there is cured hare’s head in a tin. His material amused me.

Pawel Kleszczewski’s pictures are scary. He has drawn 9 scenes from the bible using crayon and charcoal. They are dark but illuminating. I liked them immensely They’d look great in our hall.

Jackie O’Neil’s art is fascinating. She digitally prints an illustration on calico and then enhances aspects of the print with hand embroidery. They are subtle, almost whimsical but at the same time have a strong imprint. The embroidery, although delicate, gives them real depth. I loved the fish in a bowl, the giraffe, and the flamingos.

Finally, the last exhibit I saw was Kaisa Zimmoch though I think Siobhan Harton has an exhibit there but it wasn’t hung when I was there.  Kaisa has constructed a mushroom/toadstool fairy ring out of lidl brochures. You can stand in the middle of it and see what happens. It’s amazing what people do. So clever.

Most of the exhibits are for sale and are very reasonably priced. Great Christmas presents.