On February 1 Lá Fhéile Bríde / St. Brigid’s Day / Imbolc we succesfully celebrated the coming of Spring at Cavan Burren Park, Blacklion, the return of life to the earth after the dark stillness of Winter. In the folklore of Ireland and Scotland Brigid was associated with new life, creativity, healing and poetry and she remains an important figure for our times. Celebrate with fire and rushes and stories , poems and legends associated with Brigid and some more besides in the company of Nuala Hayes, storyteller, Rita Duffy and Marilyn Gaffney visual artists.
Nuala Hayes told stories of the traditions and folklore of St. Bridget in the interpretive centre surrounded by the beautiful snowscape of Burren Park.
Nuala Hayes is an Actor , Storyteller and Broadcaster who loves to retell the old stories and maybe to give them a new twist. She believes in the inspiration and intuition that the figure of Brigid provokes.
In 2014, she devised a Storytelling and Musical performance to remember the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. She appeared in a one woman play by Susan Knight called ‘A Simple Twist of Fate’ and with Doireann Ní Bhriain she produced a Radio Documentary “ Who was Vere Foster? ”, about a forgotten hero of Irish Education, which was broadcast on R.T.E Lyric fm.
In 2015 she hopes to complete a collection of Folktales from Laois for the History Press. She has collaborated previously with Rita Duffy on the Shirt Factory Project and on Everlasting Voices , a collection of recordings from storytellers from all parts of Ireland, with visual responses to the stories from Rita, produced by the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry in 2001.
Rita Duffy is leading Irish artist and her work is strongly based in the figurative/narrative tradition. Her paintings have been described as active poetic spaces where the energy of contradictory and destructive forces are transmuted and resolved. Her work has evolved out of a Belfast context heavily inscribed by the visual components of social, political and national affiliations where meaning is not neutral. Her work includes socially engaged projects and recent achievements include The Shirt Factory as part of the Derry / Londonderry City of Culture.
Marilyn Gaffney is a visual artist who has recently completed her MA from the National College of Art and Design. Her work is based on our relationship to landscape and how particular places hold memories and can embody emotional responses. The notion of Urban Memory and the loss of certain things within a place when it has been changed features as research within her work. She is interested in a combination of representation and abstraction in painting. Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times art critic described her work in two and three dimensions as “very impressive” at Moxie Gallery, Dublin 2. She was selected for ‘Place/Non Place at the Venice Arts Gallery in California in 2013.
St Brigid’s Cross making and Bridóg doll making took place with visual artist's Rita Duffy and Marilyn Gaffney.