Good Works

Good Works performance by artist John Byrne opens the final Fleadh Cheoil na h'Éireann 2013 

Good Works’ performance art launches cross-border community project at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

Following a spectacular and slightly controversial launch at the Cathedral of St. Patrick & St. Felim during the 2012 All Ireland Fleadh, the ‘Good Works’ performance artwork by John Byrne has restored its goodness. This unique performance artwork was first developed and performed in Cavan as a partnership project between Cavan County Council Arts Office and CREATE Artist in the Community organisation in Dublin. It has received funding from the International Fund for Ireland for its further development as a cross-border community project and is poised to bring people together through a tour of Northern Ireland beginning at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. It is envisaged that it will culminating in a grand finale to coincide with the Fleadh Cheoil 2013 at Derry’s City of Culture. An enthusiastic audience packed the small chapel at the Irish Museum of Art on Tuesday 27th November 2012 to see the all new performance, which had a slightly different format and costume and, most strikingly, a huge choral presence. The forty strong choral ensemble conducted by the Palestrina Choirs Blainaid Murphy featured members of The Carlow Choral Society and The Dublin Bach Singers and filled the chapel with the hymns written by Byrne and scored by BBC proms composer Elaine Agnew. Several choral groups North and South of the Border are keen to participate in the touring programme scheduled for 2013. Interested parties included Cavan Singers, Cantamus Choir in Derry, Fermanagh Choral Society, Hosanna House Choir Cavan, Foróige, Cavan Rugby Choir and Omagh Choir. According to Byrne “I really want to develop the choral element since it’s the focal point of the performance. I’m very excited about developing the work further in 2013 through North-South community involvement”. The performance was the highlight of the CREATE Artist in the Community organisations 10th Anniversary conference and celebrations.

Palestrina Choir
 Photo by Declan English

Premiere’s at the Cathedral of St. Patrick & St. Felim, Cavan town
On Friday 10th August 2012 at 9.30pm

In this service of song, chant and spoken word, Art is the primary focus of Adoration and a source of Salvation and Redemption. It is the artists intention that the work will be seen as a timely opportunity to engage in a positive and transformational way with a beleaguered institution.

This major collaborative performance conducted by artist John Byrne features the Palestrina Choir and director Blanaid Murphy, with new art hymns composed by Byrne, scored and brilliantly assisted by renown composer Elaine Agnew. The 'service' will feature special guest speakers including curator Karen Downey, artist Alanna O’Kelly, writer Kevin McAleer, Italian artist and theorist Alberto Duman, accordionist Dermot Dunne, soloist Cian Brady, amongst others.

Palestrina Choir
 Image by Arbutus

Immediately following is a re-interpretation of the Rite of Spring (outside) by artist Breandán de Gallai in association with Fidget Feet Dance Company. This opening event is part of an extensive contemporary arts programme for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2012.

This opening event is part of an extensive contemporary arts programme for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2012.

John Byrne
 Image by Arbutus

John Byrne
John has had an association with the arts in Cavan for some time most recently with his spectacular Casting Light video projection mapped onto the façade the Ulster Bank in the town, which was showcased during the Fleadh Cheoil 2010 and 2011, and was awarded the Business to Arts Awards 2011 presented by patron President Mary McAleese. He is also known for 'Misneach’ (2010), a larger than life equestrian monument in the classical mode commissioned as part of Breaking Ground Public Art in Dublin's Ballymun.

Good Works sees a return to performance by John having performed at venues throughout Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Poland, Germany and Latvia culminating in his ‘Border Interpretative Centre’ (2000), a visitor centre project right on the border, subsequently documented in solo exhibitions at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast and Gallerie Agregat in Mitte, Berlin. He has been the recipient of numerous Arts Council Awards and his work is in many private and public collections, including the OPW and University College Cork, University College Limerick.

Watch video promo for Good Works and The Rite of Spring

See photostream for 'Good Works Art Service' on Flickr
See all 'Good Works' photos on facebook

Lyric FM Sounds Files

An Interview with John Byrne


Enlightenment - Hymn by John Byrne

cavan arts logo    Cavan county council logo    department of tourism culture and sport    create logo

Date and time:

16 Aug 2012 - 27 Dec 2013

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