The Gift / An Bronntanas

“It’s the end of one year and the beginning of another and what a year we’ve had this 2020!  Christmas is a feast of light. Many cultures celebrate light in winter: The Jewish Chanukah, The Muslims’ Festival of Light, The Old Celtic Winter Solstice at Newgrange and The Christian Feast of Light”
Noel Monahan, poet and word farmer as he introduces his Christmas 2020 poem entitled STILL LIFE for The Gift / An Bronntanas series.  




This year we are missing live arts events where audiences and artists share arts experience and magic happens.   With artists, film makers and videographers the arts office presents a series of videos entitled The Gift / An Bronntanas.  We hope you enjoy these videos from Cavan artists.   A different video premieres every day at 12 noon from 13 December 2020 on Cavan Arts YouTube.   The videos will remain available for you to enjoy at your leisure.



The video series includes Noel Monahan reading ‘STILL LIFE’ on Christmas Day, 25 December featuring the work of his artistic collaborator, Pádraig Lynch to the music of Silent Night.  This arrangement of Silent Night by Ciarán Tackney and members of the St Patrick’s College Orchestra including: CJ Burns, Callum Kelly, Christopher King, Daniel Brady, Conor Jordan, Malachy O’ Brien, Joe Galligan and Pádraig Conroy also features as a video on YouTube from 15 December.




(Noel Monahan photo by Pádraig Conaty)



‘Oh Glint!’ is the title of a poem by Heather Brett, a meditation on love and filmed on location at historic Lough Oughter accompanied by Ellen O Brien on flute.



Collaborative partnerships include The Moth Magazine editors, Rebecca O Connor and Will Govan as they share their experience of writing, painting and being inspired among the Cavan lakes. 



The NYAH band featuring Martin Donohoe, button accordion, Eddie Mallon, drums, Fintan McManus, guitar, Philip Clarke, keyboard and Karen McMahon, guitar play the Triumphal March remembering members of the Breifne and the St Felim’s Boys Bands. 



A special interview with Cavan Lilter Seamus Fay by Martin Donohoe was recorded at Townhall, Cavan by Pádraig Conaty to celebrate his eight eight birthday and will be available on 20 December.   Happy Birthday, Seamus Fay and many thanks for all the tunes and inspiration over the years.


(Seamus Fay, Martin Donohoe and Padraig Conaty)



Amistat is the title of an animation from Kim McCafferty and Con Horgan featuring Rossa O Snodaigh on whistle.   As the title suggests it is a quest for friendship and finding your ‘kin’ in a Covid era and is available to view from 17 December.



‘Fragments’ by Jessie Keenan, choreographer and dancer, filmed by Finn Keenan with dancers Marion Cronin, Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín and Sarah Ryan is inspired by memory and our elastic relationship to it.    



The Duffy Brothers; Ryan, Dylan and Shane share the joy of Sean Nós dance exemplifying this primal creative expression as they beat out the rhythm on the wooden boards making music with their feet.



The county has a wide array of artists working in the visual artists.   A selection of them are represented in this series including the sculptor Marie Smith, with The Hug a work commissioned by Cootehill Arts Festival in response to Covid 19 as part of the 2020 festival offering with musical accompaniment by Mairéad Duffy on harp. 



(The Hug by sculptor Marie Smith image by Pádraig Conaty)



The Drumalee Photographic group working with Colm Mullen captured a series of photographs and short video clips during 2020.   Their video is a sneak preview of their exhibition planned for 2021.



Slovakian native, Kingscourt based Miriam Fitzgerald Juskova whose work is known as Paper on Edge has based her ‘Gift’ on the traditional technique of paper quilling, and her passion for art and mathematics is combined with a sound-track entitled ‘Geometric Graze’ created by Mairéad Duffy in response to the work.



Tomasz Grzesik speaks to the ‘do-it-yourself’ in us all, as the old is re-purposed and made afresh in his video work ‘Assemblage Art’. 



Jane McCormick began her art journey as a sculptor and has moved to museum maker with ‘The Corracanvy Hoard’, she presents a cheeky sneak preview of the new gallery she is creating at Cavan County Museum.



The Old Man is the title of Paul Flynn’s song celebrating Christmas Eve and Sliabh Glah or Shliglagh, the Cavan hill.  It is recorded and sung by Ewan Cowley, singer and guitarist with a video featuring local scenes and water colours by Rosaleen Howard.



In early December supported by the Social Inclusion Unit and Creative Ireland Cavan a number of Cavan Nursing Homes hosted Festival In A Van.  Claire Crehan, pianist and Niamh McCormack, soprano delighted the residents and staff with seasonal and classic favourites and we share an extract as part of The Gift/ An Bronntanas series.


Memories of Christmas is a warm recollection of times past from Cllr Sarah O’Reilly, Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council recalling childhood memories of Bailieborough and sending good wishes to everyone at home and abroad.


The videos provide a glimpse into the creative life of the county inspired by its landscape, people and traditions and are made possible by the artists who feature in them and the talented and committed film makers and videographers who captured this work.  



On behalf of the arts office staff and director of services Eoin Doyle we would like to thank:Pádraig Conaty, Jago Studios, Paul Farnan, Finn Keenan, Connor Gannon, Con Horgan, Tomasz Grzesik, Colm Mullen, Padraic McIntyre, Emma Clancy, Savina Donohoe and Martin Maguire who worked with the artists encouraging, recording, editing and compiling this work.  



We look forward to 2021 when these and other Cavan artists and creatives will make and share their artwork with audiences in spaces in Cavan and further afield.

Date and time:

14 Dec 2020 - 30 Nov 2021

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