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Ennis artist helps resurrect famine era sculpture of Christ

A DECAYED statue dating back to Famine times has been restored and reinstalled in Portumna’s Workhouse cemetery thanks to the help of Ennis-based artist Larisa K Bevillard and Moycullen-based Klaus Dieter Von Kerckoff. The statue, depicting the crucifixion of Jesus, had been lying abandoned and badly damaged at the cemetery of Portumna’s Workhouse for decades. The pair were tasked to carry out the repair work by Galway County Council and the newly restored statue has now been reinstalled back in its original location. Ms Bevillard told The Champion it was “horrifying” to see the damage to the statue recalling it “crumbled extensively due in part to its composition and  mixture of excessive sand with insufficient cement”. She explained that as part of the restoration the remains of the statue were first brought to Ennis, before Covid-19 restrictions, for initial works. It was partially restored in Ennis with Ms Bevillard rebuilding the fingers and hands before it was brought to Moycullen …

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Clare photographers have eyes on prize in the skies

SOME out of this world imagery has put two Clare photographers in the running for a prestigious prize. Two Clare men have been chosen for the next stage of the ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition, run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS). The competition aims to find the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland over the past year. Jason Murphy, from Ennis has been shortlisted with two photographs in the ‘Out of this World’ category. Gavin Sheehan, from Bridgetown, meanwhile has been shortlisted in the ‘Back on Earth’ category. While a high-profile judging panel will select the overall winning entries in the coming weeks, an online vote was launched this week so members of the public can also have their say. All shortlisted images can now be viewed on the ‘Reach for the Stars’ website, www.reachforthestars.ie, where members of the public can also cast their vote for their favourite image. Over 160 images were submitted to the competition in …

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Clare poet Grace’s Platform to advance her work

NORTH Clare writer and poet Grace Wells has been announced as the Clare artist for 2022’s Platform 31 scheme. Platform 31 is a nationwide artist development scheme involving 31 local authority offices across the country in collaboration with the Arts Council. It is designed to support artists to reflect on and develop their practice or make work in a new way, while being connected with and supported by peer practitioners, advisors and mentors. Thirty-one participating artists, one from each Local Authority area in Ireland, have been announced including Grace who was named Ennistymon Poetry Town Poet Laureate in 2021. Developed by the Association of Local Authority Arts Offices (ALAAO) with the Arts Council, Platform 31 offers two elements of support – financial and developmental – for mid-career artists across all disciplines. Speaking about the announcement, Grace said, “I’m delighted to have been selected for Platform 31. It’s a unique opportunity for me to connect with other artists and consider different …

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Poetry in the Park returns to Gort this Sunday

THE free public poetry reading series ‘Poetry in the Park’, returns for its second year to the Canon Quinn Park in Gort this Sunday. Taking place between 1 and 2pm, the event invites all local poets and budding poets to come along and read their poems, or recite poems from their favourite authors. “We are delighted to have public poetry back in one of the loveliest public facilities we have in Gort, Canon Quinn Park’, said Justin McDermott, organiser of Poetry in the Park. “We had some wonderful days of sunshine and poetry last year, and we are looking forward to hearing more of the talent of our modern local poets.” Any poets or budding poets interested in doing a reading at Poetry in the Park are asked to register in advance by emailing mcdermottjustin@hotmail.com.  People of all ages are welcome to come with friends and family, bring a picnic and enjoy the poetry in this wonderful local amenity park. Poetry in …

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Tony Holohan to launch book at Clare primary school

THE former chief medical offficer who saw Ireland through the worst of the pandemic will launch a newly published book of poems by pupils in Scoil na Maighdine Mhuire, Newmarket-on-Fergus this Tuesday. At 1.30pm in the school, Dr Tony Holohan will launch the book entitled ‘Covid Voices: Third Class pupils reflect’, a unique collection of children’s reflections, thoughts and art work about the pandemic. Speaking before the launch, principal, Moira McMahon said “We are super proud of our 3rd class pupils’ work. Teachers, Ms Healy Eames and Mr Curley, have been working with the pupils to produce this book of poems since the end of January. “Their teachers have enabled our nine and ten-year-olds to be authors and to reflect on the meaning of the pandemic in their lives. It is a phenomenal achievement and fascinating to read the range of Covid-related themes the children have expressed through their poems.” Commenting on Dr Holohan doing the launch, special education teacher, …

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GALLERY: Shannon set to party again after first festival finishes

LIVE entertainment is back and the Shannon Summer Music Festival took place in the Town Park on Saturday, offering entertainment to young and old throughout the day. Organiser Chris Walshe was happy with the event, despite some less than ideal weather. “It was great, despite the weather we still had a good turnout. We had a very good turnout early in the day for the children’s entertainment, we had face painting, balloon modellers and the kiddie’s discos. We got a bad bout of rain for an hour or two, but people drifted back then for the live music. “For a finish we probably had 150 and 200 out in the Park. Everyone was there enjoyed it, the musicians were delighted and it was nice to have the opportunity to have a big production like that in Shannon and to show off the Park as a venue.” It featured a number of local musicians and he said the day was the …

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Clare artist part of unique new national exhibition

A WEST Clare artist has been chosen to participate in an inaugural exhibition to platform artists with intellectual disabilities. Brian Cusack from Kilrush is one of ten artists chosen by Connections Arts Centre (CAC) to participate in the bold and innovative exhibition to be held later this month in Dublin’s Royal College of Surgeons. Brian says, “My love of art emerged as a young man and it has grown over the past 15 years. I mostly work with acrylics, and paint a wide variety of subjects, usually from existing images, but more recently I have taken to open-air painting. I am really happy and exciting about exhibiting in the Connections Arts exhibition. “I am so lucky that I and three colleagues are supported to run our own business called ‘Woodwebs’, we have a stall in Kilrush Farmers Market selling woodcraft. It’s a place that is important to me, full of colour, energy and laughter where craft workers and artisan food …

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Painting is a treasurer for former librarian

‘PAINTING is a Treasure’ is the title of the upcoming solo exhibition, by Carmel Daly which opens at the start of next month at the Courthouse Gallery in Kinvara. Carmel’s motto and philosophy is that “painting is a treasure and a pleasure,” and it is and adage she has lived by. Carmel is a visual artist, born in Galway and living locally. Her work is mainly representative of everyday life and scenes which she paints in vibrant colours. Her work is inspired by the beauty of the Burren, from observing rural pastures and pastimes, and people at their work and leisure. Well known in the Banner, Carmel is a former librarian with Clare County Libraries. She has facilitated access and provision for arts and creativity. Carmel helped to implement library policy to support community and cultural organisations, as well as promoting cultural events in Ennis and Shannon Libraries. Believing in access and provision of information, education and recreation, Carmel encouraged arts and …

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