After an absence of twelve years, Beara Arts Festival returned to the cultural calendar in summer 2016. The programme - packed with local artistic, literary and musical talent – was such a success that plans are already well underway for the 2017 edition.

Beara Arts Festival has its roots in the first Artists in Beara exhibition, which ran at Beara Community School in Castletownbere in 1992. That event featured work by twenty-five artists living in, or associated with, the Beara peninsula. Among them were Tim Goulding, Cormac Boydell, Rachel Parry, Danny Osborne, Charles Tyrrell, Sarah Walker, Mick Mulcahy, Louis le Brocquy and Anne Madden.

Beara Arts Festival was launched the following year, again with an Artists in Beara group exhibition at its heart. The festival became an annual event, running until 2004. In that time, it featured numerous art exhibitions and installations, artists’ talks, literary workshops and readings, as well as musical and theatrical performances. The festival also published two collections of work by Beara poets with illustrations by local artists; Maidin i mBéara and The Colours of the Wind.

John Kingerlee, a longtime resident in Beara, was among the artists featured in every Artists in Beara group exhibition from 1992, and Beara Arts Festival also hosted a solo exhibition of his work in 1995. Kingerlee celebrated his eightieth birthday in February 2016, and it seemed entirely appropriate that the revived Beara Arts Festival should centre on the largest exhibition of his work ever mounted in Ireland. Kingerlee’s practice was the subject of a public seminar at Beara Community School on July 23, and the retrospective, Beyond the Beyonds, opened at the same venue on July 24 and ran until August 5.

Beara Arts Festival 2016 also featured a wealth of local literary, musical and artistic talent, with talks, readings, workshops and performances in venues such as Beara Community School, Castletownbere Library and the Sarah Walker Gallery on the Pier, Castletownbere. The festival’s Sonic Boxes project, featuring the work of local electronic music artists, included Compartments, a collaboration between poet Annette Skade and her son, composer Cormac Mac an Fhalla, that was broadcast on the Dursey Island cable-car for eight days. Other recordings, by David Harmax and Ian Geraghty, were housed in metal boxes at the Allihies Mines, Dunboy, the Glebe Graveyard outside Castletownbere and Glenbeg Lake outside Ardgroom.

Beara Arts Festival 2016 was supported by the Arts Office of Cork County Council and Castletownbere Development Association.


Beara Arts Festival 2016 at a glance

July 23-August 7 | Island–Oileán | Sarah Walker Gallery | Exhibitions

Saturday July 23, 11.30am-2.30pm | Public Seminar: An exploration of John Kingerlee's work as an artist | Beara Community School | Talks

July 24-August 5 | John Kingerlee | Beyond the Beyonds: A Retrospective (1962-2016) | Beara Community School | Exhibitions

Wednessday July 27, 1pm | John Eagle: Beara from the Air | Beara Community School | Talks

Friday July 29, 7pm | Leanne O'Sullivan | Castletownbere Library | Readings

Saturday July 30, 11am-1pm & 2-4pm | Annette Skade | Poetry Workshop for Adults | Castletownbere Library | Workshops

Saturday July 30, 2pm | Island – Oileán Artists’ Talk | Sarah Walker Gallery on the Pier, Castletownbere | Talks

Saturday July 30, 9pm | Ana Gog | Sarah Walker Gallery | Music

Sunday July 31, 2pm | Annette Skade | Castletownbere Library | Readings

Sunday July 31 - August 5, | Sonic Boxes | Beara Peninsula | Sonic Boxes

Tuesday August 2, 1pm | Bénédicte Coleman | Beara Community School | Talks

Wednesday August 3, 1pm | John Dwyer: Self-publishing Workshop | Beara Community School | Workshops

Thursday August 4, 1-3pm | David Harmax: Music Composition for Film | Beara Community School | Workshops



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Beara Arts Festival 2016

Reading | Leanne O’Sullivan

7pm, Friday July 29
Castletownbere Library

Readings | Annette Skade

2pm, Sunday July 31
Castletownbere Library

Exhibition | John Kingerlee

July 24 - August 5
Beara Community School, Castletownbere

Exhibition | Island–Oileán

July 23 - August 5
Sarah Walker Gallery, Castletownbere


More information following soon...
More information following soon...
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