Workshops & Readings

Leo Cullen Creative Writing Workshop
Castletownbere Library

11am – 1pm, 2 – 4pm, Saturday August 5th
Free, but places limited (booking: / 027 70233)

Born in Co Tipperary, Leo lives with his painter wife, Carole, in Dublin. He is the recipient of three Arts Council literature awards, and has won prizes in various short story competitions. He has been a broadcaster on RTE Radio’s Sunday Miscellany, and also on BBC radio. His publications include the short story collection, Clocking Ninety on the Road to Cloughjordan, and the novel, Let’s Twist Again.

Leo has given writers workshops and master classes at Listowel Writers’ Week and Anam Cara, Eyeries, as well as in Dublin, Wales, Australia and New York.

Tim Goulding Artist’s Talk
Beara Community School
1pm, Sunday August 6th
Admission: Free

Tim Goulding was born in Dublin in 1945 and has lived and worked near Allihies since 1969. Since 1964, he has exhibited extensively in Ireland, Britain, Portugal and the USA. He is a member of Aosdána.

Tim was one of the founders of the first Artists in Beara exhibition in 1992, and was the first chairman of the Beara Community Arts Society, which organised Beara Arts Festival from 1993.

Tim’s talk will cover his career as an artist over the past six decades.

Further information:

Origami Workshop with Andrew Desmond
Castletownbere Library
11am- 1pm, Sunday August 6th

Admission: Free workshop suitable for all age groups 10+ years.

Andrew Desmond is a graduate of NCAD, and is CEO of Whazon Publications, a printed & online guide to Cultural Activities in Cork City established in 1995.

Andrew practices a free-style of origami by simply taking a blank page and beginning with one random fold. He then follows that fold-line to see where it goes, and to discover what shapes might arise from a plain two-dimensional sheet of paper. Andrew’s origami favours an economy of folds and a simplicity of line and form; making the fewest folds to capture a likeness of some identifiable object or creature.

In this workshop, Andrew will demonstrate some of his own paper-folded discoveries and will also teach some traditional origami techniques.

Ukulele Workshop for Absolute Beginners with Andrew [D’Uke] Desmond
Castletownbere Library
2 – 4pm, Sunday August 6th

Admission: Free workshop suitable for all age groups 10+ years.

Andrew Desmond is a graduate of NCAD, and is CEO of Whazon Publications, a printed & online guide to Cultural Activities in Cork City established in 1995.

Andrew has played ukulele and taught others to do so for years, and believes everyone can and should learn this fun and joyful musical instrument. Andrew will present a class teaching basic ukulele chords and techniques, along with some classic tunes by the greats, such as Chuck Berry and Leonard Cohen. A limited number of ukuleles will be available to borrow or buy on the day.

Alex Barclay Writers’ Workshop for Children
Castletownbere Library
11am – 1pm, Monday August 7th
(booking: / 027 70233)

Alex Barclay is the author of several bestselling thrillers, as well as the children’s title, Curse of Kings. She studied journalism in college, and went on to work as a journalist and copywriter before writing her first novel, Darkhouse, a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller featuring NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi. This was followed by a sequel, The Caller.

Alex won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book Awards for her third novel, Blood Runs Cold, which was the beginning of the Special Agent Ren Bryce series. Since then, Ren has featured in Time of Death, and Alex’s most recent novel, Blood Loss.

Oil Painting Demonstration with John Eagle
Beara Community School
1pm, Monday August 7th

John Eagle is a photographer, artist and author who lives in Beara. His book Ireland’s Lighthouses is published by Collins Press. John also organises Irish Lighthouses and Coastal Tours of Ireland.

John is a self-taught artist whose work is available in galleries throughout West Cork and Kerry.

Further information:

Annette Skade Poetry Reading
At Cormac Boydell and Rachel Parry’s house and studios at Reentrisk, Allihies
4pm Sunday August 6th

Cormac Boydell/Rachel Parry House and Studios
3K from Allihies Village on the R575
GPS 51.656448,-10.064832

If the weather is good, this reading will be in the garden. If not it will be in the studio. Bring a cushion.

Please park your car safely on the main road.

Annette Skade, from Manchester, has lived on the Beara Peninsula since 1989, initially at Garnish, and more recently in Glengarriff. Annette has a Degree in Ancient Greek and Philosophy from Liverpool University, and an MA in Poetry Studies from Dublin City University. In July 2013, she launched her debut collection of poetry, Thimblerig, at the West Cork Literary Festival.

Annette Skade, from Manchester, has lived on the Beara Peninsula since 1989, initially at Garnish, and more recently in Glengarriff. Annette has a Degree in Ancient Greek and Philosophy from Liverpool University, and an MA in Poetry Studies from Dublin City University. In July 2013, she launched her debut collection of poetry, Thimblerig, at the West Cork Literary Festival.

Eileen Brennan Art Workshop for Children (6 – 10 year olds)
Castletownbere Library
2 – 4pm, Tuesday August 8th
Free (booking: / 027 70233)

Eileen Brennan is a native of Castletownbere, and has always had an interest in the visual arts. Since completing several courses including Arts in the Community and Art for Children, she has been leading workshops and classes for children and adults thoughout Beara. Her specialities are painting, decoupage, and interior decoration in her spare time.

Tina Darb PR for Artists Workshop
Beara Community School
11am – 1pm, Wednesday August 9th
Admission: Free

Tina Darb will advise on how artists can best generate media publicity for their practices.

Tina has a background in visual art, arts administration and marketing. Her qualifications include Fetac & CHUNTO awards in Arts Administration from Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa in 2002, an Honours Degree in Ceramic Design (with Glass) from CIT Crawford Collage of Art & Design in 2010 and a Higher Diploma in Arts & Public Relations from CIT in 2013.

Tina worked at Cork Opera House from 2004 until 2010 as a Box Office Assistant & later Business Development Executive. She writes features for the Irish Examiner relating to fine art and craft. In 2011/12 she ran CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery before taking up her current post at Triskel Arts Centre where she manages the PR and Marketing for the venue as well as its substantial programme of music, cinema, art and literary events. She also does publicity for the Cork World Book Fest and teaches a night course in Marketing and Sales at Cork College of Commerce.

Tina’s main passion is working on exhibitions. She has worked as an independent curator since 2011. Working with photographer Terry O’Neill at Cork City Hall, CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery and Sarah Walker Gallery in 2012 and Seán Scully at Crawford Art Gallery in 2014 are some highlights. She is curator of Configuration, the showcase exhibition for Cork Craft Month at Cork City Hall this August.

Bénédicte Coleman Artist’s Talk
Beara Community School
1pm Thursday August 10th

Bénédicte graduated from the Cork Crawford College of Art in 2013. Her degree show installation earned her the National Sculpture Factory Bursary Award, which culminated with her installation Papyrus Infiltrans in the garden of the Crawford Art Gallery in July 2014. This exhibition was commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival.

In September 2015, Bénédicte showed her installation In the Garden of all Things in Sarah Walker Gallery, Castletownbere. This exhibition was supported by the Culture Night Cork County Commission Scheme.

Other exhibitions include Overture: Selected Showcase for Emerging Artists, Damer House Roscrea 2013; Art & Style Brown Thomas: Curated Window Exhibition, Cork 2013; Found: Selected Beara Artists, Allihies Mine Museum, Beara.

Bénédicte lives in Eyeries, Beara.

Leanne O’Sullivan Poetry Workshop
Allihies Men’s Shed
11am – 1pm and 2 – 4pm, Saturday August 12th
Admission: Free, but limited to ten (book at

Beara poet Leanne O’Sullivan was born in 1983. She received an MA in English from University College, Cork in 2006. The winner of several of Ireland’s poetry competitions in her early twenties (including the Seacat, Davoren Hanna and RTE Rattlebag Poetry Slam), she has published three collections, all from Bloodaxe: Waiting for My Clothes (2004); Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009), winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2010; and The Mining Road (2013).

Leanne was given the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award in 2009 and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry in 2011, and received a UCC Alumni Award in 2012. Her work has been included in various anthologies, including Selina Guinness’s The New Irish Poets (Bloodaxe Books, 2004) and Billy Collins’s Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (Random House, 2003). She is currently Lecturer in Creative writing at University College Cork.

Nature Walk on Bere Island with John O’Sullivan
Meet at the pier at Rerrin Village
2pm, Saturday August 12th

A plant scientist by training, John has worked for UCC and Teagasc. He was part of the Bere Island team that won first prize for Most Species in the Island BioBlitz in 2016.

The walk will showcase the island’s rich biodiversity, and include highlights such as the nationally vulnerable Marsh Fritillary butterfly and the Kerry Slug, a species that is found only in southwestern Ireland and northern Spain and Portugal. Comfortable foot-ware and clothing are advised.

Writer -in-residence: Sara Baume

This year, Beara Arts Festival has selected Sara as its first ever writer-in-residence in recognition of the quality of her work and her interest in the natural world. Sara will stay at Dinny’s Place artists’ retreat in North Allihies for the duration of the festival.

Sara Baume won the 2014 Davy Byrne’s Short Story Award, and in 2015, the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award and the Rooney Prize for Literature. Her debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and is currently being translated into ten different languages. Her second novel, A Line Made by Walking, was published in spring 2017. She grew up in East Cork and now lives in West Cork.


Artist’s Talk: A Journey into Art with Bill Griffin
Venue: Lehanmore Community Centre
Time and date: 6pm, Thursday August 10th

Free. No booking necessary.
Artist Bill Griffin will discuss his inspitations and techniques. Bill’s talk will be in the theatre at Lehanmore Community Centre, but he will also invite visitors to view his work in his studio next door.
Born in Cork in 1947, Bill left school at 14 to re-line brake pads and clutches. He went on to work at the Ford assembly plant. A thirst for adventure drove him to sign on as a roustabout, at first on the North Sea and then on the Marathon Kinsale gas field closer to home.
As a young man in the mid-1960s, Bill moved to London to pursue his passion and path by becoming an artist. In 1971, however, drawn by the opportunity to travel and the challenge of a new career. Bill went to work in the oil fields. Rising quickly through the ranks, his natural business acumen and engineering abilities meant that by the eighties Bill was serving as a board member and oil concession negotiator for some of the world’s major oil companies. Working in such diverse fields as Africa, Australia, Russia and the Middle East gave him the opportunity to experience the lifestyle and imagery of these places.
Bill went on to buy his own oil rig and branched out by doing contract drilling off Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and North Africa.
In his art practice, Bill has learned to bypass the traditional academic system, and instead uses symbolism to expose us to the purest of imagery that will take us to the inner space of his mind. Although his style is not representational in the traditional sense, these are subverted images of traditional subjects.
Bill is completely in the present moment when he paints; his point of departure is the act of painting itself. Colour is his voice and symbolism is his language.
Bill’s oil merchant roots allows him to comfortably work in tandem with his fingers, alluding to his “ten brushes is better than one” mindset.

Drop-in Drawing Session with Ida Mitrani
Beara Community School
2 – 4pm, Friday August 11th
Free, no booking necessary

Meet artist Ida Mitrani and learn basic drawing techniques including shading, line drawing, gestural drawing and texture representation.

This informal and relaxed session will guide you towards the ability to transpose what is seen onto a two-dimensional drawing surface.

Open to visitors of all ages. Materials are provided, but you may bring your own sketchbook and pencils.