(u;la la)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Watch this space...

Taking a stroll in Trim is one of our great luxuries; huge green spaces, flowers everywhere, a big lively river, stunning heritage buildings... and now art on walls! How exciting to see local talent Meghan Quinn & John Gray given a blank canvas to add more colour to our town! We have been marvelling at their recent murals and had the privilege to follow their progress.

Their reconstruction of the old Market street is quite spectacular, yet delivered in a naive and nostalgic style that will enchant tourists no end. As for their giant Gulliver, finished just on time for the Trim Swift Festival, it not only represents our cultural heritage and the legacy of our famous writer, but also embodies the quirkiness and resourcefulness of our artists: using disaffected buildings and turning them into something beautiful and relevant.

This is something that the Irish artists have been campaigning for in the past years* and we feel it is an important part of moving on from the damage left by the recession. Like turning wounds into well-healed scars. The support of local authorities and business owners is invaluable in this process: last year, we were allowed the use of a restaurant for the Big End Breakfast, organised by Martin Tighe. This was a perfect example of the successful collaboration between business and artists: empty premises became a lively stage for performance, community encounters and delicious food! Other community groups are currently being helped along, again not with cash but with space. Space and time are our most valuable and unattainable tools. Without them, we cannot produce, we cannot entertain, we cannot survive.

With space and time, we can offer the magic, the wonder, the beauty, the laughter, the moving and the exciting that will delight locals and make tourists say “I'll have to go to Trim and see that!”

Just like Meghan and John's murals.

* See the National Campaign for the Arts for more info: http://www.ncfa.ie/

Monday, June 27, 2011

Invading the streets...

When Solstice Arts Centre approached us to coordinate their parade in Navan for their festival, we took a deep breath and we jumped right in: we LOVE parades! They are a lot of fun to work on and you always get to meet people that you haven’t met before.

It’s always good to see a community coming together to create some energy in the town and this was no exception. We worked with Belinda and her staff in Solstice to brainstorm some ideas for the parade regarding routes, themes and general ideas.

One thing we were all agreed upon was that we wanted it to be colourful. Once we were all happy with what we came up with, we had to get in touch with all the people that we wanted to take part in the parade, from the Youthreach Progression Samba band, to the schools and community groups, to the volunteers.

The phone calls started, the emails were sent, the letters were posted. School secretaries made appointments for Delphine to visit all the teachers and she got busy making prototype hats and props that the children could make.

The hunt for volunteers began, with help from Jeanette and Stephen in Meath Volunteer Centre. The town council, the Gardai and the Civil Defence were brought on board. Road closures were arranged, local businesses were contacted and the word was spread via social media, newspaper ads and announcements at Mass.

We arranged transport for those who needed it and treats for those who wanted them. We organised an induction meeting for volunteers and teachers so they could get to know each other and go through the ins & outs of the parade.

The night before the event, we made last minute changes to our event specific risk assessment document while the council put barriers and traffic cones out on the Fair Green and stiltwalkers invaded the shopping centre.

Somewhere along the line, we had made friends with the talented Marta at Callmarta Foto and the kind people at Lord Consulting Engineers, who let her use their 3rd floor office window. But we still hadn’t sorted out the weather! The Irish rain was pelting down for days, but by Thursday morning, the sky was blue and the sun came out to play as the children arrived to their pre-arranged positions to meet their stewards.

After that, it was just a case of making sure that the kids were enjoying themselves and that wasn’t hard, with the Navan Samba band beating out their infectious rhythms. With the sun as our grand marshall, the townsfolk came out to wave us on our merry way as we walked the route. Shopkeepers stood outside their windows to take it all in while Marta ran up and down the street capturing it all. After that it was just a case of cleaning up, and going home to get ready for the Fidget Feet show that night...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Joust for Fun

Jousting in the 12th century in Trim involved broken bones, cracked skulls, knights in shining armour and the ring of steel echoing off the castle walls. It was no fun. Oulala is more into having a bit of craic so we decided to do our own take on medieval jousting. It still involves beautiful maids and knights charging about the place trying to win mock battles but it's a lot less dangerous. Unless, of course, you fear your pride being hurt.
We spent the day down at the Trim Haymaking Festival overlooking the Norman castle. Names were made in the Porchfield as the local Lords and Ladies (Aidan Mitchell from Trim Drama Group and his lovely wife Angela) knighted those who survived the tournament.

We even had a fair maid from Cavan (Lady Russell) who threw her veil down and picked up the gauntlet. Strange times indeed!

For more pictures Click here

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Are you free in the next 2 weeks?

We are organising a BIG - COLOURFUL - UNFORGETTABLE parade in Navan for the Solstice Festival: more than 800 people will take part, forming a river of colours through the streets!

We invite PHOTOGRAPHERS and VIDEOGRAPHERS to seize the opportunity and come and shoot to their heart's content; get in touch with us and we'll organise access and the best spots for you to capture this vivid event.

We are also urgently appealing to VOLUNTEERS to come and help us on the day: all you will need to do is to welcome participants onto the Fairgreen in Navan and walk the Parade with them, making sure they don't walk too fast!

We will need you this Wednesday 8th June from 11am to 12pm for an induction meeting and on the day of the parade, Thursday 23rd June from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
We will take care of you as regards refreshments, a special nice thing just for you, etc.

If you are available and interested, please contact Delphine on 087 9747682. If you are not, please pass this message on to people who might be!

Thanks for your support!