Mayo County Council Arts Office was recently awarded significant funding fromm the Arts Council Local Partnership Scheme to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. The project, entitled ‘I Could Read The Sky’, will see the Arts Office and Mayo Arts Squad work with Dead Good Guides (UK) and local artists to develop an integrated art project, which will culminate in a public event at Ballycroy National Park on April 13th and 14th.
UK-based Dead Good Guides are internationally recognised for their ground-breaking work as artists who rigorously explore the boundaries of art and where it engages with society.
Established in 1997 with FÁS support, Mayo County Council’s Artsquad provides excellent training in community arts skills for fifteen participants annually. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and work in a variety of contexts providing workshops, training and street theatre.
Mayo Artsquad and Dead Good Guides have worked together previously in the NEW GROUND collaboration of 2008, which had a profound effect on the practice of participating artists.
This new project offers an opportunity to re-engage and work together to create artworks which engage with the landscape, local history and community.
The physical landscape of Ballycroy, on the periphery of the European continent, sustains a history of human development, inhabitation, craft, trades, culture and the arts. This project aims to unearth these threads and use that knowledge to raise consciousness around values that shape our present and future.
Working in Ballycroy
The project will engage local/ regional/ national artists who have worked on the NEW GROUND project since 2008 and will also engage inclusively with local communities. Part of this process began in February with extensive site visits to the Ballycroy and to the project site at Ballycroy National Park. Planning and visioning sessions with all of the participating artists have also taken place.
The next episode of the project will start later in March with the artists working in Ballycroy over a three week art-making phase. This is an open-ended, collaborative, organic approach to developing art work as an immediate response to environment.
The final public event takes place over a weekend in April (April 13th and 14th, 1-6pm daily) when Ballycroy will be welcoming friends and strangers alike to come and celebrate and engage with the work created during the project.
‘I could read the sky’ received funding through the EU Local Partnership Scheme which is designed to encourage artistic partnership and co-operation across national boundaries in Europe.
The scheme supports local authorities and Ealaín na Gaeltachta working with artists and arts organisations in their localities or regions, to collaborate with partner organisations and colleagues based in other countries in Europe.
The project is also supported by Mayo County Council, Mayo Artsquad and Ballycroy Visitors Centre. It has also received a huge welcome and invaluable support through the local community.
*Our featured image of Ballycroy National Park by Anthony Hickey