It’s not just the thousands of Donegal supporters with their ‘Welcome home Sam’ bonfires that will (hopefully) illuminate the Donegal skyline on All-Ireland weekend.
An Cosán Glas, a Gaeltacht based artists collective, promise to get the All-Ireland weekend off to a bright and luminous start by offering the Donegal public a chance to view their beautiful, illuminated sculptures on the Friday night before the game.
As part of the nationwide Culture Night festival, the group will host two separate exhibitions in Donegal: the ‘Loinnir’ sculpture trail which will take place in Letterkenny Town Park as part of Letterkenny Culture night; and a smaller, more intimate illuminated sculpture exhibition to be held in a factory unit in Falcarragh as part of the Gaeltacht Culture Night. Over 20 Donegal artists will participate in the exhibtions.
This is the fourth year in a row that the ‘Loinnir’ exhibition will be held in the Letterkenny Town park. The exhibition proves to be the highlight of the Letterkeny Culture Night every year and attracts over 2,000 people to the park.
As in previous years, a number of illuminated sculptures and installations will be littered throughout the park, creating a trail that the public can follow. It promises to provide a magical, sumptuous and breath-taking atmosphere (more subdued than Croke Park, perhaps, but equally inspiring!).
Donegal County Council’s Cultural Services Department who co-ordinate Culture Night in Letterkenny are delighted that the Loinnir exhibition is returning to the Town Park yet again this year. Expressing his delight, the Council’s Arts Officer, Traolach Ó Fionnáin had this to say:
“The Cosán Glas exhibition in the town park promises to be yet another spectacular and it is sure to enthral audiences, especially as this will be the first large scale public showing of this particular body of work. We have organised a number of exciting events in Letterkenny for Culture Night and this undoubtably will be the centrepiece of the night. With another Cosán Glas exhibition taking place in Falcarragh, the group are going to set the tone for what promises to be a very colourful and exciting weekend in Donegal”
For the Gaeltacht Culture Night, An Cosán Glas embark on a new venture, selecting sculptures from previous outdoor shows and exhibiting them within a new context, in the darkened space of an empty factory building, thus creating a different magical ambience.
Gaeltacht audiences are very familiar with An Cosán Glas’s work; the Gaeltacht based group hold a large night-time exhibition on Magheroarty beach every summer, where a sculpture trail is created over a 4km stretch of the beach .
This huge production is always well received with thousands of people attending the event. Although much smaller in scale to the Magheroarty production, Annjo Nic Ghiolla Cearr of An Cosan Glas believes that the Culture Night exhibition in Falcarragh will be as equally appealing to audiences as the Magheroarty exhibition.
Miss Nic Giolla Chearr said “The Culture night exhibition in Falcarragh is different from what we normally do. It is being held indoors and it is on a smaller scale. However, it will offer audiences a more intimate experience, offering them a different perspective and understanding of our work. It is certain to possess its own dynamic and will have its own unique atmosphere. I believe it will be as equally enthralling and magical as our other exhibitions have being to date and I’m sure the Donegal public will love it. And, the tranquil atmosphere might be the perfect way to calm the nerves before the big match!!”
Local musicians and artists will perform in Falcarragh on the night, something that is sure to add to the flavour of the occasion. Culture Night in the Gaeltacht is being organised by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, the organisation responsible for the development of the arts in Gaeltacht. A host of other events are being planned, including a magical mystery arts and crafts bus tour, where the public will be brought to the workspaces of artists and craftspeople and will have an opportunity to see them at work.
Both exhibitions will be held on Friday 19th September. The Letterkenny event will take place in Letterkenny Town Park from 6pm – 10pm while the Falcarragh event will be on from 8pm to 10pm. This exhibition will also be open on Saturdy evening. Both events are free, so, this might be the best way to ‘ignite’ your All Ireland Weekend.