Famed TV producer and creative director of Liverpool Culture Company, Phil Redmond has welcomed a major Irish cultural event that will take place this summer as part of Liverpool ‘s Capital of Culture Year.
Opening at the Contemporary Urban Centre in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle on the 24th July and running to 7th September, ‘FÍS 2008‘ will celebrate and examine the strong historic and cultural links between Ireland and Liverpool through a major contemporary art exhibition and a series of talks and films. ‘FÍS’ which is the Gaelic for ‘VISION’ reflects the role of the Irish language in this event. The official launch of Fís 2008 will be in Irish and English and the films and documentaries to be shown have been made in Irish with English subtitles. Support for this event comes from Foras na Gaeilge in Ireland (the national agency for the promotion of the Irish language), the Contemporary Urban Centre, Liverpool and the ‘Reel Ireland ‘ programme of the Irish Film Institute.
The visual art exhibition,which will be opened by Derek Hannon, Cultural Attaché – Irish Embassy London; will run from 25th July to 7th September, (gallery open Tuesday – Sunday 11.00 am – 6.00pm but closed on Mondays except Bank holiday Mondays). In the selection of this show works have been included that provide a wide contour of Irish art practice to include painting, photography and installation. In the past few years Irish art has undergone a renaissance confident enough to create an individual response to the world around it. There are twelve artists featured including Eamon Colman (Aosdána), Fiona Ní Mhaoilir, Raymond Watson, Mary Fitzpatrick, Pauline O’Connell, Rodney Dickson, Geraldine O’Neill, Martin Campbell, Elizabeth Cope, Derek Culley, Anna Marie Quinn and David Quinn.
Our series of films and talks will take place over two weekends starting at 2pm.
On Saturday 26th July, a talk by Dr Ian McKeane on how the Irish War of Independence impacted on Liverpool will be followed by the 1967 short documentary ‘Fleá Ceoil’. On Sunday 27th July, Mary Clinton will speak on the role played by the Irish in the evolution of the Liverpool dialect – ‘Scouse’. Mary’s talk will be followed by an award winning Irish language documentary about homelessness in London , ‘Idir Dhá Shaol’, (Between Two Lives).
On Saturday 2nd August, ‘Nead an Dreolín’ (The Wren’s Nest) and ‘In the Days of Saint Patrick’ will be shown back to back. ‘Nead an Dreoilín’ is a collection of short films exploring the poetry of six living Irish language poets. ‘In The Days of Saint Patrick’ (1920) is a milestone in Irish cinema and will be accompanied by renowned Irish harpist Cormac de Barra who will play music specially composed for this silent film. On Sunday 3rd August Patrick Fitzgerald of The Centre For Migration Studies in Omagh will chronicle the history of migration between north west England and Ireland . This will be followed by the film ‘Kings’ starring Colm Meaney, adapted from Jimmy Murphy’s acclaimed play ‘The Kings of the Kilburn High Road’.
PHIL REDMOND’S STATEMENT
The Irish are famed for their love of poetry and music. These gifts they brought with them when they emigrated to Liverpool over the centuries and especially in the late 1800’s.The language of Ireland combined with the local version of English helped form the Liverpool dialect that became known as Scouse, now synonymous with the city.
FÍS 2008, through a series of talks and bilingual films, explores these Irish connections with Liverpool ‘s modern evolution to become European Capital of Culture. Plus FÍS 2008 also introduces that often forgotten aspect of contemporary Irish culture, its Visual Artists. FÍS 2008 therefore contributes to and helps broaden the wider exhibition of contemporary art works being staged in Liverpool during the city’s 2008 celebrations, by bringing together an array of works from Ireland . There is no identikit for finding a style in this, rather an exploration of the diversity to which these artists are contributing. The idea of bringing artists together in this way usually implies the mechanically tooled style of a multinational art, but the common factor in FÍS 2008 is the Irish culture from which these artists have drawn in some way.
It is indeed an honour and privilege that Liverpool, European Capital of Culture has been the catalyst for this cultural event, which is having its inaugural event here in Liverpool .
Liverpool Culture Company
* The Contemporary Urban Centre is a new idea for the 21st Century. An Arts, Cultural and Social Enterprise, the Contemporary Urban Centre will reflect the themes of contemporary life in the urban environment, particularly from the point of view of marginalised and excluded communities.
Novas Arts is an evolving programme of creative expression for people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities who seek to experience the transformative power of art. Through exhibitions, public art and educational programs we promote artistic exploration and appreciation; encourage community participation and growth; and provide opportunities for empowerment and social change.