Clifden Arts Festival Visual Arts Programme Promises To Educate, Entertain And Enchant

By July 20, 2016April 25th, 2021No Comments

The 39th Clifden Arts Festival will take place from the 15th-25th September 2016 and will showcase Ireland’s diverse and artistic culture through compelling events which promise to enchant and educate people of all ages. Highlights of the visual arts programme include exhibitions from internationally renowned sculptor John Behan, a spectacular collection from the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) and breath-taking aerial performances from the Irish aerial circus company ‘Fidget Feet’.

The festival’s Visual Arts Manager, John Durning, explained that this year’s visual arts programme promises to illuminate the town of Clifden, “The programme is highly educational and aims to enhance visitor’s knowledge and expand their understanding of visual arts. The visual arts programme will include oil paintings, sculpture, photography, installations and film combined with soundscapes and visuals in order to bring the art to life. John Durning, has stated that the festival will act as a “Visual arts mystery tour with extra surprise elements to come which will add to the joy and spontaneity of the programme”. He also added that the exhibitions will show us new ways at looking at our surroundings, “Through the use of sound, music and words, the art work will encapsulate all our senses which allows us to see the creative that is within ourselves.”

The Clifden Arts Trail will transform the picturesque town of Clifden into an art gallery, which will host a variety of group and solo exhibitions resulting in a breath-taking array of colourful and creative displays. The Arts Trail will feature many professional artists and includes exhibitions from Mary Donnelly, Rosie McGurran and Margaret Irwin West. However, the festival will also support many local and amateur artists, giving them well-deserved recognition and an opportunity to express themselves in a local environment.

The well renowned RHA exhibition will showcase various artistic genres and eclectic collections from numerous contemporary Irish artists such as; James Hanley, Una Sealy, Alice Maher, Donald Teskey and Mick O’Dea, to name just a few. Another exhibition on the Arts Trail will include an inspirational art collection from John Behan. John Behan is a firmly established sculptor, and can be credited with playing a major part in the development of sculpture in Ireland over the last 50 years. His stunning collection will showcase a development of his contemporary work over the years and will indicate what impacts him most in society.

Since 2004, “Fidget feet” a pint sized Irish aerial circus company, have grown exponentially and have performed across five continents to thousands of people. “Fidget feet” will once again perform at this year’s festival showcasing their spectacular acrobatics and incredible talent. Through their captivating, vibrant aerial dances they tell stories which appeal to all age groups by using cranes, forests and even swinging from buildings.

Other incredible visual arts events will include puppetry from the local Fíbín Puppetry Theatre Company who create compelling, highly visual theatre for young audiences by using puppets, masks, music and shadows. The Drama “Beowulf: The Blockbuster”, a one-man show written and performed by Bryan Burroughs will also feature at the festival. It achieved an “Acting Experience” award and emerged as the number one show to see at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Pop up cinemas will also feature at this year’s festival. There will be a special event showing the film ‘Mise Eire’. Directed by George Morrison, the film reveals the events that took place throughout the 1916 Rising and also includes original footage from this period. In addition to this, there will be a screening of ‘Fis na Fuiseoige’ (A Lark’s View) an award-winning film, directed by Aodh Ó Coileáin. ‘Fís na Fuiseoige’ explores the connection between people and place as expressed in Irish poetry and local lore.

The finale of the festival will include an explosion of visual arts events such as the Grand Parade which will see acrobats, jugglers, face painters, singers, dancers, live music and the infamous fireworks extravaganza. There will most certainly be something to suit everyone in this year’s visual arts programme.

For more information about the Clifden Arts Festival and ticket sales, please visit