New Bealtaine art commission brings communities together in the South East


Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival, in association with the Arts Offices of Wexford County Council and Waterford City and Co. Council are pleased to announce an exciting new arts initiative in the South East.

The three organisations have come together to commission a new work by Wexford based artist Alanna O’Kelly, known for highly experimental, cross disciplinary work.

This new commission titled ‘Liminal States’ has been developed over the last year through an immersive collaborative creative process, and builds on earlier bodies of work. Alanna has worked closely with people living in Direct Provision Centres in County Waterford and also with members of The Quay Notes Choir in County Wexford to explore themes of ‘Hospitality, Hosting and Belonging’.

This process included intensive research, Fine Art printmaking workshops, audio and sound workshops, discussions, debates and story sessions involving collaborations with South East based practitioners; artist Anthony Lyttle, artist and writer Brian Garvey, choreographer and movement artist Libby Seward, musician and composer Pol Brennan, Elaine Winch, Director of The Quay Notes Choir and artist Pavlina Kubelkova.

As part of this commission two live public events are planned and will take place during this year’s Bealtaine Festival in May:

  • A performative event on Saturday 18th May 2019 at 8pm to coincide with the full moon in Hook Lighthouse, on the Hook Peninsula in Wexford.
  • A multi-media installation, to be screened on Saturday 25th May at 7.30pm in St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford city.

Speaking about the commission Age & Opportunity’s Arts Programme Manager and Bealtaine Festival Director, Tara Byrne said:

“This project is a central part of Bealtaine’s national remit and intention to work with every local authority in Ireland. Through it we want to celebrate the work of older artists working in every corner of Ireland and offer them the chance to develop a new work with communities in those localities over a two-year period. We are thrilled to be working with Waterford and Wexford Arts Offices and to have commissioned an artist of the stature of Alanna O Kelly.”

Liz Burns from Wexford County Council Arts Office said:

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Bealtaine Festival and our neighbours in Waterford on this exciting commission which supports new work by Wexford artist Alanna O’Kelly.”

Margaret Organ, Arts Officer, Waterford City & County Council remarked that collaborative projects of this nature strengthened both the artistic offering and community engagement and encouraged people to attend the public events during the Bealtaine Festival 2019.


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