May 9th, 2013
March 6th, 2013
Roe Valley Arts and Heritage Committee cordially invite local artists to apply for a bursary to attend a residential at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Co. Monaghan. This wonderful residential stay opportunity will last for one week and the bursary is worth £200 per artist, with each artist being required to pay the remaining £50. Please apply using the application form and criteria link below before 25 March 2013.
History Of Tyrone Guthrie: The opening of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan is today seen as a turning point in the cultural life of Ireland. At his death in 1971 Tyrone Guthrie, with the encouragement of his family, left the house in his will to the Irish State for use as a residential workplace for artists. Guthrie’s dream was pursued by visionary and dedicated people through the two arts councils in Ireland at a time of deep political division. The old house was skilfully converted and Annaghmakerrig opened its doors to its first residents on 10 October 1981. Over time, the Centre purchased the gardens, original parkland, lake and farmyard, together with its buildings and the leasehold of the woodlands. The re-integrated Annaghmakerrig estate was officially handed over to the Irish State in 2007, its future was assured through the takeover of maintenance of both house and lands by the Office of Public Works.
October 16th, 2012
Well, we had our second birthday celebrations last Saturday 13 October in our Drumceatt Square. You came in your hundreds, you drew, we conquered…
Drawing Inspiration featured the musical charms of the superb Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas, drawing activities with artists Angela Ginn & Glenda Rolston (as part of The Big Draw- the national campaign to promote the art of drawing), and lots of other family entertainment, never mind the large, white rabbit who was partial to demonstrating his dancing skills!
That Paddy lives locally, and yet was off recently gallivanting throughout the UK with Billy Bragg, speaks volumes about the existent creativity within the local communities and borough. From the Jane Ross Writing Group, Limavady Drama Club, to Limavady Jazz & Blues and Stendhal Festival (to name just a few of the local arts groups), the creativity in this beautiful borough is bursting at the seams.
Since opening in October 2010, we have considered it an absolute pleasure to be able to present more quality cultural events to locals, attract folks from further afield, and to also be able to support and nurture the existing voluntary arts activity right across the borough.
We have provided hundreds of arts events in the two years we have now been open, as well as hosting many hundreds of your activities – when we recently compiled the number of local groups who have used our facilities since opening, we were amazed at the extensive list, running to over 100 so far.
It has been lovely getting to know all of you and as we’re only new and still developing, we really appreciate your ongoing support, feedback and look forward to getting even better over the forthcoming years. Referencing our event title, we sincerely hope we have become a constant source of inspiration for you to draw upon. We still have a long but exciting road ahead…
Huge thanks to everyone who facilitated the event, including artists Angela Ginn & Glenda Rolston, Paddy Nash & his Happy Enchiladas (we hope they’re even happier now), BM Promotions – a superb, locally based entertainments organisation, and also the very, very talented students from the Limavady Campus of the North West Regional College. The gorgeous, colourful artwork created by YOU will be displayed in our foyer until 31 October – please pop in and have a look. It is guaranteed to make you smile.
Finally, and this is not said often enough, a huge, huge, thanks to all the team, who have made the somewhat challenging task of getting the Arts Centre up and running a daily pleasure. We are a small team and have achieved a huge amount in the last two years, thanks to our combined dedication, commitment and team spirit – the daily scone runs may also have played a part…
Desima (Arts & Cultural Services Officer/Manager)
September 14th, 2012
The Limavady and the First World War exhibition has been open less than a week and some very interesting objects and stories have already come through our doors in response to the exhibition.
Yesterday, a gentleman called Cyril Roulston brought in a puzzle game called “Get Rid of Huns” The Great European Board Game. Produced during the First World War, the puzzle contains a number of counters which represent ‘the enemy’, namely, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Turkey. The puzzle also contains a piece of mercury which represents the European Allies – British Empire, France, Russia, Belgium, Italy and Serbia. The object of the puzzle is to fill each of the seven cut holes with some of the mercury while placing the appropriately coloured disc on the spot.
The term ‘Hun’ was a derogatory term which was widely used by Allied propaganda during the war to suggest the worst kind of conduct from the Germans; crushing neutral nations and imposing brutal rule upon conquered peoples. Many toys and games were designed during the First World War based upon the conflict both politically and militarily. This one is strictly political and produced before the entry into the war by the United States or before the withdrawal of Russia.
Cyril also showed me a postcard relating to his father who served in the conflict, Trooper William Thomas Roulston. Originally from Co. Donegal, Roulston joined the army in Derry/Londonderry in September 1914 and served with the North Irish Horse. He was wounded on 12 April 1915 and continued service with the Royal Irish Fusiliers and Tank Corps before being demobbed on 12 March 1919.
Cyril discovered the postcard at a market stall in Donegal Pass, Belfast in 1998. Written from the field on 17 April 1915 to a house in Waterside, Londonderry, it states, “Am still well, as you will see by above we have changed our address. Hope you got my last letter and card. I suppose you have heard that Roulstone was wounded. He had a narrow escape from being blown to bits. Write soon, Sam.” Cyril does not know who the writer or recipient of the postcard was, but the date and address of the postcard, coupled with the mention of ‘Roulstone’, certainly seems to suggest that Cyril found a postcard relating to his father’s wounding some 83 years after the event!
The puzzle game is now on display in the Limavady and the First World War exhibition. Pictures of the game and postcard can be found on Limavady Museum’s Facebook page:
The V&A Museum has a version of the puzzle game in its collections. To find out more about the puzzle click here:
September 11th, 2012
The Limavady and the First World War exhibition opened on Saturday 8 September and one gentleman in attendance was a Mr. Bobbie Forrest (Jnr). Bobbie’s father, also called Bobbie, served in the First World War and his photograph is on display in the exhibition. Bobbie brought along a photograph of his father’s best friend, Sammy Devenny, to the opening of the exhibition and had a truly moving story to tell about him:
“On a Saturday morning in the summer of 1954, a knock came to our front door at 15 Roemill Road, Limavady. I myself opened the door and was approached by a stranger with an accent which I later learned was a Belfast one. He was looking for my father to ask where he could find Sammy Devenny; someone had told him that Sammy and my dad were buddies and as Sammy was homeless maybe my father could tell him where he could find Sammy. Apparently Sammy had carried this man who had been badly wounded off the front line to safety under fire during the First World War. Under the guidance of my father they eventually found Sammy and the man contacted the relevant people and got Sammy a little house beside the old war memorial building that had been used as a cobbler’s workshop shortly before by a cobbler called Dan McAleese who had recently died and the man himself purchased a bed and some furniture for Sammy’s new home. Sammy used to sleep below the Roe Bridge under the dry arch beside the old police barracks or among the bales of cotton in the shamble’s yard behind the old Regal Cinema and occasionally local louts painted his face while he was asleep. I think that they would not have been very proud of their actions if they had known that they had defiled a true “war hero”. Sammy’s final resting place is the graveyard at Drumachose Presbyterian Church. No headstone marks where he now resides. A true unsung forgotten war hero, some day before my demise I would like to place a stone to mark his grave.” – Bobbie Forrest (Jnr), September 2012
August 6th, 2012
Learn about the history of the Roe Valley and your ancestors’ lives and migration experiences first-hand on excursions to some of Limavady Borough’s most historic sites.
For further information please click here
July 11th, 2012
The Limavady United F.C. exhibition opened on Saturday 7 July. Both former players and supporters of the club were in attendance, including Mr. R. Kennedy, Honorary Life President of the Irish Football Association and Mr. S. Curry, President of Limavady United F.C.
Visitors had the chance to see items belonging to former players such as Victor Wallace and Gerry Mullan as well as the Original Irish Cup, currently on loan from the Irish Football Association.
Limavady United F.C. has a long and interesting history. Did you know, for example, that the team defeated Everton on their homeground in 1886? Or that Limavady Alexander, predecessor of the current club, was one of the founding members of the Irish Football Association? These stories and many more are explored in the exhibition, which is open in the Centre’s dedicated heritage gallery (the Ritter Gallery) until 25 August.
Galleries are open Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm and Saturday 10am-2pm, and admission is free.
Pictured (left to right): Mr. D. Brewster, Vice Chairman of Limavady United F.C; Cllr. A. Robinson, Deputy Mayor; Mr. R. Kennedy, Honorary Life President of the Irish Football Association; Mr. S. Curry, President of Limavady United F.C; and Mr. B. Dunn, former Chairman of Limavady United F.C.
May 11th, 2012
Well, the wonderful Duke Special graced our auditorium last Saturday 5 May to a packed and enraptured audience. He performed already classic songs such as Freewheel and Sweet, Sweet Kisses as well as material from his new album O Pioneer. An artist and a gentleman, he graciously met and greeted everyone post-performance, and we have to say, WE LOVE his marketing and merchandise! Many of our wallets are a tad lighter now…
You can catch our documentation of him performing a haunting song entitled ‘Always Been There’ from his new album here
Thanks to all who came and added to the brilliant atmosphere!
April 16th, 2012
The artist and writer Tim Robinson is known as a unique cartographer. Instead of the usual Ordnance Survey maps of recognised historic landscapes, sites of beauty, village and town trails separated by lines of embedded roadways, Robinson creates special maps that tell the story of the landscape of the Burren and Connemara, where he is based. These maps are hand drawn, hand-crafted and illustrate what would be regarded as ‘alternative’ sites of significance. Within some he will indicate, for example, local historical sites of folk interest, not necessarily those granted official heritage status, alongside a location where you will be able to see wild orchids and perhaps a bog of cultural curiosity.
Archaeologists, museum practitioners and curators all ‘map’ within their practice. Mapping history, making connections and from these connections, communicating the rich cultural vein of their subject area, but with artefacts, objects, memories, oral histories, buildings and sites instead of paper and compass.
As Robinson conveys, all maps contain stories of people and place, and it is these stories which help solidify the individual, thus the community, thus societies. Amanda Leigh Lichenstein and Rachel McIntire write (1):
The inner cartographer in each of us discovers new and worn paths in search of an ever-changing self. And as our paths cross on this great and tangled human map, mapping within allows us to map without, to traverse the unknowns of human experience with a sense of justice and compassion at every turn
For me, the essence of constructive cultural heritage practice is mapping, both geographically the area for which we are responsible, and the stories of people and place which in fact maintain the reality and real relevance of our practice. ‘Keeping it real’ will, in effect, nurture belonging, identities and have long-term benefits.
Stories and the Universe
The universe is made of stories, not atoms – Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)
Stories are intrinsically part of our being, intertwined with muscle, sinew and flesh. We are continuously composing our own self-narratives, those internally and those we project to the world, our personhood is characterised by a ‘melange of contemporary stories’ and through our ‘set of stories…the analyst and the analysand become bound together in a vital, unique and intimate way’(2).
Ciaran Benson writes ‘the stories we construct about ourselves are also of fundamental importance for locating ourselves across our representations of time and in relation to other self-worlds’. He continues, citing Daniel Dennett who ‘sees the urge to tell stories, our own story included, as biological like spider webs…our tales are spun by us, our human consciousness and our narrative self-hood (3).
And as humans, we have woven narrative across time and space through many forms of cultural interpretation such as performance, song, speech, gestures, objects, drawing, crafting, writing and more. From Gilgamesh, Herodotus, The Iliad and folk-based fairy tales which remain stitched into he contemporary cultural web we weave today alongside the graphic art of the Wajapo, Brazil and the Sbek Thom Cambodian Shadow Theatre, it is this urge to connect and to map ‘history’ through narrative that breathes affinity with ourselves, each other and our landscape.
In the film Smoke (1995), the character Auggie documents the street corner outside his New York tobacco store every morning at the same time, without fail, compiling an archive of thousands of monochrome photographs. He reveals his archive to Paul, saying ‘It’s just one little part of the word, but things take place there just like everywhere else. It’s a record of my little spot’. Bemused, Paul comments that the photographs all look the same. Auggie replies that each one is in fact different, as each tells a different story through what is visual such as the low autumn or high summer light, people in the frame going about their business, and implied change in their circumstances. He says ‘the earth revolves around the sun and every day the light from the sun hits the earth at a different angle’.
As Auggie reflects, people often have a strong sense of attachment and affection for their little spot, and it is this profound ownership and knowledge that communities have of their locale which should never be underestimated. Beneath the physical fabric of soil, rock, buildings and woodland of an area, there lies another layer of ancestral wisdom, stories which speak of the character of place and its people. And ultimately, within the confines of war memorials, galleries and glass cabinets bearing the fruits of academic museological labour, it is the connection and narrative of locality, both colloquial and of other cultures, which ensures the success and longevity of any cultural service.
The way into the story
Certain contemporary changes in international cultural heritage policies have helped secure the longevity of these cultural narratives, including the Venice Charter (1964), the Amsterdam Declaration (1975) and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage adopted by UNESCO in 2003. All such initiatives broadened the role and perception of cultural heritage, historical values, preservation and significance of cultural traditions.
As Hoelscher (2006) and Kato (2006) have both explored, the changing nature of contemporary cultural practice acknowledges the roots, identity, sense of place and belonging that is crucial to community engagement, writing people and place in their mutuality develop a common identity, a deep relationship with place…without such relationships human existence is bereft of much of its significance (4).
This is echoed by Guy Hermann who has said ‘our stories are what stay with us even after the artefacts are gone. Without their stories…collections may be intellectually important but they are emotionally meaningless. They don’t ask the fundamental question ‘Why should I care?” (5)
The world comes into being, only in the act of going towards it – Paul Auster
(1) From internet article ‘Mapping Within: The Making of a University-community Arts Partnership’ available www.communityarts.net
(2) From article ‘The Universe of our Concerns: the human as person in the praxis of analysis’ by Michael Horne, Journal of Analytical Psychology, 2004
(3) From ‘The Cultural Psychology of Self: Place, Morality and Art in Human Worlds’ by Ciaran Benson, Routledge 2001
(4) See ‘Community, Connection and Conservation’ by Kumi Kato, International Journal of Heritage Studies, Vol 12 and Steven Hoelscher, Heritage in A Companion to Museum Studies. Oxford:Blackwell Publishing.Ch 13.2006
(5) From article ‘Exploring Narratives: Telling Stories and Making Connections’ by Guy Hermann.
(Photo: Smoke, 1995, Directed by Wayne Wang & Paul Auster)
- Childrens Storytelling (1)
- christmas (17)
- comedy (5)
- community (3)
- demonstration (6)
- event (101)
- Tourism (18)
- exhibition (54)
- family theatre (3)
- film & video (48)
- halloween (11)
- heritage (5)
- heritage exhibition (21)
- lecture (88)
- literature (1)
- music (64)
- out & about (29)
- outreach (2)
- rainy afternoon film (3)
- steinbeck celebration (5)
- theatre (21)
- uncategorised (29)
- workshop (86)