Ardagh Fright fest makes 'spooktacular' return

Longford Leader Reporter

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Ballymahon Mercy at their photography exhibition as part of Fright Fest, Shelley Corcoran, Zoe Guinane, Meghan Finnan, Ann Gerety Smyth, Annette Corkery Photo by Shelley Corcoran;

Ballymahon Mercy at their photography exhibition as part of Fright Fest, Shelley Corcoran, Zoe Guinane, Meghan Finnan, Ann Gerety Smyth, Annette Corkery Photo by Shelley Corcoran;

The Ardagh Fright Fest makes its emphatic return in the coming weeks, with literature, Photography, Gardening, Storytelling, Family Fun and Magic.

This year the series of events are all about the message from the myths, in particular the local legend of Midir and Etain, the most magical tale of them all. 

"Irish myths and folklore are important because they remind us that the past is still lingering beneath the surface of the present, and reaches out to shape the future." Ruth Long, Author. 

Midir, Prince of the Tuatha De Danann, son of the Dagda was known as a fair judge and the one to advise. He is the being who restores the balance, not always in the way that humans imagine is right but always the right way for all to be restored for nature. The legend of Midir and Etain shows the disastrous effects of things being out of balance in particular within Midir and those around him when he, himself, loses his balance and is mithered by his love for Etain.

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The Irish myths are a wonderful learning system as they show that the leaders are as fallible as the followers and quite often much worse, more extreme and with more consequences for all. Scéalta Beo will be exploring this concept in the setting of today and all the challenges we face with climate change, poverty, homelessness and much more.

"We are thrilled to have Ruth Long and Karina Tynan joining us in this exploration at the author panel on Saturday 26th October at 12pm." said organisers Ann Gerety Smyth and Annette Corkery. 

Continuing they said, "Samhain is a time for preparing for rebirth and the start of the incubation underground of all things so we are delighted to have Brendan Farrell of Ardagh Eco Gardens exploring this aspect with us.

Brendan is a most gifted guardian of nature and a lover of the legends,so his workshop on winter gardening is the gentle approach much needed in these times on Thursday 24th October at 8.00pm."

Midir is said to be a guardian of the veil so Samhain is his time much like it is the time of all plants working vigorously under the earth. Etain envokes rebirth, resilience and hope.

"We will also explore the aspects she brings to the table for these uneasy and unsettling times.

"Fuamnach has all the rage and power of a human controlling nature and natural elements behind her. We will be exploring her use or misuse of nature in the modern context.

"We are looking forward to Karina Tynan of Irish Myths Retold retelling the legend from Fuamnach's perspective on Friday 25th at 7.30pm." organisers continued. 

Ruth Long returns for a literature workshop for adults and teens on Irish folklore and Modern Writing on Saturday 26th October at 2.00pm.

Bookings: 086 3027602 / 086 1717925 or creativeardagh@gmail.com 

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Schedule of events - 

Monday 21st to Monday 28th October - FREE: 

  • TY Photography exhibition, tutor Shelley Corcoran, open for viewing during all events with previews for schools

Shelley's students have delved deep into their imaginations to create a conceptual and haunting photography exhibition to launch Fright Fest. The dark, gothic and frightening images show a world that is somewhere between reality and somewhere we may be to in fear to venture. These images depict narratives that draw you in and let you become part of the obscure world that these artists have created. Immerse yourselves in this creation and feel the potency of the images that will stay with you long after you have departed.

Wednesday 23rd October  

  • 4.00pm Aisling Festival Outreach Wet Felting Workshop - €5pp.

"We are delighted as always to be involved in the Aisling Children's Art Festival. This year we will be wet felting. Limited spaces, booking advised."

Thursday 24th October 

  • 8.00pm Winter Gardening with Ardagh Eco Gardens - €6 pp (includes tea/coffee)

Samhain is a time for preparing for rebirth and the start of the incubation underground of all things so we are delighted to have Brendan Farrell of Ardagh Eco Gardens exploring this aspect with us. Brendan is a most gifted guardian of nature and a lover of the legends so his workshop on winter gardening is the gentle approach much needed in these times.

Friday 25th October

  • 7.30pm Scéalta Beo in conversation with Karina Tynan. Adults €6pp (includes tea/coffee)
  • Fuamnach of Brí Leith

"On the 25th of October or, six nights before Samhain we look forward to hearing the story of Midir and Etain told by Scéalta Beo then followed by Karina’s retelling from the perspective of the beheaded sorceress, Fuamnach of Brí Leith."
 
Karina retells the Irish myths as monologues from the perspectives of the women in the myths some of which can be found on her website Irish Myths Retold karinatynan.com She has been working and living with Irish Mythology for twenty five years as a team member of the Bard Summer School which runs in July each year on Clare Island, Co Mayo and as a psychotherapist.

Saturday 26th October

  • 12pm Author Panel: Restoring the Balance - Questions and Answers with KarinaTynan, Ruth Long and Scéalta Beo
    Adults and Teens - €6pp (includes tea/coffee)

"We are delighted to be able to present this discussion panel as part of Ardagh Fright Fest 2019.

"Join Scéalta Beo with authors Ruth Frances Long and Karina Tynan as we discuss the theme Restoring the Balance, writing in general, as well as the inspiration that each author gets from the Irish countryside and our ancient myths and legends."

  • 2.00pm Irish Folklore and Modern Writing Creative Writing Workshop with Ruth Long - Workshop for adults and teens. €15pp.

*Booking essential as places are limited. 

"Ruth Frances Long will be joining us again this year for a workshop and for the author panel discussion."

Workshop details: Irish folklore and modern writing
We're living in a world where we move further away from the natural world and its natural rhythms. Irish myths and folklore remind us that the past is still lingering beneath the surface of the present, and reaches out to shape the future.

These are stories which were made to be told and retold, adapting with each retelling, constantly changing to reflect the world around them. In this workshop we'll look at how to use our most ancient stories to tell modern myths, how to identify the themes buried in the words and rework those tales for a new audience.

Ruth Frances Long writes young adult fantasy such as The Treachery of Beautiful Things (Dial, 2012) and The Dubh Linn trilogy set in the world of demons, angels and fairies that exists alongside our own in modern day Dublin (A Crack in Everything, A Hollow in the Hills and A Darkness at the End (O’Brien, 2014-2016)). In 2015 she was the winner of The European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award For Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy for A Crack in Everything.

 Sunday 27th October and Monday 28th October

  • Year 9 of Ardagh School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - 12pm Family event. 
    Adults €5 (including tea/coffee), Children €8, Family of 4 €24 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children). 

Visit the Forbidden Forest, take part in potions class and an art workshop and have lots more fun. Early booking advised (Extra sessions may be announced later subject to demand).

Bookings: 086 3027602 / 086 1717925 or creativeardagh@gmail.com