The Arts

In association with Sligo Today

Val takes on a scuba diving challenge Val Robus launches her The Wild Atlantic Wayfarer Exhibition this week

Added: 29/07/15 : 14:08:42

Renowned photographer Val Robus ( is launching her spectacular exhibition on Friday, 31 July, at The Hawk Well Theatre in Sligo at 5pm.

The event will be officially opened by former Royal photographer Peter Wilcock.

The exhibition, The Wild Atlantic Wayfarer, documents in pristine photographs, Val's experiences in Horse Riding, Kayaking, Stand Up Paddling and a host of other adventures including  jumping off cliffs!

Said Val, "The most exciting thing I’ve done as part of my Wild Atlantic Wayfarer project is coasteering, for those who don’t know it’s jumping from rocks into the sea, climbing back out again, playing in the waves and having a wonderful time in the sea! It was the one thing I said I would never do at the beginning of all my adventures and when I first met Mark from Wave Sweeper I was a bag of nerves, so much so I could barely speak, apart from saying I wasn’t going to do it."

‘Bedside’ art project launched by local Mental Health Services

Added: 30/07/15 : 05:50:11

Bedside is an art project consisting of a series of printed landscapes by Sligo artist Andy Parsons in conjunction with service users at the Inpatients Unit Mental Health Services, Sligo.

Andy worked with service users to develop a series of etchings and woodcuts for each bedside locker, as part of a commission for both male and female wards.

The process of creative consultation with service users, through a number of workshops informed the resulting works of receding landscapes, snatches of vegetation and winding sweeps of the Sligo/Leitrim countryside.

In more recent years there has been growing interest in arts and health initiatives where the creative process itself is seen to enhance general well-being. The aesthetics of healthcare environments and culturally appropriate care are also areas receiving greater attention and research. 

Following the initial workshops, the artist produced a set of roadside drawings and later printed the Bedside images at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre Studios in Manorhamilton. The artworks themselves are small, quiet black and white prints, each hand coloured and carefully positioned, like little windows within the units allocated to each resident.

Speaking about the launch of the art project Niamh O’Connor Coordinator of the Arts Initiative in Mental Health, states that, “it is a lovely thing that each bedside has their own original artwork, marking out a personalised space amid all the necessities of a busy healthcare setting. Congratulations go to Andy for listening so acutely to the place, for producing such a beautiful set of prints and to the service users who collaborated with him.”

Details of the prints were framed as freestanding art works for administrative desks and were also developed into a series of greeting cards by the Arts Initiative in Mental Health for sale in the onsite shop. ‘Bedside’ is the featured Case Study for August 2015 on the national Arts and Health website

It will go live on the website this Saturday August 1st.

This project was funded by an Art Against Stigma Award, Lundbeck IRL and the HSE Mental Health Services Sligo/Leitrim.

Brian Leyden and Seamie O’Dowd in rehearsal Old Flames with Brian Leyden and Seamie O’Dowd at the Hawks Well

Added: 16/07/15 : 16:51:53

Old Flames returns to the Hawk’s Well on Monday 27th of July during the Tread Softly festival.

Old Flames
features new work from writer Brian Leyden. This event was commissioned for Bealtaine2015 by Sligo Arts Services and the Hawk’s Well Theatre, with funding from Sligo County Council, HSE West and the Arts Council of Ireland.

Old Flames 
blends stories and music in a fond look at romance and courtship, house-dances, dowries and matchmaking as recollected by an earlier generation. This show will light up a few fond memories and maybe even rekindle a romantic fire or two…. Brian will be joined on stage by musician Seamie O’Dowd.

Previous Bealtaine commissions by the Hawk’s Well Theatre and Sligo Arts Service have included the hugely successful The Man in the Woman’s Shoes(2012)The Poetry of Place by Steve Wickham (2013) and Songs from Home with Colm O’Donnell (2014).

Brian Leyden has published the bestselling memoir The Home Place, the short story collection Departures and the novel Death and Plenty.

He won the RTÉ Radio 1 Francis MacManus Short Story Award in 1988 for ‘The Last Mining Village’. He has written extensively about his home area for RTÉ's Sunday Miscellany. His radio documentary work includes No Meadows in Manhattan, Even the Walls Were Sweatin’, The Closing of the Gaiety Cinema in Carrick-on-Shannon and An Irish Station Mass.

He received an Arts Council Literary Bursary in 2014. His most recent work is Sweet Old World: New & Selected Stories (2015). Brian lives and works in Sligo.

This production is FREE but booking is recommended through the Hawk’s Well. Box Office 071-9161518.

For further information contact Maeve McGowan, Marketing Manager, Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo, 071 916 1518

Added: 11/06/15 : 03:51:14