Heritage Week

County Kerry Music Archive Group

Trad Music and Heritage Art

The exhibition Building Stories: Interpretations of County Kerry’s Built Heritage was opened last night (20/08/2011) in the Kerry Literary Museum in Listowel by Minister Jimmy Deenihan. The event marked County Kerry’s contribution to the nation-wide Heritage Week. Building Stories was conceived and curated by Rosaleen Crushell, a heritage architect based in Dublin and Kenmare (www.carsonandcrushell.com). Eleven works by ten artists were chosen from open entry submissions. Mediums included oils, photographs, drawings and computer prints. Each piece carried an artist’s statement on how the work connected with the exhibition’t theme. My work, Empty Extension, can be seen in the image to the left – behind some very talented Listowel musicians who are developing an archive of the traditional music of North Kerry. The art exhibition will move to Kenmare Credit Union for the week on Mon 22-26/08. Do drop in and you can view and read about Danny Long’s painting Kenmare Bridge and admire Ms Crushell’s detailed drawing Kenmare cinema facade study amongst others.

Prior to attending the show opening in Listowel, I enjoyed two other free Heritage Week events:

Yew Wood, Killarney National Park

Yew Wood Killarney

On this Saturday’s sunny and calm morning 35 walkers gathered at Muckross House, Killarney National Park. A Forest & Woodland Walk, led by Chris Barron of KNP Education Center, took us through various woodlands along the Muckross Peninsula. We learned about the limestone and red granite foundations of the woods and got tips for identifying various trees and plants – arbutus and yew among them. This picture shows the incredible Yew Wood, one of the three remaining in all of Europe. I left the walk with a handful of free information leaflets on our native trees, wild life habitats and a nifty map of the National Park area.

My afternoon stop was Tralee, an event titled  Life and Death in Medieval Tralee at the Kerry County Museum. Our guide, Claudia Kohler, brought the exhibition to life with her in depth historical commentary. Responding to Ms Kohler’s encouragement to explore the museum further, I came across a roomful of photographs drawn from the Kennelly Collection (http://www.kerrymuseum.ie) showing what life was like in Co Kerry from 1950 to 1973.

Potato pickingShot in rich black and white by renowned Tralee photographer Padraig Kennelly, the pictures in this exhibit cover many aspects of the peoples’ daily experience: at work on the farm, attending school, taking tea, going to dances, at and participating in sporting events, and gatherings with family. While some pictures reveal the inevitable and sad loss of young people to immigration, these are counter-balanced by shots of joyful reunions – girls dressed for the Yank’s Ball and other seasonal celebrations. Although most of these pictures were taken in my life time, the faces in the pictures seem to me to come from another era. Fashions are influenced by Hollywood. Interestingly, there is nary a heavy body in sight. We lived with so much less in those days.

Check out the Heritage Council’s website for events in your area.


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