This week Longford County Arts Office launched, ‘Respond’ a fascinating creative project. According to County Arts Officer Fergus Kennedy; “artists and art lovers know that the visual arts and literature are both capable of creating an energy and atmosphere unique to the arts. However when you combine the two different forms of creative expression you can create a wonderful frisson of imaginative energy and excitement.”
Longford has more creative writers per head of population that anywhere in Ireland. In addition there has been a huge resurgence in the visual arts in the county in recent years.
The Respond Project is an effort to harness and combine these two art forms to create an exciting and imaginative project that is unique to Longford. Ten local writers were shown a piece of work by ten local artists and used it as a setting-off point to explore ideas about art, love, loss, family, dreams, memory, places and privacy.
The painters were: Hugh P.Magrath, Brendan Duffy, Phil Atkinson, Pat Hourican, Gordon Farrell and Gerard Keaveney. Gary Robinson showed a three dimensional multi-media piece and the photographers were Michael Croghan and Shelley Corcoran. Ed Walshe showed ceramic work.
Among the responding writers were poets Mary Melvin Geoghegan, Breda Sullivan, Margaret Nohilly, Rose Moran, Valerie Masters and Jackie Gorman. The prose writers are: Ann Gerety Smyth, Lorne Patterson, Caroline O’Connor Coyle.
The project will culminate with an exhibition of the work and a reading by the responding writers in the Atrium Gallery, Backstage Theatre, Longford on Wednesday 10th December. The art and literature will also be celebrated in a booklet published by the County Arts Office.