The Elemental Arts & Culture Festival is going for its third outing in the city this week, starting this Thursday (Sept. 11) and running until Sunday (Sept. 14). It has been getting better year on year so here’s hoping it’s a cracker this time around.
As always, there is a very diverse set of events planned taking in visual art, forgotten skills, dance, theatre, music, eco-workshops, spoken word, walking tours and more. From a band in a bookshop to an exhibition about beloved toys; from a play about ‘manning up’ to street performances, there is lots to enjoy (I outline two of the most unique events in detail below).
Jennifer Allen, of Elemental, said: “We are very eager that all age groups can find something engaging in the programme, where you come away having learned something new, or you see something in a new light. All while having fun, of course!”
Salon du Chat
Fresh from their success at Electric Picnic, Salon du Chat has a new talk ‘menu’ for Elemental this Friday at 7pm in Canteen, Mallow Street.
“Adding a touch of theatre and the surreal to the art of conversation, Salon du Chat is an arts project with a twist. Recreating the atmosphere of Bohemian Paris, with a knowing nod to online chat rooms, Salon du Chat is a shrine to the art of good conversation. Relax with a welcoming glass of bubbly as you browse the Conversation Menu. Then a friendly chat hostess will seat you at a table with a mix of friends and strangers and help you to spark up the conversation. Like any meal the starters will get the palate warmed up, while mains are for meatier matters and dessert could get risqué.”
Amongst the most popular topics at Electric Picnic were ‘What the Frack?’, ‘Give Me a Reason to Love You’, and ‘Online Sharing is Caring’. Expect to find an eclectic mix of pop culture, politics, music, sport, word play and the whimsical.
I tried this out with some friends at the Culture & Chips Festival spiegeltent in June and it was interesting. One tip: try to get a mix of friends and strangers because it’s easy to just shoot the breeze with pals otherwise! Salon du Chat is supported by Limerick City of Culture 2014.
We bring the summer with us
This is a new bee-themed sound installation from award-winning Limerick audio creators Grey Heron Media, which will make its debut at the festival. In collaboration with Limerick’s Buzzing, Grey Heron has produced a special, newly composed sound experience.
The installation will run from 10.30am-5.30pm on Saturday September 13 at the Coach House @ Culture House, No. 2 Pery Square.
It’s open to all ages and only requires participants to relax back into a deckchair and open their ears. The fun and immersive 12 minute sound installation will run continuously from 10.30am to 5pm and will also be interlaced with three 30 minute sound-based events, which will further explore our relationship with bees and the natural world around us.
The nice people at Grey Heron say: “As visitors step into the Coach House they will be transported, by a multi-layered sonic experience, back to the golden summers of their youth or to the sunny days of the months just gone. They’ll feel the remembered heat on your face as it’s evoked by a soundscape of jangling ice-cream vans, sizzling barbecues, swooping swallows, sliothars on ash, crashing waves and the hum of the bee-loud glade. But our summers and the sounds of summer are changing in almost imperceptible ways, until we take time to listen. There are silences amidst the sound.”
It’s a seriously enticing description! The accompanying events are as follows:
12.30-1pm: Lift it up to the Sun: Sound selections from the field(s): This 30 minute listening event presented by Grey Heron Media features recordings from their varied back-catalogue, which reflect on our relationship with the natural world around us, interspersed with reflections from the team on some of the stories from behind the mic. This is an event for anyone interested in great audio storytelling and how people respond to the natural environment.
3-3.30pm: Bee Experimental: Practical things you can do to help bees buzz: This event is hosted by Dr. Veronica Santorum of Limerick’s Buzzing. Over the course of half an hour Veronica will tell us about the practical things that we can all do to help wild bees in our locality, while also giving us an insight into why we should be working together to help wild bees in Limerick.
5-5.30pm: A Life with Bees: A Conversation with added sound: The final event is a very special one-off public interview with Jack “the Beeman” Ryan, the famous honey “farmer” from Emly. In a life-time devoted to bees and beekeeping Jack has built a very special relationship with the bees and other wildlife with which he shares his home, a honey farm on the border of Limerick and Tipperary. Jack, now in his 80s, is a very passionate and charismatic advocate for wildlife and in this special event he will share his memories and philosophical view of the relationship between humans and bees with the audience.