Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Diolch/Thank You Promenade

Wales Graffiti Artist Lloyd Roberts with the Community during The Promenade Festival.

WOW, what lovely comments my fellow artists and friends have left on facebook about their time at The Promenade Festival, Tramore, Ireland, this weekend. Thank you and bless you. I am deeply touched.

Truthfully, there is nothing quite like the buzz that artists get when they have the space and time to 'be' together and I am fascinated at how that then becomes almost tangible for our 'audiences'. 

How many times do the public get to be so up close and present with Artists of different genres? 

This is why I LOVE working with Artistic Director Sean Corcoran​ because to my mind the man is nothing short of visionary. 

Let artists of varying genres 'be' resident in a Festival so that they can respond, collaborate and engage, expressing themselves in the ways that they feel comfortable. 

Off course, some of the festival is programmed in the traditional way, it needs to be, it's a HUGE event now and growing even bigger, but The Wales Artists Team have the absolute joy of artistic freedom, in much the same way as an Arts residency, which offers up the opportunity for diversity, collaboration, development, thus shading the festival with colour & texture. 

And in response to this trust, so these hand picked flowers, blossom into  a glorious bouquet who work their absolute artistic fingers to the bone, sometimes beyond their capabilities, because they are awakened, happy, they are fulfilled, they are inspired, and, quite frankly, they are changing the world. 

Yes, I am passionate; passionate about human beings and the ways in which they respond to the idea of 'presence' within the arts. 

I have played likely close to a 1000 festivals in my long career, performing in the traditional way, programmed from a stage, awesome gigs, but for me, The Promenade Festival gives us the chance to authentically connect with the people in a much more personal way.

We become part of the magical and experimental visionary world of Artistic Director, Sean Corcoran, pushing the boundaries, making it so & being part of his immense team. 

And trust me, seemingly impossible things happen when you work with Sean. I remember coming to possibly the very first whole team meeting about the festival, when all this was just an idea in Sean's head. In the meeting he turned and said to me, 'and you could bring a team  of Artists from Wales, couldn't you Cheryl!'

This weekend, for what is now the second year running, indeed, I have put together a team, this time we created artistic opportunities for engagement ranging from regular Songwriting Circle spots, to Sunrise Cherokee Dance with Poems thrown to the wind, from Tibetan Singing Bowl Mantra to Pirate  Sea Shanti's, from Graffiti Art to Sand Circles, from Spoken Word to live music, performance on the cannon, in the sea, on the sand, on the street, in the pubs & cafe's, live & radio ... the list goes on and on ... but most importantly, performance that etches life memory into the hearts of the people of Tramore.

I can not thank enough:  Sean, his team, Tramore Tourism, Bus Eireann, the Artist host families, the hotels, the B&B's the Caravan Park for welcoming us as your celtic cousins. 

Many Thanks to all the people who gave us lifts back and for to the Bus Station. 

Heartfelt thanks to The Wales Arts Team: Mab Jones, Dominic Williams, Bob Edwards, Ron Savory, Paul Edwards, Anne Lister, Laura Jane Jenkins, Sam Collins, Mark Montinaro, Lloyd Roberts and myself for giving our complete presence to the festival.

I  would also like to offer special thanks to Amanda Rackstraw because without her generosity of spirit we none of us would have been getting on the bus (literally, a story for another time) 

Our love & thoughts are with our Dancer, Fiona Winter, as well as Festival Treasurer, Trisha Lyons. We send you & your families much love during this time. 

And most importantly, thank you to the Emergency Services who provide the town with a strong arm of safety, putting the lives of others before their own. 

If you want to find out more about the Promenade Festival here's the link:


In my next blog, which I will write after the ol' sea sick legs have stabilised, I'll give a more personal insight into the shannigans that I got up to during the festival.

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