Cork Midsummer Festival and Springboard, a community based family project that strives to ensure positive outcomes for children, are collaborating to deliver an Artist in Residency and Creative Enquiry with young Traveller children and their families, exploring the relationship between cultural identity and cultural engagement.
Mother and daughter visual artists Julie and Annie Forrester will lead a series of engagements with traveller families, exploring relationships and connections with local environs and with Cork Midsummer Festival's cultural programmes. Over this time they will also explore with the families potential barriers to arts participation, using a series of critical questions that focus on “How can the festival be more accessible and welcoming for people from the Traveller community?”
Visual artist Leanne McDonagh joins the project as guest artist and adviser.
Activities are a combination of remotely and in person, subject to Covid-19 restrictions. The project is running from February until July and will include a small public event plus trips and visits to different cultural places.
Annie Forrester is an illustrator and multi-disciplinary artist focused on capturing the magic and mundanities of daily life. Her drawings are fed by current social and political climates in Ireland, as well as nature and interconnectivity between peoples, landscapes and creatures.
Julie Forrester is a visual artist whose research based practice is concerned with the connective tissue that binds us to place. She often works collaboratively where memory, habit and association are explored through a variety of process based approaches, from drawing to sound work, lens based media and the moving image.
Award-winning visual artist, teacher and Traveller woman Leanne McDonagh’s work features in both private and public collections nationally and internationally. She is currently working on a % for Art public sculpture, the RTÉ Art project Illuminations and recently illustrated Why the Moon Travels of folktales written by fellow Traveller, Oein De Bhairduin, the first of its kind in Ireland.
This project is funded by The Community Mental Health Fund, supported by the Department of Health, the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, The Arts Council, Springboard Family Services, Cork Midsummer Festival and Cork City Partnership.
The project is part of the festival’s partnership in Creative Europe large-scale co-operation programme Be Part, a 4-year audience and organisational development project in the field of participatory art practices with 10 EU and non-EU partners.