Celebrating me in Sligo

Who doesn’t like being celebrated? Hot on the heels of Sligo County Council naming a new square on the banks of the Garravogue in the town to remember me, comes a multimedia exhibition in Sligo’s famous Hyde Bridge Gallery featuring original poetry, music and art in my honour.

Ath-Theacht Mhéibhe or The Return of Maeve walks you through some of the myths and legends associated with me over the millenia.

Newly commissioned artwork illustrating the key moment in Ireland’s legendary story of the Brown Bull of Cooley and visualising beliefs that near my palace in Rathcroghan, County Roscommon, Ireland’s Gates of Hell were located, are amongst the notable inclusions in the exhibition.

The exhibition explores the value of a powerful female figure in the world of today. What has changed for women in 2000 years? What would I make of it all? These themes are explored through a collection of original songs and poetry by women from modern Ireland. 

Through a mix of prints and video the exhibition wonders where I have been all this time and ponders the treatment of women in Ireland and the world today. 

The exhibition which is free continues until the end of the month and features a projection room which shows the making of the illustrations, spectacular footage of county Sligo and the first public performance of the original music videos composed for the project.

Sligo’s Yeats Building.

As well as excerpts from the graphic novel A Destiny Unfolds, which has been illustrated by Tipperary artist Jennifer Ryan Kelly, some of the world’s leading comic artists have been commissioned to provide their depictions of what I might look like 117 years after the first colour depiction of me in Irish history was commissioned by then US President Theodore Roosevelt. Exactly why it took so long for that to happen is anyones guess.

Talented music and songwriting due Audrey Marian Fay and Enda Duffy have composed original music and songs for me. “The songs are like rallying cries for people to find their inner warrior and choose to move forward with their purpose’ says Ballywire CEO Paul Collins. ‘Increasingly in the world of today we get very little time to focus on ourselves so the notion that we take a time out and put on our armour to tackle life in the everyday battlefield is a theme of the original music brilliantly composed by Audrey and Enda.’ I approve all of the above.

Warrior and My Time Is Now are important anthems for me. I have been on many a battlefield in my life and tasted both victory and defeat. However with the benefit of my experience I can now see that life itself in the world of today has become a battlefield for many. I love taking a timeout to gather my thoughts, make my plan and head into battle. How many do that today? What armour do you need today? When is the right time to spring into your battle plan today? Questions I have asked myself so many times, and themes that are explored in my new anthems. Both available on the Spotify seemingly.

‘It’s incredible to showcase this project for the first time in such an historic building celebrating the memory of arguably one of the greatest poets of Ireland and the world. Yeats was a huge fan of the Celtic myths and was a central figure in reviving Irish culture and identity as we strove towards becoming an independent nation, so to see our project on the walls of this building is very humbling’ said Ballywire CEO and Maeve exhibition curator Paul Collins. ‘We are also looking at bringing the exhibition to other venues so watch this space’. he added.

A new interview series has also been announced. Produced by Ballywire, Maeve Beo – The Interviews will investigate whether the my warrior spirit is in evidence in the world of today and will profile four people in the weeks ahead on the theme of my mantra. In case you haven’t heard it. It’s ‘Question and Be Brave. Find Your Inner Warrior. Find Your Inner Maeve.’😊

The window of Liber, O’Connell Street, Sligo.

Its been quite a week for the project in Sligo with the book A Destiny Unfolds also going on sale for the first time in Liber, the town’s leading independent bookshop. It’s also available online here. The Maeve tribe is growing!

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