Festival Launch & Opening of The Illustrated Beatles Exhibition
Our tenth Soundwaves festival got launched in style tonight. The Mills were buzzing with people. Many said that they’d simply have to come back again during the day over the next nine days to see the exhibition properly, as we were all really too busy chatting to each other and catching up with people we hadn’t seen in a while – that’s the way it is in Skerries! Great community, great people, and (we think) a great festival!
Ernestine reminded us that the festival itself had been conceived in the very room we were in, at a table in the Mills coffee shop. A community needs festivals, needs to celebrate together – that was at the heart of it all when a handful of people decided to give it a go and start a music and arts festival for Skerries. A part of Skerries Community Association, supported financially by Fingal County Council and The Arts Council, Skerries Soundwaves is a project that is carried on many shoulders, and most of them were there tonight, in yellow t-shirts mainly, although some of us came incognito, dressed in civvies. Don’t worry, we’ll wear our yellow shirts a lot over the next nine days, and with pride!
Niamh Sharkey, organiser of the evening and simply wonderful children’s book author and illustrator and long-term friend of the festival, had once more managed to bring an art exhibition of the highest calibre to Skerries. Last year, it was Norton Virgen’s BrownBag Productions / Rugrats – this year, it’s The Beatles!
This exhibition was put together by a circle of illustrators Niamh belongs to, Illustrators Ireland, and curated by Peter Donnelly, Rush-based illustrator and artist. People from the media and the arts were asked to pick a Beatles song each; illustrators were then assigned one of them – and they illustrated them in the format of the old record sleeves. The result? Fascinating. Seriously, don’t miss it – do take the time to look at the pictures in detail, with some time on your hands.
Ernestine told us that she happened to be in the Mills when the exhibition arrived, and that there was great excitement when the pictures were taken out of their boxes. One by one they were shown to those present, who couldn’t wait to see the next one and to guess what song it might depict.
The pictures were all for sale – were, I say, because all of them were sold on the night. They practically flew out the window… well, they’re still on the walls, but they’ll soon be in homes all around Skerries, a wonderful memory of a most enjoyable night. “Magical Mystery Tour” indeed!
We don’t know, of course, what the festival will bring, but those who were here for the first night were very happy they hadn’t missed it.
So… on we go, with the children’s Arts workshop with Peter Donnelly on tomorrow, and of course the magic show with Jack Wise (sold out, I’m afraid) and Eleanor McEvoy at Blue (doors open at eight – tickets in the Bubble Room and at the door). We hope to report again – and we’ll add more pictures to the gallery below over the next day or so, so do come back to check them out!