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Arts & Disability News

Ignite Mayo‘Silent Moves’ project at Ballina Arts Centre

"It's a Dream come true. I always wanted to be an actor". - Una O’Malley

Ignite is a new platform designed to generate Ireland’s most ambitious showcasing of talent from people with disabilities, led by international and Irish artists and performers with disabilities, with projects taking place in 2014 in Cork, Galway and Mayo. These commissions each represent an investment of up to €60,000. The initiative will conclude with a tour of one of the resulting works to all three counties (and beyond) in Spring, 2015. Ignite is managed by a unique partnership involving the Arts Council, Arts & Disability Ireland (ADI), Cork City Council, Galway City and County Councils and Mayo County Council.

For the Ignite Mayo commission, a short film was created by Irish Artist Aideen Barry in collaboration with Dance Artist and Choreographer Emma O’Kane and Ballina based disability groups, Western Care’s Ridgepool Training Centre and Scannán Technologies.

The project took place at Ballina Arts Centre.

"I'm Very proud to be taking part in the film". – Michael Durkan

‘Silent Moves’ is just one of three commissions developed through the Ignite initiative, a new and innovative approach to commissioning and touring work by artists with disabilities. This initiative is supported by Mayo County Council which has always taken a proactive approach to Arts & Disability, engaging in best quality practice since 1998.

"I'm immensely proud to be associated with both the Ignite initiative and the 'Silent Moves' film project. I believe the work of the artists and Ballina Arts Centre will have a huge impact on the development of high quality arts and disability practice both locally and nationally". (Damien O'Connor, Disability Arts Co-ordinator, Mayo County Council)

In 2013, Irish Artist, Aideen Barry, was awarded the Ignite Mayo commission in partnership with Western Care's Ridgepool Training Centre, Scannán Technologies and Ballina Arts Centre who are hosting and managing the project.

"I Love being involved. I'm Very happy in front of the camera". – Emma O’Donnell

For over six years, Ballina Arts Centre has made a concerted effort to advance the agenda of arts and disability through programming specific events and developing outreach programmes. Ballina Arts Centre has established an excellent working relationship with both the Ridgepool Training Centre and the Scannán Technologies and had completed very successful, ambitious projects and ‘Silent Moves’ is quite naturally the culmination of all that work.

"The IGNITE project has been going very well, since it started in January. All of the participants from the groups are completely enjoying working with Aideen and Emma. The feeling is extremely positive when they are in the venue working on the project.  That kind of positivity and enthusiasm is always good around a project. We're all very excited about the whole project ". (Sean Walsh, Director, Ballina Arts Centre)

The ‘Silent Moves’ film was created using new cutting-edge technologies, including ‘green screen’ and advanced animation techniques to create a short film, bringing together stylized mime, music and movement; inspired by the silent movies of the 1930s, e.g. the films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.

"In particular, the confidence of the group has greatly increased. The suggestion of any physical movement or gesture to any member of the group to make in front of the camera is greeted with enthusiasm and without hesitation". (Artist Aideen Barry)

‘Silent Moves’ was launched 28th of November at 7pm in Ballina Arts Centre, Barrett Street, Ballina. 096 73593, In addition to the launch in November 2014, the art work will have a longer showing in the gallery space in 2015.

For further information contact


UPSTART:  A PROGRAMME OF EVENTS CELEBRATING - International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2014.

Mayo County Council Arts Service has been leading, supporting and developing Arts and Disability programmes throughout the county and in 2010 initiated a support scheme through International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The UPSTART scheme  provides support for arts projects/events in Mayo, designed to provide access to quality arts experiences for people with disabilities in their own locality. This year four projects received funding through the UPSTART scheme.  Each project developed came to fruition on or around December 3rd 2014.

At Áras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet, Gemma Gallagher from Shadowbox Theatre Company worked as artist in residence with service users from Western Care Association, Erris, on a series of Theatre Workshops culminating in a performance of a newly devised piece. "This is a project working with participants new to theatre. Exploring the fun that can be had making theatre from the ideas, stories and reflections of the group, using masks music and everyday objects" says Brendan Murray, Artistic Director, Áras Inis Gluaire.

For further information contact Brendan Murray on 097 81079 or

At TACU Family Resource Centre, Ballinrobe,throughout October and November, the Luisne art Group and the VTC Arts Group from the Conaught Creative Resource Centre, Castlebar created an exhibition entitled At Home in the Universe. The work was facilitated by artists Breda Murphy, Breda Burns and Frank Conway of Castlebar VTC. "Luisne Art Project and Connaught Creative Resource Centre Artists have come together to create an exhibition of work inspired by their experience of HOME. The work is an exploration of home territory and what it means to each artist", Breda Mayock, Luisne Art Group coordinator.

For further information contact Breda Mayock on 087 785 0344 or

The Linenhall Arts Centre hosted A presentation of "Fruit Full", by New Moon Theatre Project, Galway to students from St Bríds and St Anthony's schools in Castlebar along with the development of a range of participative arts events designed to extend and deepen audience engagement with the piece. "We're thrilled at the Linenhall Arts Centre to be working with the staff and pupils at St Bríd's Special National School and St Anthony's School Castlebar, on an exciting engagement project focusing on the performance "Fruit Full" by New Moon Theatre Project. Our aim at the Linenhall Arts Centre is to provide meaningful arts engagement opportunities for all in our community, and this project is one of the many elements of this work here at the Linenhall this year", said Orla Henihan, Arts Access officer at the Linenhall.

For further information contact Orla Henihan on 902 3733, or

Six participants from the Carrowbeg Artists Colective, Westport  and The Custom House Studios created and perform a shadow show, based on The Greenway.  The project is described by John McHugh, Director of the Custom House Studios:"In the Upstart project we will develop opportunities for the participants to transform and transfer their imagery in drawing and printmaking into a puppet / shadow show which will be recorded on video – the participants will participate in performing  the puppet / shadow show and we will record it on film / video".

For further information contact John McHugh on 098 28735 or

For further information on Mayo County Council’s Arts & Disability Programme or UPSTART please contact:  Damien O’Connor, Disability Arts Co-ordinator at Mayo Arts Office on 094 904 7551 or    



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