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john O’Shea

08 Dec

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"it seems we think in tiny drops…"

December 8, 2009 | By |

My favourite lyric above from the title track from the album from which this event takes its name, ‘Wave If You’re Really There’ has become a kind of rallying call for creatives in Liverpool under the steering of Mercy Corps and their friends the Wave Machines. Their 4 events last year took place in St Brides church and gathered some of the best folk musicians, pop groups, performances artists, installation artists and poets to create a carefully orchestrated themed evening of delights for the audience, dutifully arranged in rows of pews (well, to begin with at least).

Last weekend was the first time the experiment had been exported, and saw a large group of collaborators and familiar faces transported down to London to install the the first of two capitol-based events (themed ‘marriage’) in St Leonards Church in Shoreditch. I went down to document the show, which its fair to say, turned out fantastic. Everyone worked really hard to set it up over 2 days, lending helping hands wherever needed; creativity abounded through the artistic direction of Scott Spencer and the Mercy crew and their collaborators, and all way lit in fantastic reactive colours by lighting guru known only as Guy. The performers (Karen McLeod, John Smith, Nathan Jones, Luke Kennard, Homework, Post War Years, and of course Wave Machines) all gave their best. It really felt very special indeed. Especially when John Smith did his folk cover of ‘Not Over Yet’.

More people than can be mentioned here contributed to the event, so I’ll simply leave these photos by John O’Shea to sum up the beauty of the evening. I’ll post the videos as they go through my patented topntail process.

30 Sep

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Document – A Small Cinema on Bold St

September 30, 2009 | By |

Liverpool’s most prolific documentarian Tim Brunsden, was in attendance, and as usual with camera in hand. This gives a really nice introduction to the Small Cinema experience. I heard Tim just got a new Sony Z5, so keep an eye out for his upcoming work!

Thanks you again to all those who created, collated, exhibited, contributed, supported and applauded the event. You can see some photos for the day on the A Small Cinema blog, and also the Re-Dock Flickr page.

A Small Cinema on Bold St is a Re-Dock project that took place as part of Abandon Normal Devices Festival and Bold St Festival. Thankyou to Liverpool City Council for its financial support.

logos_boldSt_web

23 Nov

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Huddersfield Connection

November 23, 2008 | By | No Comments

huddersfield Irish Centre - Hall

Tommy Walsh - guest speaker

Last week, myself and John O’Shea returned to our hometown of Huddersfield to present John’s documentary, ‘Connemara Connection‘ to an audience of over 300 hundred people from both the Huddersfield and Connemara communities, as well as our friends and relatives. It felt to me a very important and powerful experience, and in someways, a modern day approach to the traditional role of storytelling within a community. It was privilege to have been involved in caretaking the memories and histories of these communities and presenting it back to them in a way that celebrated the bonds between the two towns. It also felt like we had done something important in outlining the journey that the towns had made – adding our piece to the puzzle as it were.The pictures above show the hall of the Huddersfield Irish Centre as people were coming in, and also speaker Tommy Walsh, who said that Connemara Connection was “an important social and historical document”.

07 Nov

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Connemara Connection

November 7, 2008 | By | No Comments

Connemara Connection poster

On Friday 14th November I’ll be heading to my hometown of Huddersfield to watch a short film about the links between Huddersfield Irish community and the town of Connemara on Ireland’s west coast. The film has been made by my very good friend John O’Shea, who was born in Huddersfield but of Irish descent. John plays Gaelic football for the Brother Pearse club and is a strong believer in the importance of a game built around community rather than money. Last September he asked me to travel with him to Connemara and help document the community there, many of whom have family in Huddersfield.

We focused on a Gaelic football exchange trip between the Leiter Moir club and Brothers Pearse – an exchange that has been running for many years, and ¬†one that helps to strengthen bonds betweenthe two ¬†communities. John’s own father travelled with the club when he was a player. We interviewed the players, coaches, the club officials, and the local communities on both sides to get a understanding of the historical and cultural ties. Connemara is part of the Gaeltacht region, where Irish is the first language. As such, many of the interviews were conducted in Gaelic and then later translated by the Irish Studies department at Liverpool University.

It was strange to experience such a beautiful yet harsh landscape, a completely different language, and still meet person after person, each of whom had a personal knowledge and connection with the town where I am from. The people we met were extremely warm, friendly, generous, hospitable and of course with a great sense of humour. I felt both at home and away.

The film will be screened at The Huddersfield Irish Centre on the 14th November.

www.blog.29sunbeam.co.uk/connemara