Easter 1916 is a key date in Irish history. A watershed moment of enormous significance to the nation. The attempted revolution on that date failed, but the brutal treatment of its leaders gave a renewed impetus to the campaign for Home Rule. The compromise that was reached with the majority Protestant population in Ulster was not popular in the rest of the Island, and led to a bloody but mercifully brief civil war. The centenary of the 1916 rising last year was the inspiration for a programme promoting creativity in all its forms across the nation in the five years that echo the years between the rising and the establishment of the Republic.
Saxophonist David Roach. Image via Culture Fox.
A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of attending an event that could not have happened except through the support of the programme: the world premiere of a new work by Belfast born composer Ian Wilson. Composed in collaboration with people involved in agriculture and nature conservation in the Irish Midlands, as a celebration of the importance of pollenators to the human food chain, Thresholds consists of a collage of recorded sounds and speech, overlaid by live performance by solo saxophone. British saxophonist David Roach, who performed the solo, has worked with Wilson before.
But that is just one of thousands of initiatives across all aspects of Irish life for which Creative Ireland is the inspiration. Take, for example, this article from the Irish Times, which describes how merging creativity with technology is generating incredible opportunities for young people.
Sometimes it seems that technology is driving the human race into a dark and dangerous place. I am a firm believer that creative thinking can ensure that human scale solutions will be found to the problems that scare us, just as they did in the past, and just as the young people of Ireland are demonstrating and will continue to demonstrate between now and 2022, the centenary of the formation of the Republic.
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One of my earliest memories is of peeling wallpaper from the wall next to my bed. The paper consisted of random patterns of tan squiggles on a pale cream background. A small part had become detached from the underlying surface and it was that which stimulated my enthralled activity. Many years before, someone had painted the wall a deep blue. A blue with the same intensity as the sky or the areas of ocean on a map. And that was what I was doing. By removing sections of wallpaper I was creating a world of islands and seas, a world of my imagination.
I remember the feel of the paper under my finger nails as I fretted at the edges to free them. I recall the joy when a section peeled away easily, the excitement of seeing how far it would go, what new shape would appear as the tide of blue raced into the parched ‘land’.
I remember the hurt, not the pain of the slap you understand, no, the bitter hurt at my mother’s inability to enter the world of my imagination. I could not see the hurt she must have felt at the destruction of her real world surroundings that my endeavours represented to her.
Perhaps that is the origin of what would become, over the years, a difficult relationship between us: a relationship that probably underlies much of my present day creative activities in which I often feature women, women I hope are portrayed as strong and independent.
The above post suggested by a prompt posted at Endever Publishing
If you’re up for the challenge, write your take of this prompt on your own blog. Be sure to tag Endever by including the above picture and a link to their original post so that they can find and read the creative interpretations you come up with! They will be re-posting their favorites for all to enjoy so give it your best!
(Specifics– Write using 500 words or less. There is no limit to the amount of stories you write per prompt. Copy and paste these writing challenge details when you share with friends so others can join.)