The place is buzzing this week

The place is buzzing this week

The 2020 launch of the Galway Cartoon Festival at Aras Eanna. The 2021 launch takes place tomorrow. Photo by Cormac Coyne.

With three shows, four theatre companies, some of Ireland’s top cartoonists, and three artists in residence around the place, it really feels that Aras Eanna is buzzing this week!

Opening tomorrow at 5.30pm, we are delighted to welcome the Galway Cartoon Festival to Aras Eanna and Inis Oirr for the second year.

They had such good fun here last year, it was hard to get them to leave!

Some of the top cartoonists in Ireland are making the boat trip from Rossaveel for the official launch, which features music by Inis Oirr resident Pat Quinn.

Artists including Pat Quinn himself, Aongus Collins, Tom Matthews, Caoimhe Laelle, Dean Patterson, Donal Casey, Graeme Keys, Sean Begley, and Dara McGee will have cartoons on display in our gallery for the second ‘Tarraing É I nGaeilge’ exhibition.

A second exhibition revisits the story of Augustus John, a Welsh artist who visited Galway in 1915 and produced a large mural based on the inhabitants of the city at the time.

Modern artists have come up with a more modern version of Galway, featuring some of the city’s characters, in our gallery!

A cartoon by Tom Matthews from this year’s Galway Cartoon Festival at Aras Eanna.

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome creative directors Zone Poeme (from Lille, France) for a week of collaborative development with no less than three theatre companies.

They are working with actors from Blue Teapot Theatre Company (Galway), Teatr 21 (Poland), and Les Oiseaux Mouches (France) all week before producing what should be a stunning show in our theatre on Friday.

The project will explore the two weeks spent by famous French poet and actor Antonin Artaud on the Aran Islands in 1937.

This is part of the ‘Crossing the Line’ project, a partnership of six leading theatre companies who create works with artists with intellectual disabilities.

Three of the creative directors from Zone Poeme, Simon Capelle, Mélodie Lasselin, and Quentin Conrate, will give a musical and poetic performance based on Artaud’s journey in the Aras Eanna theatre on Wednesday at 6pm. Admission is free.

Zone Poeme will present ‘Prophecy / Tairngreacht’ in the Aras Eanna theatre on Wednesday at 6pm.

Introduced by Ciarán Tierney of Áras Éanna, Simon, Quentin, and Mélodie gave a presentation to island schoolchildren at Coláiste Gobnait last week and really whetted our appetite for this show.

On Friday, our ten guest actors from Poland, Ireland, and France will present ‘I Am Antonin Artaud’ at 2pm, following one week of very intense rehearsals.

Ciaran Tierney from Aras Eanna introduces the members of Zone Poeme (France) to the students at Coláiste Ghobnait, Inis Oirr

The people of Inis Oirr are invited to both shows at Aras Eanna. Admission to both is free!

In addition, we are delighted to welcome Donal O’Kelly, Maeve McGrath, and Hilary Bowen Walsh to the island this week.

They are the first three artists to be selected for a week of residencies as part of a new partnership between Aras Eanna and the Irish Theatre Institute (ITI).

There was a huge response from the Irish theatrical community to a call out from ITI just last month.

It’s shaping up to be a hectic week of art, cartoonery, theatrical workshops, and shows here at Aras Eanna.

It really feels as though we are putting the era of lockdowns, restrictions, and empty theatres and studios behind us!

  • Please note that all of this week’s events fully comply with current Covid19 guidelines and restrictions.
  • Words by Ciaran Tierney Digital Storyteller.
Our lucky artists in residence who have joined us on the island this week thanks to our partnership with the Irish Theatre Institute.


The flyer for the two shows involving Zone Poeme this week. The second show, on Friday, features ten artists with intellectual disabilities from three countries.


A cartoon by Dara McGee, Artistic Director of Áras Éanna.