Welcome to the 21st edition of TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, entitled honey, milk and salt in a seashell before sunrise.
Contributors to honey, milk and salt in a seashell before sunrise include: Áine O’Hara, Aisling-Ór Ní Aodha, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Bog Cottage, Bridget O'Gorman, Edward Lawrenson & Pia Borg, Holly Márie Parnell, Jamila Prowse, Jenny Brady, Leila Hekmat, Nat Raha, P. Staff, Paul Roy, Philipp Gufler, Rouzbeh Shadpey, Sarah Browne and Sean Burns.
Taking its title from the description of an Irish folk cure, honey, milk and salt in a seashell before sunrise responds to the evolving experiences of disability and home in the West of Ireland. Reflecting on the legacy of institutions such as St Brigid’s Hospital and how ideas of health and medicine can shape landscapes and communities. The festival is dedicated to Ballinasloe born artist J.J. Beegan, who made drawings recalling home while living at Netherne Mental Hospital in Surrey, England.
You will find sounds, prints, films, quilts, sculptures, performances, social spaces and paintings throughout Galway city and county. There are prints that express the experience of disability with ironic wit and soundscapes that dream of the sounds we wish we could hear from our sick beds.
There are films dedicated to loved ones through memories of illness and music, and the longing and access barriers of returning home as a disabled person. Quilts weave archives of disabled artists and others that celebrate queer artists and scholars whose lives were pathologised or touched by medicine, while performances draw the colonial connections between prison islands in Ireland, Scotland and the Bay of Bengal.
Paintings visit sites of medical incarceration and we spend time with a group of young people who reimagine these sites through a neurodiverse lens. There are stories of how chemotherapy changes how we see ourselves, and others that transport us to a surrealist hospital for women that delves into the comedy and self-discovery of malady.
We are brought to tower blocks in Birmingham as havens of queer life and witness the inhabitants' history with HIV and AIDS. We will also share in the intimacy of a memory test for dementia through the retelling of Iranian resistance films. Other spaces are transformed into Faery Forts that create spaces of softness and play, re-enchanting a familiar landscape and sculptures built upon the support and collaboration necessary to create.
We have published a companion publication with essays on drawings of J.J. Beegan, the Spiddal born disability activist Martin Naughton, unionising patients, the abolitionist disability politics of the Black Panther Party, the personal archives of those committed to St. Brendan’s, Grangegorman and poetry reflecting on abolition, disability justice and home.
Writers include: Alan Counihan, Carol R. Kallend, Joanna Marsden, Nat Raha, Roisin Agnew, Sami Schalk and Tone F Pone + Inky Lee.
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