Featherheads & Dreamers; Winter Embers

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Featherheads and Dreamers is a project developed some years ago at The Model Sligo to present a myriad of perspectives from the worlds of music, poetry, performance, literature, and visual art, combining established artists and emerging voices– a mini festival over the course of an evening.

The title derives from a 1916 newspaper editorial in which the leaders of the Easter Rising were described as “no more than feather heads and dreamers”. This seemingly inauspicious designation seemed quite appropriate in the spirit of incorporation and inversion of old-school thought regarding contemporary culture. Previous ‘Featherheads’ have included author Kevin Barry, author Claire-Louise Bennett, spoken word poet Stephen Murphy, actor and poet Sorcha Fox, photography by Ciarán Óg Arnold, actor and playwright Donal O’Kelly, and band The Hunter amongst many others.

The combination of live performance and visual art always provoked lively discussion and debate from the audience and this engagement allowed the event to become a living, breathing entity inspiring collaboration and a sense of a creative community.

Of course, this year has been different, and that difference is (and should be) reflected in the event itself – the quiet gallery spaces and the absence of applause – beginning with the sound of the tide and the vague notes of a carnival somewhere in the distance. A hint of the celebration of music, poetry, spoken word and visual art under the shadow of Benbulben, that is to follow, and a hopeful note as we face into the future. Indeed, the change in format, to an online event, has allowed us to reach a wider audience than ever before, both in Ireland and internationally. 

We’re extremely grateful to our participating artists; Julianna Holland, Steve Wickham, Alice Lyons, Ruth Clinton & Cormac MacDiarmada, James Kelly (film), Anita McGarry (photography), Judith Cornwell (photography), Dominic Corrigan (collage), and David Fahey (photography); and we hope that these Winter Embers provide a glimmer of light as we enter the New Year.