This year, Applefest has initiated several innovative and creative projects to really engage the community, bringing together artists, creatives, experts, and students to develop something special to share in the public realm.
The first of our initiatives is the Indigenous project which launched in February with a series of online and outdoor workshops under the guidance of Dr Billy MagFhlionn. Participants were invited to come together to explore ritual and tradition and to create original costumes with a view to having a colourful procession as the festival finale in September.
This developed further to include the ‘Caim Coracle’ – a small vessel handwoven from local hazel and willow. The Coracle was used in ancient times to navigate the rivers, lakes and seas of Ireland. The Caim was a profound ‘circling prayer’ used by ancient Celts to symbolise protection or the encircling of love. The intention is for people to place their messages of love into the Caim Coracle which will then be set adrift on the river Suir.
Our Sense of Place
The second project we launched this year was ‘Our Sense of Place‘, a collaboration of 14 writers with 14 members of Clonmel’s International community sharing their experiences of immigration and living in Ireland today. The writers attended a workshop hosted by well-known journalist and ghost writer Sue Leonard who also provided one-to-one mentoring support.
To date, this has been an immensely positive experience with strong bonds being formed between the participants. We were delighted to host a ‘Tea in the Park’ event at the beginning of August where the project participants came together to meet in person and get to know each other.
These wonderful stories will be gathered into a very special book along with portrait pictures of the participants taken by local photographer John D Kelly.
Biodiversity Trail with Louise Garcia
Our 2 Biodiversity Trails are located along the Greenane Blueway and at Old St Mary’s Church, Clonmel. In the company of one of our favourite collaborators Louise Garcia, reacquaint yourself with some of our common and lesser-loved wild plants; nettles, ivy, the briar, which feed and shelter our wildlife and pollinators. Choose between a town or a riverside trail. Bring your phone to scan the QR codes along the way and listen to Louise tell you more about the treasures of nature and why we should cherish and nurture biodiversity.
Louise Garcia is an entomologist, educationalist, performer and passionate animal and plant lover. She is also a fantastic researcher and a very entertaining communicator.