Join us on Saturday 29 to Monday 31 May 2021 on the Visit Mourne Mountains Facebook page as we launch ‘Reimagine’ the first ever online arts festival, celebrating the beauty and creativity across the Newry, Mourne and Down area.

Hosted by writer, performer and Newry native, Rozlyn Sheridan (one half of the comedy duo, Nuala and Noleen who toured Ireland with their smash hit comedy ‘It’s Wine O’clock) the weekend of festivities features bite-size performances and workshops from artists, tutors and performers. Filmed in scenic locations the festival has a mixture of dance, song, painting, poetry as well as the fringe activities including tai chi and forest bathing.


Chi in The Park

Morning from 10am to 12noon

Each morning of the Festival, we join Petesy Burns with ‘Chi in the Park’ (10am) – a series of introductory Tai Chi classes filmed at Warrenpoint Municipal Gardens. Next up is ‘The Art of Forest Bathing’ (11am) – a unique mediation session filmed at The Ring of Gullion, with Ann Ward who has a deep connection with nature. At noon each day, there will be ‘Games from The Gullion’ (12 noon) with star of stage and screen, Keith Singleton. Filmed on location at The Giant’s Lair in Slieve Gullion Forest Park, this is a fun active workshop for kids… of all ages.


Early Afternoon at 2pm

At 2pm each day join us for ‘Artist in Focus’ when we turn the spotlight on local artists living and working throughout Newry Mourne & Down. This mini documentary series features the work of landscape artist, Jacqueline Rooney in her studio at Rostrevor, plein air artist, Paul O’Kane out on location in Crossgar and Slieve Gullion textile artist Caóilfíonn Murphy O’Hanlon.


Late Afternoon at 4pm

At 4pm throughout the three-day festival, we feature a variety of bespoke creative performances – from poetry readings to musicals and Irish dance. Award winning poet, Olive Broderick, reads ‘Ward’ a three-part sequence of her original work at Castleward Estate. Leading figure in contemporary and Irish dance, Colin Dunne, performs ‘The Turn’ a ground-breaking dance piece composed by Linda Buckley with musicians Joanne Quigley, Cliodhna Ryan, Lisa Dowdall and Sian Hetherington. The Flynn Performing Arts School keeps the show on the road with ‘Broadway on Zoom’.


Bláithín Mhic Cana

Evening

If music is your thing, you’re in a for a treat. Tune in each evening for ‘Give Us A Song’ to hear a host of talented singer songwriters. Join us at 6pm and celebrate the Irish spoken song with Ciara McCrickard, Bláithín Mhic Cana and Piaras Ó Lorcáin.

Night

At 8pm will be our headline acts, who each perform a track from their new albums. First up is country star Catherine McGrath, with ‘Don’t Let Me Forget’ filmed on location at in the beautiful Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor. Newcastle singer songwriter, Cormac Neeson, performs ‘Sweet Gentle Love’ at the historic Foley’s Bridge in Tollymore Forest Park and Brigid O’Neill rounds up the Festival with a moving performance of ‘Touchstone’ filmed at St John’s Point Lighthouse.


Artist in Focus

Jacqueline Rooney

Jacqueline Rooney (2pm, Saturday 29 May) – for as long as Jacqueline could hold a pencil she was drawing everything she saw around her. Summers spent staying in her granny's house as a child at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne allowed Jacqueline and her siblings to embark on many adventures. After climbing these iconic mountains their reward on reaching the top was the views of the magnificent Irish Sea. This has undoubtedly influenced her work.

Becoming a mother and having two sons made Jacqueline realise that anything is possible, and she became even more driven to pursue her absolute passion. Having gone through an eventful and busy few years she is now a full-time award winning professional artist!

Find out more about the artist here


Paul O’Kane (2pm, Sunday 30 May) is a plein air artist working mainly in oils and watercolours. He loves to urban sketch in all mediums, including acrylics, gouache and digital painting on his iPad. Paul’s plein air work is mainly small works painted on his various painting trips, whether abroad or at home in Northern Ireland.

Find out more about the artist here


Caóilfíonn Murphy O’Hanlon (2pm, Monday 31 May) lives in her Great Grandparents homestead high on Sliabh Gullion, in South Armagh with her husband and four children. A graduate of University of Ulster, her original training was in Photography which led her to capture the landscape around her and created an addiction to light, form and colour. Subsequent study of Millinery, under numerous international tutors, encouraged an exploration of evolving textiles and new materials, merging traditional skills with modernity. Her textile work is a quirky organic fusion of natural fibres, found objects and upcycled fabrics.

The word Cushla or cuisle translates as a term of endearment or as ‘heartbeat’ or ‘pulse’. Since founding Cushla Of Gullion in 2014, Caóilfíonn has been sharing the living landscape with us through her poetry, visual storytelling and her vibrant textile art. She is deeply passionate about her environment and all her materials and packaging are ethically sourced.

Find out more about the artist here


Give Us a Song

Catherine McGrath (8pm, Saturday 29 May) is a Northern Irish country music singer songwriter from Rostrevor, County Down. In the summer of 2016, she signed with Warner Bros. She recorded and released her first solo EP One in December later that same year. Her major label debut album, Talk of This Town, was released on 27 July 2018. A career highlight for Catherine was to play a set at the C2C: Country to Country festival in 2019 where she joined Hunter Hayes on stage at the O2 Arena to duet on their song ‘Don't Let Me Forget’.

Find out more about the artist here


Cormac Neeson

Cormac Neeson, (8pm, Sunday 30 May) the lead singer of Northern Irish rock band The Answer, blazed the road to rock ‘n’ roll glory for the better part of a decade, touring the world, sharing stage supports with the likes of AC/DC and The Rolling Stones, achieving both fan and peer respect as not only an outstanding vocalist but consummate performer. Yet, recessed deep within his creative subconscious lay his Dylan destiny, a Celtic ‘knowing’ that constantly gnawed for release from the straight jacket of rock ‘n’ roll.

Find out more about the artist here


Brigid O’Neill (8pm, Monday 31 May) – described as “a little bit of Mary Black and Cara Dillon, with some Emmylou Harris with Alison Krauss thrown in”, Co. Down singer songwriter Brigid O’Neill’s star has been steadily in the ascent since the release of her debut EP ‘Arrivals and Departures’, followed by the insistently catchy single ‘Don’t Make Me Go to Town’. 

Plaudits have continued to rain down with the release of her remarkable new album ‘Touchstone’. Fans and critics alike have been drawn, not only by the sweet recipe of country-folk and blues blended with a delicious dash of jazz that has become her trademark ‘sound’, but also by the heart wrenching, beautifully crafted lyrics. Sung with such conviction and sincerity they pull at your heart, and leave you wanting more.

Find out more about the artist here.


More information 

Download the full festival guide here

Download the festival line-up here

Reimagine Arts Festival
Virtual/Online Event
Reimagine Arts Festival

Join us on Saturday 29 to Monday 31 May 2021 at www.visitmournemountains.com and on Facebook as we launch ‘Reimagine’ the first ever online arts festival, celebrating the beauty and creativity across Newry Mourne & Down. Hosted by writer, performer and Newry native, Rozlyn Sheridan (one half of the comedy duo, Nuala and Noleen who toured Ireland with their smash hit comedy ‘It’s Wine O’clock) the weekend of festivities features bite-size performances and workshops from artists, tutors and performers. Filmed in scenic locations the festival has a mixture of dance, song, painting, poetry as well as the fringe activities including tai chi and forest bathing.