The RHA Annual Exhibition is one of the most important dates on Ireland's cultural calendar and an opportunity for all artists - professionals and amateurs alike - to have their work showcased and to launch new careers in the art world.
The seven artists have been chosen from all over the country and each has their own story to tell. From Limerick's Brian O'Rourke, a former cannabis dealer who learned to paint in prison; to Connemara's Mo West who, at the age of 92, has just been accepted into Aosdana; to Mayo painters 19-year-old Hetty Lawlor, who has never submitted before, and her father Jimmy, who has submitted many times before, so far without success; to Laois's chronic depression-sufferer Aishling Hennessey, for whom painting in a freezing cold barn at the end of her father's garden is more than just a hobby - it's survival; to Lucan's Salvatore Fullam whose obsession with identity prompted him to change his name to Salvatore of Lucan; and Dingle based sculptor Mick Davis who makes work from recycled bicycle tyres and chains, most famously for Game of Thrones.
The programme follows the artists through the process of creating an artwork for 'The Annual', to finding out whether or not it has been accepted. Along the way we discover why and how they make art and how they deal with rejection. And we reveal, for the first time on television, the dark art of the RHA selection process, chaired this year by its first ever female President, renowned artist Abigail O'Brien, as well as observing the controlled mayhem of the install as the gallery team race against time to create this art marathon of a show in time for Opening Day.
Wrenched from their families, homes and communities, the wrongfully convicted suffer many forms of psychological trauma as a result of their imprisonment. Their problems are exacerbated upon release, where they struggle to reintegrate into society, reclaim normality, and carve out a stable existence. They return only to face poverty, employment discrimination, societal discrimination, alcohol and substance abuse, and broken relationships. The stigma of prison hovers over an innocent person almost as much as the guilty.
Fallout is based on the post prison lives of 4 high profile exonerees - Sunny Jacobs (USA), 17 years on death row; Peter Pringle (Ireland), the last man sentenced to death by hanging in Ireland. He served 15 years; Paddy Hill (UK), served 16 years for the Birmingham pub bombings and Robert Brown (UK), served 25 years for a murder he did not commit.
A campaign called "Say I'm Innocent" will follow the screening of Fallout on BBC and RTE. For further information go to www.sayiminnocent.com or find us on Facebook.
For 50 years, Irish singer, songwriter and national bard, Christy Moore has sung about issues in society that have deeply affected him. In this very personal film we brought the songs to the locations and the people that inspired them, revealing Christy's often controversial actions and opinions.
Christy Moore: Journey, is all about the songs. These songs and lyrics give voice to those who need a voice and give a real perspective of life as it is in all its guises. The songs give shape to who and what Ireland is. They also reveal the man who has dedicated his life to the craft of song and who has stood up to be counted. The songs guide us through the journey from the Irish in London in the 60s and on through the issues and events that shocked and shaped Ireland to the present day. At the age of 70, Christy Moore finally agreed to make a film – the only film that will ever be made on his eventful life.
A DVD featuring the full two hour film and a separate 80 minute film of live performances is available from the usual outlets.
Christy Moore: Journey, was screened on RTE1 as two one hour prime time programmes.
Ciudad Juarez in northern Mexico became famous as the worlds most dangerous city in 2009. 5 drug cartels fought for control of the city and in the ensuing years 9,000 people have been murdered. Recently a Hip Hop movement like no other was formed, by people who had enough of fear and suffering. They were dealt different blows - some as the victims and others as the instigators of violence. Music and art became their saviour and gave them the voice to stand up and change their own lives and now to save the lives of the children. They are the new Frontier Revolution, sickened by the state of their own city.
Humberto was a gang leader who had 65 friends and colleagues killed. Dilema formed the first female rap group in Juarez to protest about the abuse and murder of young women. Murz was a violent gangster who was saved by discovering an innate talent for art. Grafiko lives in the most dangerous part of Juarez and used Rap as his way to escape gang life. Siniestra lived on the frontline of two gang territories and began through her rap music to get involved in helping kids get back to school.
Together they have instigated new community projects, development courses, rhythm poetry and art workshops, all with the mission to open a new path for the kids, giving them a ticket out of the violent gangs. They are bravely giving hundreds of kids a chance to make a tough decision and walk away from the temptations of a life on the street, with the only end being death and destruction. They have stood up to the violent drug-fuelled mayhem of Ciudad Juarez and decided to take change into their own hands to help younger people find a better way. This is their gripping story.
The mothers of the femicide victims of Juarez, Mexico, have been abandoned by their government - they have engaged the artist Brian Maguire to bring their stories to the international community. Art has become the last weapon available to them to fight the drug cartels and serial killers. Only 2% of these murder cases have been investigated and many of the mothers have themselves received death threats for simply demanding justice. Juarez is presently ranked as the second most dangerous city in the world.
In 2010, 438 innocent women were murdered in Juarez. The mothers and families of the femicide victims of Juarez have bravely chosen to openly express their emotions through the work of the artist Brian Maguire as a last resort to find justice - for Brian it is a means of exploring how he can provide a voice for the mothers and a deeper understanding of their personal grief through his artworks.
Blood Rising is a celebration of beauty through art and a revelation of the power of the human spirit to rise out of the most extreme and destructive situations. Its role is to honor the spirit and energy of the dead and to contextualize and understand the destruction of these lives and the mark it has left on the community.
Blood Rising was recently screened in the European Parliament and had its first screenings in the Soho Curzon, London and Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin. An international tour of the film with the mothers is presently being planned.
Outsiders is a journey through the fascinating and intimate worlds of Eddie Cahill and Frank "Lucas" Quigley. We explore in depth what made them turn their backs on crime and discover a new world in which art became their saviour. We explore their memories of a dramatic childhood to the events that drove them to the dark side of society. Lucas became an active republican and Eddie became a significant part of one of the most violent gangs in Dublin in the 1980's. After years in crime they were both eventually incarcerated. That is where they met Brian Maguire, who helped trigger total change within them, and unleashed their dormant artistic talent. From that moment, they never stopped painting...
Outsiders was commissioned by RTE. It received high audience ratings and was chosen as the best Arts film of 2014 and 2015 by The Sunday Times.
SLAVES OF THE GODS
Much is heard in the media about child slavery and trafficking in West Africa. But mention the words Trokosi, Fiashidi, Voodounsi and it will draw a blank. Covered in a veil of fear and tradition, one of the oldest forms of slavery on earth is still alive and well in Ghana and other neighbouring countries. It does not involve trafficking or forced movement to other areas or countries, instead it happens on the doorsteps of the victims and their families live close to the locations in which they are entrapped. It is shrouded in superstition and manipulation of vulnerable people.
Today hundreds of young girls from the Ewe tribe in Ghana are held as slaves in unspeakable conditions, victims of a vicious form of modern day slavery which manifests itself as ritual abuse in idol shrines. They are forced against their will into a horrendous web of bondage under the mask of traditional religion. The girls are called ‘Trokosi’ or ‘wives of the gods’ and they are held in fetish shrines as living human sacrifices.
This documentary film will get behind the veil of fear and reveal the inner worlds of these girls and the fetish priests who control their lives.
SCRAP METAL: THE TOUR
The search for Irelands greatest hard-rock tribute band and getting them on the line-up for the ultimate gig.
Scrap Metal is a 5 part prime-time presenter lead RTE documentary music series highlighting Irelands first ever battle of the tribute bands tour. It has been especially commissioned to bring a more left field approach to RTE’s scheduling.
This high-octane series will bring five rock tribute bands to new heights exploring the double lives they lead. It is based around an 8 day tour of Ireland with a band being eliminated every second day of the tour. The winner then goes on to headline Glastonbudget in the UK, the mecca of international tribute bands!
As these great pretenders tour they will be supported and mentored by iconic legendary figures of the hard rock world – Saxon’s main-man Biff Byford, the well respected Brian Tatler of Diamond Head - noted for his infamous guitar riffs and a major influence on Metallica’s and Megadeath’s sound and of course the man that helped shape Thin Lizzy as one of the most influential guitar bands in music history - Brian Robertson.
The series will be presented by Ireland’s home grown funny man Karl Spain.
Featuring an incredible line-up, it promises to be the most entertaining and ultimate rock event of the season. So lock up your daughters, pull on your tight trousers, pick up your air guitar and get ready to bang your head.
Featuring Ireland’s greatest monsters of rock:
Visit the website: www.scrapmetalthetour.com
ABANDONED BY GOD - 52 minutes
With the end of the Touareg rebellions in Mali and Niger in the 1990 ’s the Touareg nomads have entered a critical stage of their history. Traumatic years of conflict and its aftermath torn apart Touareg society and forced it to confront the modern world. Old hierarchies of tribes and families were broken, traditional patterns of nomadic life and ancient cultural practices were abandoned, and many young Touareg exchanged the utter silence of their desert home for the bustle of refugee camps and life at the edges of modern cities.
To capture this complex dialectic taking place between their traditional culture and the profundity of change and modernity that is threatening to overwhelm them ‘Abandoned By God’ captures the stories and voices of 2 people who represent different sides of Touareg and nomadic culture today; Sidi Mohamed, an elderly Touareg herder who has spent his life locked in a struggle against droughts, locusts and the threat of oblivion, and Fadimata Walet Oumar, vocalist with the internationally renowned Touareg group ‘Tartit’.
Framed against the backdrop of the ‘Festival in the Desert’, the great annual desert gathering of nomads, their stories tell of the singularity of Touareg life and reveal the struggle to be a Touareg in modern times.
|Abandoned by God excerpt - click here|
BEHIND THE DESERT WALL - 52 minutes
This documentary gives voice
to the Saharawi people and seeks to understand how, through the tragedy
of exile, a group of nomadic people has forged a strong sense of nationhood
and an unwavering dedication to the cause of an independent homeland.
Stoney Road Films in association with Bang Bang Teo