Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Artist Alex Fortune (right) and musician Aaron Smith with Alex’s art piece titled ‘Friends in Strange Places’ during the Melody of Melancholy showcase performance organised by The Backline in the library of Carlow College
Photos: michaelorourkephotography.ie

Ciaran Doyle introduces the artists

The Melody of Melancholy Showcase took place in the stunning library of Carlow College

Justin Kelly performing during the Melody of Melancholy showcase

Artist Pat Purcell speaking about his artwork

Darragh O’Connor

Gerard Holohan (left) and musician Justin Kelly with Ger’s artwork titled ‘Loss Adjustment’

Artist Ben Jelliman and musician David Woods with Ben’s art piece titled ‘Heuristic’

Artist Pat Purcell and musician Darragh O’Connor with Pat’s art piece titled ‘Shelter from the Storm’

Artist Mary Huntl (right) and musician Karen O’Neill with Mary’s artwork ‘Creation of Admiral’

At the Melody of Melancholy Showcase in Carlow College were cllr Fergal Browne, Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor TD and Walter Hennessy

Some of the audience who attended the event


By Suzanne Pender

MUSIC and visual art combined effortlessly to convey a journey through darkness and despair into light and hope in a project aptly titled ‘Melody of Melancholy’.

This latest venture from music forum The Backline was recently brought to life in the library of Carlow College. The concept of the project was to have five visual artists and five music artists working together to create a visual art piece and an accompanying music composition capturing their respective journeys through Covid-19, lockdown, life traumas and/or any other dark times they have encountered and had to cope with.
The visual artists involved were Pat Purcell, Mary Hunt, Ben Jelliman (Carterson), Alexandra Fortune and Ger Holohan, while the music artists/composers involved were Dave Woods, Karen O’Neill, Aaron Patrick, Darragh O’Connor and Justin Kelly.

‘Melody of Melancholy’ was attended by deputy Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, mayor of Carlow cllr Fintan Phelan, cllr Fergal Browne and cllr Ken Murnane with MC Ciaran Doyle, who guided the journey masterfully.
The very special evening of music and art was delivered with absolute honesty, genuine passion and emotion by each of the participants.
As one of those attending put it: “If last night is any measure of the artistic talent in Carlow, the bar has been set on the highest rung.”
All offered their thanks to the artists and musicians for giving such an insight into their brilliant creative minds.

Feedback from the participants was equally positive and affirming. They all said that getting a chance to talk about their profession and creativity in front of an audience was terrifying, empowering and extremely gratifying.
The event was part-funded by Carlow County Council through the Arts Acts Grant Scheme.
The organisers would also like to particularly thank Carlow College for facilitating the event and allowing the use of its incredible library – the perfect setting visually, acoustically and historically.


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