Wednesday, November 29th in the Markethouse, Monaghan the November Arts Netowrk showcase
took place. Unfortunately, dues to a road closure brought about by a fatal collision,
the Farney Singers from Carrickmacross were unable to fulfil their appearance but
we still experienced three great presentations. First to be introduced by MC, Pat
Mooney, was Ruta Medeliene, who was born in Lithuania where she graduated in Event
and Festival Design. She specialised in jewellery as a hobby but when she arrived
in Ireland in 2002 she began working in the hospitality industry. However in 2013
she decided to concentrate on her jewellery making and since then has been creating
very attractive jewellery and is all the time experimenting with different materials
and design types. She is based in Doohamlet. She had a wide ranging display of her
work for viewing. Next up was Niamh O'Connor who comes from North Dublin but has
been in Monaghan for a number of years now. She is a visual artist and a full exhibition
of her present work - Hidden, Out Loud - is just ending in the Monaghan Markethouse.
She has work on display in various prestigious galleries in Armagh, Leitrim and Dublin
to name a few but she has also displayed in America and Britain. Her presentation
on Wednesday night was a very powerful statement about her life and work and placed,
what she creates, in a central part of her life and being. She is not one to plan
and sketch a design at the outset but allows herself to go where her mood and life
takes her and the the result is something very meaningful and an expression of mind.
There was a break then for refreshments and general socialising, which is an integral
part of the Showcase night. During the second half of the programme we were truly
entertained by NJ McClean, a singer-songwriter from County Armagh. He has a very
distinctive voice and his accompaniment on the guitar was class but it was the lyrics
that the made this a very magnetic performance. The meaning and stories behind and
in the lyrics captivated the listener and again we experienced a powerful performance.
Well done to the artists involved and to the Network organisers for providing us
with another notable night of entertainment.