Welcome to Let's Talk About The Arts. In this podcast artist Fearghal Curtis meets a diverse array of artists working across different mediums. He hosts an honest chat about working within the arts, the support that is needed and how this unprecedented year has impacted the sector.
This is the second part of a conversation I had with photographer Ruth Medjber about Ownership and Funding within the Arts Industry. In this episode we delve more into funding applications from the artists perspective.
If you would like to get involved in the conversation, please contact us at Arts@talltales.ie where all feedback, ideas, thoughts and experiences are welcome
This is Part One of a two part conversation with photographer Ruth Medjber.
In this episode, myself and Ruth discuss ownership of work and funding applications from the artists point of view.
The Arts Council recently used Medjbers work on their socials and didn't credit or tag her. She raised awareness to this on her twitter account, and expressed that it was particularly confusing due to the photo promoting an application she had put in for and hadn't heard back about.
Her tweet got a lot of feedback and raised awareness to the conversation we opened in this episode.
Since our conversation, the Arts Council have contacted Ruth, and she has received positive feedback regarding her application and has also been successful with another application.
However, the conversation around Ownership and Funding is an important one to have and I was honoured that Ruth was willing to have the conversation with Let's Talk About The Arts.
LTATA aims to open up the important conversations that need to be had to highlight the areas and topics that need growth and change within the industry. This is a safe space to share, explore and discuss.
If you would like to get involved in the conversation, please email us at Arts@talltales.ie, where all feedback, ideas, thoughts and experiences are welcome.
Kev Olden is a singer/songwriter from Cork. Kev relocated to Toronto, Canada just before the lockdown hit last year. He took the time behind closed doors to explore his creativity and artistry, and has recently launched his new single Hush. Kev joined me for a chat about working through creative blocks, following his instincts and to tell us more about Hush.
Kev has kindly shared with us his brand new single, Hush, and we look forward to the next instalment of music from Kev Olden.
This week on A Moment with The Arts Eimear Mc Carthy Luddy from Vocology Ireland, Steve Philips from Steve Philips Management and musician/singer Bobbi Arlo join Let's Talk About The Arts to discuss the path to the roles they have found themselves in and staying creative within their roles.
Ashwin Chacko and Caoimhe Walsh are two artists who have strong messages to share. It was a delight to be joined by them to talk about how they convey their own personal messages through their creativity and skills.
In this weeks episode of A Moment with The Arts, we celebrate mother and daughter duo Mimi&Martha and their new project Colour your World, sister duo In the Nud, and Cellissimo presented by Music for Galway and Galway 2020.
We also have a special recording of Naomi Berrill's premier performance of Bill Whelan's 'Fragments' which was commissioned by Cellissimo for the Galway Cello. The performance is a live recording from the opening concert of the Cellissimo festival.
We also have a shout out for the boob whisperer Jen who introduced LTATA to In the Nud.
13.13 'Fragments' by Bill Whelan performed by Naomi Berrill (@naomiberrillcello)
Welcome to the first episode of Let's Talk About The Arts Presents A Moment with the Arts.
Fearghal Curtis invites you to take a moment for the artists, organisations and projects that inspire, motivate and enhance our lives
Every week Fearghal will come to the mic to uplift and support some of the amazing creativity that is happening in the arts industry. I’ll finish each episode with ‘A Moment to Consider’ where I will present a thought or idea to contemplate on.
They will be short and sweet each week, and I hope will give you an opportunity to embrace what’s happening in the arts and to consider your relationship with the arts and your inner artist.
1.12 Nua Collective @nuacollective.ie
Let's Talk About The Arts Festival Conversations is an opportunity to chat to the organisers, performers and artists involved in festivals and events.
We are joined by the music festival Cellissimo presented by Music for Galway and Galway 2020 which is a celebration of the warm and rich instrument, the cello.
In the first episode with Cellissimo, LTATA talks with Artistic Director Finghin Collins and Festival Director Anna Lardi.
Listing out Sallay Matu Garnetts accolades just doesn’t seem fitting as an introduction to one of the most mesmerising artists I’ve had the privilege of sitting across from. So, I’m going to let her take you through her journey.
My introduction for her is stolen from my first guest and a very good friend of Sallay’s, Stephanie Dufresne;
“She’s a literal angel, Fearghal, I don’t know what else to tell you, ok. She’s a magical, elfin creature and she sings like an angel. So, deal with that.”
And for the last couple of weeks I’ve been dealing with just that. Every Time I’ve come to prepare Sallay’s interview, I’ve turned on her music as a soundtrack to my research, only to fall into a rabbit hole of being swept away by a musician and artist who creates a world that I have no fitting adjectives to describe.
I actually met Sallay, who professionally goes by Loah, back in 2017 through our mutual friend, yep, you’ve guessed it, Stephanie Dufresne. The setting was the popular artist hot spot, Hughes Bar during the Galway Arts Festival, and Sallay instantly captured me with her warm energy, cool vibe and unique speaking tone.
If I mention Steph one more time, I may just have to make it Let’s Talk About The Arts with Steph and Feargh, but it was Steph the next day who filled me in on the wonderful artist and human that Sallay is.
The journey of Let’s Talk About The Arts has been a transformational one for not only my professional life, but also my personal and artistic life. And the heart and passion I’ve explored and learnt from through Loah’s online presence almost seems like the perfect way to end this first series. She is inspiring, enchanting, unique and one of a kind.
My guest today is operatic tenor Dr. Gavan Ring. And let me tell you, I have no idea where to start. This man has many strings to his bow.
Hailing from Cahersiveen in Kerry, I was exhausted after reading all of Gavan’s achievements, both in his diverse operatic career and extensive educational background.
I’ve got to work with Gavan a couple of times, most recently in The Magic Flute with Irish National Opera in 2019, where things were a little different. Not only were we performing live theatre, but Gavan was a completely different voice type and The Magic Flute marked his swan song as a baritone.
An extremely intelligent artist, the Dr. part of Dr. Gavan Ring points to his PhD, where he researched Robert O’Dwyers 20th Century Gaelic Opera Eithne. This led to the opera being performed in 2017 for the first time in 107 years, and I was lucky to play a small role opening the opera as the Taoiseach, as Gavan played the High King of Ireland. Maybe in these roles, between us, we could figure out a solution for the Arts crisis we are looking at today.
Not only having resurrected an important part of Irish opera history, Gavan consistently shows his support for the Arts in Ireland, particularly during this tough time. Scrolling through his twitter account, Gavan uplifts all parts of the Irish arts and culture industry, promoting his colleagues and the wonderful work so many do for the Arts. He also kindly shares his wonderful talent and his passion, or gra as he would put it, for music, opera and Ireland.
Lockdown has been a busy time for Gavan. He has continued to perform regularly on new platforms in events that have supported many during this difficult time, as well as being a part of many projects and collaborations, such as album releases and farewell surprises for well known radio presenters.
He also runs his own music school, Cooley Music Academy with his wife Nicola, another wonderful artist. Oh, and yeah, they also welcomed their third child, Dylan.
Truly inspiring, I’m excited to hear how Gavan has managed so many wonderful projects during a crazy time when the Arts has been struggling to survive. With his work ethic, intelligence, passion and talent, Gavan has shown us that despite a crisis, the Arts is and will keep fighting back and flourishing.
My guest today is actress, singer, writer, blogger, wife and mother Ranae Von Meding. When did I first meet Ranae? Well we were teenagers and I think very different people. My earliest memory of her is saying ‘hey’ at Bondi Beach Club on the night we were celebrating our Leaving Cert results, now that’s a blast from the past. We had mutual friends but nothing really went beyond ‘hey’. Cut to us doing a year together at the Conservatory of Music and Drama, and this was the start of our 14 year old friendship. We ain’t old, we wise.
So as you can guess this could be a very long intro. But we will save some of the stories as memories for now.
She has always lived her life through her art. Her writing and performing is always honest, articulate, touching and passionate. I always knew how great an actress and writer she was, but seeing her perform her own play ‘Mother May I’ in 2015 at Theatre Upstairs, I saw her at her finest. Her ability to take her own experiences and take them from the page to the stage is truly magical.
Most recently that magic happened again. In the Abbey Theatres online production of Dear Ireland, the wonderful Sarah Kinlen performed Ranae’s letter to her country.
Let’s rewind for a sec.
It wasn’t until later in our friendship that Ranae came out to me, after she had met the wonderful Audrey. And the rest as they say is history. Two unique souls that have shown me that love is love is love. And the love grew stronger when they welcomed their two girls, Ava and Ayra, who I’m proudly uncle Feargh to. And this is where the work began.
A strong presence in the LGBTQ+ community, Ranae has spent her whole daughters' lives fighting for both their and all the LGBTQ+ families of Ireland, adding activist and advocate to her resume. As it stands, we are not all equal. And Ranae has dedicated herself to changing this for all families.
Fast forward, and this was beautifully portrayed in Dear Ireland, as she has continued to fight for her own experiences through her art.
A wonderful wife, an inspiring mother, a talented individual, and a dear friend, this week's guest is Ranae von Meding.
I’ve been a fan of my guest today for quite some time. I first became aware of this power house performer many years ago as part of the Dragged Up team. Stunning, charismatic and creative, my guest today is drag performer Paul Ryder.
Although I first became a fan of Paul as a drag performer, little did I know this was only a part of his creative output. Along with being a drag performer, he also shines brightly as a choreographer, MC and TV personality.
In 2018, myself and a friend, Ross went to see our mate Emily Carroll in the Cheerios Panto. And of course, as a stable part of the Cheerios panto, Artistic director and choreographer Paul dazzled on stage as Sparkle.
I sat next to what I thought was the biggest Paul Ryder fan out there. Beaming with pride, this youngster gave the loudest cheer when Paul came out for his bow. It definitely won the battle against myself and Ross’ cheer for Emily. Sorry Emily. After the show, I learnt this young man was not only Ryder’s biggest fan but his cousin and was also sat next to Ryder’s Mam, who although quieter than his cousin also beamed with pride.
I got to meet Paul that night at the after show party. And after meeting him, I became a bigger fan. A fabulous Queen onstage, and a charming and humble gent offstage.
Since then, I’ve worked with a couple of people who know Paul well, and true to my first meeting with him, they all speak with the highest regard for him.
Maybe it was written in the stars when he was the first Queen to bring Drag Race girls to Ireland way back when he MC’d at the Dragon, but it is clear his hard work and ambition has seen his star continue to rise since his breakout performances on Ireland’s got talent in 2018.
As well as his growing resume, he also owns his own Dance School, Proud Dance Academy, where he is inspiring the next generation of talent, not only with his own work ethic, but also with his passion for dance.
I’m delighted to welcome Ireland’s very own Drag Ringmaster, Paul Ryder.
Sitting in the TallTales offices only a couple of weeks ago, my guest today walked in cool as a cucumber, pulled out her camera and lights, covered the office with plants and stuck her subject smack bang in the centre of them. Please welcome Photographer, Graphic Designer and Videography, Tessy Ehiguese, or as she is known professionally Tessy Media.
I sat at a desk with one ear listening to some Let’s Talk About recordings, and the other listening to a calm, strong presence creating a comfortable atmosphere while she snapped away.
It felt like fate she was there that day as I had been thinking about photographers I could interview in regards to their experiences during this mad time. So I listened to fate, and asked the very obliging Tessy could I get her contact details.
And that’s it! That’s all the interaction I’ve had with this young creative, oh! And the emails to get her in here today.
I met Jason last year when he made an impressionable entrance into one of my best friends and former flatmates lives, Mr. Ross Scanlon. Having heard how wonderful he was prior to meeting him, as the best friend I was delighted to meet such a friendly, smiley and warm person.
I knew that Jason had been the lead dancer of Riverdance for quite some time, however, it wasn’t until I went to see him last June in the Gaiety Theatre that I was met full force with his astounding talent and exuberant stage presence. This friendly, smiley guy was a beast on stage, and captivated me along with the lively audience, which he has done for years in this role worldwide.
Since then, I’ve been a fan on the sidelines as Jason proves his skills as a dancer are limitless. Getting to know Jason over the last year has been such a pleasure. He always has such a vibrant energy and is a joy to be around. Over this time, I’ve also learnt that not only is he an exceptional dancer, but his gifts extend as a graphic designer, which he had studied in college.
The personal and expressive artwork he puts up on social media portrays some important messages that are obviously close to his heart. In particular the word love takes on different and unique designs that light up a mindless feed scroll.
Having grilled him on a personal level on our couch in our former flat, I’m delighted to get to grill him in the studio and find out how it felt to be living a life long dream and getting it cut short by a world pandemic.
Settle in and get insirped by a man who balances a superstar quality with a kind and warm nature, Jason O'Neill.
My guest today is the innovative and creative mind that is Tom Creed. He is an opera and theatre director with a unique and infectious energy. Based in Dublin, Tom has seen his work travel to many spots all over the world; the U.K., France, America, Australia, right here in Dublin and of course, down to his roots in Cork.
I first got to work with Tom in 2017 in a production of Acis and Galatea with Irish National Opera. I still hold that production as one of the favourites of my career. And that was largely down to Tom. Never did I think I would be line dancing to an uptempo Handel chorus. After our first encounter, I started to see Tom’s work popping up all over the country on different platforms. Having seen an array of his work, from plays to one man/woman shows, and being fortunate enough once to have sat on the other side of the table with him for an hour or so as he directed the wonderful Clare Dunne in Sure Look it, Fuck it, he is truly a diverse and imaginative director.
He has also taken on other roles such as Festival Director for Cork Midsummer Festival and many programming and curating roles. Not only an important artist for Ireland, he is a Steering Committee Member for The National Campaign for the Arts, which not so long ago put together a 13 point plan to #SaveTheArts.
A man with a plan, whenever I’ve been in the rehearsal room with him, he has captained a smooth sailing ship and has never needed to steer off course. Calm, cool, collected, and always passionate and invested. Everytime I get to be in the room with him it is a joy. Except once, when he decided in a production of Tales of Hoffmann, that my character Spalanzani did not need to enter stage right in a massive yellow Big Bird like coat. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him for that. However, I am delighted that he has agreed to talk to me today. You are in for a treat.
My first guest on Let’s Talk About The Arts is the intelligent, talented and inspiring dancer, actor, model, creator and all around boss lady Stephanie Dufresne. I met Steph in 2018 in a co-production of Orfeo ed Eurydice with Irish National Opera and United Fall, and from day 1 I was in awe of her talent.
She trained at the Rotterdam Dance Academy in the Netherlands and a few years later at Bow Street in Dublin. Her artistry and talent has seen her perform across Ireland, the U.K. and the Netherlands. She highlights her work with Emma Martin and Irish National Opera, as well as her incredible performance in The Red Shoes at the Gate Theatre as some of the shining moments of her career.
When lockdown hit, Steph was performing in a production of Carmen with Irish National opera. When the production had to stop due to Covid-19, Steph took to the scenic backdrop of Kinvara, Co. Galway, where she is from, and went into lockdown with her boyfriend and her parents.
She is incredibly insightful and I hope you enjoy how passionately and openly she speaks about her journey as an artist. What an honour to have the enchanting Stephanie Dufresne as my first guest.