On Friday  the 21st of September 2012 Culture Night was held throughout Ireland. Limerick had a catalogue packed full of  events. It was wonderful to see the city filled with families on a Friday night strolling between venues. Although we could not make it to every event, here is a run down of the shows we did get to see.

We started off checking out the art at the Belltable Arts Centre on O’Connell Street. There was a very interesting video display featuring a broken Limerick Landscape in a time-lapse motion.  On the walls were images of abandoned sites from angles you would not normally see.

Next we reached the Frank McCourt Museum on Hartstonge Street, which had a two pronged exhibition. Firstly the museum itself with it’s reconstruction of a period bedroom, kitchen, and classroom as well as wall mounted information and original period artefacts in glass casing. I can imagine that for people who read the book and found themselves captivated by the characters, this toured reconstruction could really supplant you to that time period. Secondly the Limerick Writers’ Centre held a work shop in the reconstructed classroom which added to the experience while viewing the museum exhibit. When viewing the classroom from the outside, without knowing a writing workshop was being conducted, it almost appeared as a re-enactment of a classroom setting in the time written about in Frank McCourt’s novel.

This was followed by Limerick City Art Gallery on Pery Square, and their wonderful Hall of Mirrors exhibition. We spent the majority of our time wandering from room to room interacting with the various displays. The biggest impact this exhibit had on me was watching so many teenagers and young children losing all inhibition and really going all out when interacting with the video displays on the ceiling high screens. In the rear of the gallery there was also a craft-works taking place for families to participate in reconstructing a square in what would become a huge wall mounted collage.  At seven a jazz quintet started and it was very interesting to hear the sounds of the instruments against the backdrop of the visual art.

From here we went to Raggle Taggle on Sarsfield Street, one of the cities newest art studios. On arrival the place was awash with families all buzzing around a table. At first it was hard to decipher what was going on but then we could see that chain-mail was being produced by an army of children, it was surely an experience that the majority of those children had never had before.

Finally we reached Limerick Printmakers on Sarsfield Street. Once again the studio was awash with families, many with stamps in hand heading towards a giant map of the city adding their individuality to it. In the back you could participate in a silkscreen and print a design onto a paper bag to take away with you.

Overall the night seemed to be a roaring success, and hopefully next near will be even better.