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Bealtaine At Home: Of Scent & Song

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A fascinating discussion on music, scent, art and memory with artist Ceara Conway, Erin Quinn perfumer and Caro Verbeek olfactory historian.

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This event accompanies the Bealtaine Festival Commission How Are You? by artist and vocalist Ceara Conway, commissioned by Age & Opportunity, as part of the Bealtaine Festival 2021 and presented in association with Family Carers Ireland.

A fascinating live discussion on the converging worlds of music, scent, art and memory with Ceara Conway visual artist and vocalist, Erin Quinn perfumer and Dr. Caro Verbeek embedded researcher of olfactory heritage at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

How Are You? is a new scent artwork by acclaimed visual artist and vocalist Ceara Conway designed in collaboration with olfactory artist Erin Quinn. How Are You? was created in response to Viriditas*, a recent album of contemporary and traditional healing songs by Ceara Conway, originally commissioned by Galway University Hospitals & Saolta University Health Care Group for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.

As part of Bealtaine at Home 2021, Age & Opportunity in association with Family Carers Ireland, will send a sensory artwork to over 200 family carers aged 50+ caring for older relatives at home. Each package will contain a specially commissioned scent artwork, a link to Ceara’s Viriditas album and an invitation to attend this event ‘Of Scent and Song’.

Ceara Conway is an Irish contemporary vocalist and visual artist. She creates innovative experiential performance works that utilise traditional and contemporary songs, music and visual art to explore social issues such as the ecological crisis, migration and feminist concerns. Ceara has undertaken numerous significant commissions, residencies, and public art works. Recent and upcoming projects include Viriditas, Galway ECOC & Saolta Arts (2020), Dóchas/Hope, Oireachtas na Gaeilge & Waterways Ireland (2019). The Feminist Supermarket, Ormston House Cultural Centre (2021), Illuminations Gallery, Maynooth University (2021), Pocahontas Opera House Residency, West Virginia, USA (2022). www.cearaconway.ie

Erin Quinn, originally from Canada, is a visual/olfactory artist. In 1998 Erin moved to Dublin. She studied in NCAD in 2009, had her first solo photographic exhibition in 2010 going on to win the RHA’s Curtin O’Donoghue Photography Prize for "Breaking Point" in 2011. In 2014, her piece “Adam” was shortlisted for the inaugural Hennessy Portrait Prize in the National Gallery, Ireland. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with her practice currently focusing on olfactory/scent projects inspired by nature, memory and human connection. www.eqfactories.com

Dr. Caro Verbeek is an internationally esteemed olfactory art historian and curator, and researcher specialised in the cultural history of the senses. Since 2010 she has designed olfactory tours and sensory workshops for museums and other institutions. Her books and articles include “Inhaling Memories” (Senses & Society, 2013) and “Something in the Air – Scent in Art” (Villa Rot, 2015). She recently finished her PhD on art historical smells and olfactory museology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: a collaborative project with IFF (International Flavours & Fragrances) and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Since 2015 she has founded and curated a monthly scent culture program at Mediamatic (Amsterdam) called ‘Odorama’. Verbeek engages in innovative education projects such as the tool ‘The Multi Sensory Gaze’ for the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), the course ‘The Other Senses’ at the Royal Academy of Arts (The Hague) and the flagship course ‘Knowing by Sensing’ at Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam).

Family Carers Ireland is the national charity supporting the 500,000 family carers across the country who care for loved ones such as children or adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, those with palliative care needs or those living with chronic illnesses, mental ill-health or addiction.

Our vision is an Ireland in which family carers are properly recognised, supported and empowered. Our mission is to highlight the contribution of family carers to Irish society and to improve the lives of family carers throughout the country. We believe that no one should have to care alone.

*Viriditas by Ceara Conway originally commissioned by Galway University Hospitals & Saolta University Health Care Group as part of The Deepest Shade of Green Programme for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.


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