Last Friday (28th June) was a day that had been marked red in my calendar for a long time, a day I occasionally thought would never arrive and sometimes wished was behind me. There’s a safety in looking back at something because, irrelevant of it being a success or a failure, you survived it – you made it through. You are then free to remember it as you see fit, editing and embellishing where necessary. That’s why I want to write this while the feeling is still fresh in my bones.
For more months than I care to remember, I have been working within a group of extremely talented and creative individuals whom I can thankfully call my friends. We outlined an art project that was to push us all out of our comfort zones. We would create a story connecting Ireland and Appalachia, drawing parallels with the peoples and the problems they face. This story would then come to life by bringing it to schools and community groups and grow to the point where it would be performed in the form of shadow puppetry, complete with narration, Appalachian music, songs and traditional ugly face jugs.
As if that wasn’t enough, we thought it would be a great idea to do this outside – in a forest – in the Irish summertime!