Cultural Horizons

A Small Towns Big Ideas project
DATE 14 December to 20 December
LOCATION Clifden & Online
VENUE Various Venues across Clifden
Artwork by Kathrina Rupit

Cultural Horizons celebrates the unique cultural connections between Ireland and Mexico. Officially twinned in 2012 with the historic neighbourhood of Coyoacan in Mexico City, Clifden is the location for the Cultural Horizons festival programme.

 

Originally planned as an expression of the shared ancient traditions of Samhain and Día De Los Muertos, the festival programme had to be curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions during October and November. However, we are delighted to be able to present the Cultural Horizons programme in December which includes a series of self-guided exhibitions in shop windows dotted throughout Clifden’s colourful streets. It also includes a series of radio shows exploring the core themes of the festival and the programme culminates on Sunday 20 December with a very special candlelit vigil in Clifden graveyard to mark the Winter Solstice.

Podcasts: In Conversation with Breandan O Scanaill

Cultural Horizons has recorded two special radio interviews with presenter Breandan O Scanaill of Connemara Community Radio. These interviews, available as podcasts, explore the core themes of the Cultural Horizons festival programme and provide wonderful insights into the cultural connections between Mexico and Ireland.

Podcast 1

Irish and Mexican Cultural Connections     Dr Jose Brownrigg-Gleeson Martinez, Irish Research Council and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway.

Jose and Breandan discuss the connections between Ireland and Latin America, and particularly Mexico.  Beginning with the Flight of the Earls and the Irish in the army and court of Spain, Jose also talks about Juan O Donoghue, Jose Coppinger and William Lampart, who inspired the legend of Zorro.

 

You can listen to the Podcast 1 HERE:

 

Podcast 2.

The Life & Times of Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera

His Excellency Miguel  Malfavón, Mexican Ambassador to Ireland

Breandan and Miguel discuss the life and times of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. These immensely talented and widely popular artists were at the heart of post-revolutionary Mexico.  They gathered artists, writers, film makers, politicians, and ordinary citizens around them in their home, Casa Azul or Blue House. Frida was a feminist, and someone who brought the dress and style of the Mexican countryside to a wider audience at home and abroad. This talk accompanies the exhibition Diego y Frida: Registros Biográficos which is presented in shop windows throughout Clifden from 14 to 20 December.

 

You can listen to the Podcast 2 HERE:

Exhibitions

A series of self-guided exhibitions in shop windows throughout Clifden showcasing Mexican art and culture. All exhibitions run from 14 to 20 December.

 

Diego y Frida: Registros Biográficos, Various Venues

The centrepiece of the Cultural Horizons programme, this very special photographic exhibition documents the lives of the cultural giants Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Their charismatic personalities helped to establish a movement which would have a definitive influence on the cultural life of 20th century Mexico. This exhibition is a collection of photographs of distinguished artists who were friends and colleagues of the couple, among them Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Nicholas Murray, Guillermo Kahlo, Peter Jules, Guillermo Zamora, Juan Guzmán y Edward Weston. The images depict important moments in the lives of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It also reflects the pain and physical deterioration of Kahlo, her political activism and shows the final image taken of her days before her death in July 1954.

 

Kathrina Rupit Exhibition, Clifden Arts Festival Office on Bridge Street

Kathrina Rupit, also known as kinmx, is a Mexican artist currently living in Dublin. Kathrina’s work is multifaceted and appeals to a broad international audience, as evidenced by the demand for her street art in cities all around the world. Her works often include images of beautiful women in natural environments, the figures cloaked in colourful robes and garments with flowing multicoloured hair or headdresses. Kathrina’s pieces also regularly incorporate organic elements such as feathers, flowers, wood, natural and geometric patterns and, in one of several nods to her home country, Dia de Los Muertos imagery.

 

Love to Death: An Irish Mexican Hat Collection, Clifden Arts Festival Office on Bridge Street

Love to Death is an exhibition of specially commissioned hats by Mexican milliner Gabriela Cortés of Palma Azul. With these stunning hats that fuse Irish and Mexican cultural symbols Gabriela explores themes of bravery, pride, love and mortality in her unique style.

Winter Solstice at Clifden Cemetery

Clifden Cemetery, Main Street

The Cultural Horizons programme culminates on Sunday 20 December with a very special candle lit vigil to mark the longest day of winter and welcome the light that the new year and Spring will bring. Clifden Cemetery will be lit up with hundreds of candles to provide a warm space for reflection on what has been a difficult year for the world and to look forward to safer and happier times ahead. The vigil will take place from 4.30pm to 8.30pm and due to COVID-19 protocols only small numbers of people will be allowed into the cemetery at any one time.

Diego y Frida: Registros Biográficos

Galway 2020 is delighted and honoured to present this very special photographic exhibition Diego y Frida: Registros Biográficos as part of the European Capital of Culture 2020 programme.

Clifden Locations:

  • The Hair Gallery, Bridge Street
  • Lughnasa, Bridge Street
  • The Bens Music and Picture Framing, Bridge Street
  • The Little Tin House, Bridge Street
  • The Furniture Store, Hulk Street
  • Love Connemara, Market Street
  • Leighs Barbers, Market Street
  • Lowry’s Gift Shop, Market Street
  • Clifden Post Office, Main Street
  • Gannon’s Sports, Sea View

 

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are one of the most celebrated couples of Mexican art history. Their charismatic personalities helped to establish a movement which would have a definitive influence on the cultural life of 20th century Mexico.

Together for almost twenty-five years (from their marriage in August 1929 until Frida’s death), their relationship was defined by a myriad of encounters and failed encounters which transcended the realm of the private to become part of the public domain.

The romantic union between Kahlo and Rivera brought together intellectuals, politicians and celebrities. Their home was a place of gatherings, conspiracies and intrigue within the social and political life of Mexico. The intermittent periods during which they lived in the United States, due to commissions Rivera received, helped to shape their views on capitalism, progress and revolution, but it was also a breaking point in their personal relationship.

Their return to Mexico marked another turning point: the couple separated towards the end of 1939 only to marry again one year later in San Francisco. This was a time of great activity and enthusiasm: Rivera was instrumental in the Mexican government’s decision to grant León Trotsky’s final asylum. Furthermore, the time both spent with André Breton, the founder of surrealism, resulted in the promise of an exhibition which would take Frida Kahlo to Paris in 1939. Over the years they created a network of artists and intellectuals who would become part of the modernising forces of the country.

This exhibition is a collection of photographs of distinguished artists who were friends and colleagues of the couple, among them Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Nicholas Murray, Guillermo Kahlo, Peter Jules, Guillermo Zamora, Juan Guzmán y Edward Weston. The images depict important moments in the lives of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It also reflects the pain and physical deterioration of Kahlo, her political activism and shows the final image taken of her days before her death in July 1954.

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