I’m urging everyone to come out this Friday for Culture Night

Muireann Kelleher, Coordinator of Culture Night, Cork County, talks life, loves and what’s in store this Friday
I’m urging everyone to come out this Friday for Culture Night
Muireann Kelleher, Culture Night Coordinator at County Hall, Cork to launch Cork County Culture Night which takes place on Friday the 20th of September.Picture: Darragh Kane Photography

Tell us about yourself;

Living in Cork city, I am a Fine Art graduate from Crawford College of Art and Design. I love exploring and drawing, my main interest is mark-making and repurposing found objects.

Since graduating in 2018, I have exhibited my art work in eight group exhibitions and one solo exhibition in various galleries and festivals throughout Ireland.

I rent a studio space in Sample Studios where I continue to research and delve into my creative practice.

I work in the Cork County Council, Arts office, as the coordinator of Culture Night in Cork County which takes place this Friday, September 20.

Having exhibited my work previously during Culture Night, it is a fantastic opportunity and massive learning curve to be on this side of the event.

Outside of work, I really enjoy music and literature, I try to find every opportunity to discover new bands, poets and writers!

Where were you born?

I was born in Cork.

Where do you live?

I currently rent in Cork city centre.

Family?

I am very lucky to have extremely supportive and encouraging parent, who are equally parents and friends to me.

I have an older brother, Hugh, who moved to Australia with his girlfriend at the beginning of September.

I have two sisters, Sinead and Denise, who are twins!

Best friend?

Friends are the most important people in my life. I have the most amazing girl gang of super supportive, smart and stylish friends! I couldn’t choose one over another. I have been lucky to become friends with such amazing people.

Earliest childhood memory?

Dodging thorns and climbing ditches while picking blackberries with my nana, then returning home with sticky purple fingers to make a giant pop of jam!

Person you most admire?

I feel like there are so many people I admire, for so many different reasons. It is impossible to narrow it down to one. Although most of my admiration goes towards women in my life that I really admire.

Person who most irritates you?

I feel it’s unfair to mention specific people by name, but I find it really annoying when people are overly late without apology, chew loudly and have bad manners.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Just last weekend I went Glamping in Ballydehob. We stayed in a tiny little camper! It was beautiful! The glamping site even came with a gorgeous golden Labrador who joined us for breakfast!

Favourite TV programme?

I have three: The Mighty Boosh, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Extras. All are comedies, and all are brilliant! I couldn’t choose one.

Favourite radio show?

I have two and they are very Corkonian: The Art House on 96 FM on a Sunday morning and Breakfast with Ray and Jay every other morning of the week!

Your signature dish if cooking?

Cooking for me is very cathartic; every evening after work I set aside an hour or two to prepare my evening meal. It is one of my favourite activities that I spend with my boyfriend James. Always listening to music and dancing around the kitchen.

I don’t have a signature dish as I am always experimenting with new recipes.

Favourite restaurant?

Granvilles Bar & Grill in Macroom is my favourite restaurant! I waitressed in Granvilles while I was in college and got to taste every dish on the menu! Working in such a fantastic restaurant informed me about flavours, food culture and cooking techniques. Everything is fresh and homemade and along with the food the atmosphere is fantastic. Any opportunity to dine out, I find it hard to resist Granvilles.

Last book you read?

The last book I read was Almost Love by Louise O’Neill. I admire Louise’s writing and once I picked the book up it was impossible to put it down. I am finding it very hard to replace Almost Love with another good read. Louise will be reading at Cork County Hall on Culture Night.

Best book you read?

Women and Power by Mary Bread. It is the most captivating book I have ever read.

Both informative and addictive, I have re-read Women and Power three times since I was first introduced to Mary Bread’s writing in 2018 by a friend.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

The last album I bought was Dogrel by Fontaines D.C.

One person you would like to see in concert?

Lisa O’Neill, I first heard Lisa’s voice in 2009 and haven’t stopped listening to her since. I find her voice utterly moving, it coincides perfectly with her music and powerful lyrics. Lisa is also appearing at Culture Night, in Vertigo in County Hall at 9pm.

Do you have a pet?

Yes, I have five dogs and a cat. I am a complete animal lover and a major doggo advocate!

Any time a stray dog comes wandering, they join our home and the canine pack keeps growing!

Morning person or night owl?

A little bit of both, I am very adaptable to the time of day.

Your proudest moment?

Definitely graduating college, it was a fantastic feeling and I celebrated it very well with the friends I made during my four years studying! On the night, I was very surprised to received awards for my degree show work; this made me very proud and excited to begin new artwork.

Spendthrift or saver?

Absolute spendthrift.

Name one thing you would

improve in your area in which you live?

If I only get one thing to improve it has to be the current housing crisis within the country. As I am in my mid-twenties, it is very disheartening to see current issues surrounding the crisis. It has affected many of my friends and continues to impact us on a day to day basis.

What makes you happy?

I find happiness comes in many different ways, for me if I try to find a glimpse of happiness in any situation it usually appears. I find myself most happy when I am with friends and family, when I get home from a day’s work and have nothing to do, when I achieve anything small or large, be it getting through my inbox in under an hour of finalising a task or piece of artwork. I mostly find happiness in reflecting on memories and time spent with the people I care about.

What else are you up to at the

moment?

As I mentioned earlier, I am co-ordinating Culture Night in Cork County. I am very excited about the events taking place all over the county from 4pm on Friday, September 20.

Culture Night is a fantastic experience and I urge everyone to get involved. Alongside coordinating Culture Night I am still working on my artistic practice, preparing new work for upcoming exhibitions taking place from November.

I am doing a Professional Masters in Education — Art & Design, the course is provided between UCC and Crawford, CIT. I’m really looking forward to returning to college while maintaining my artistic practice.

MORE ABOUT CULTURE NIGHT

Now in its ninth year, Culture Night, which is free, is an all Ireland event on Friday, September 20. See http://culturenightcorkcounty.ie/

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