The 2023 Polish Arts Festival returns to Limerick for its 16th edition, bringing a celebration of the vibrant blend of Polish and Irish culture to the city this September 14 – 17. Pictured above is the launch at the Hunt Museum. Picture: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick
The 2023 Polish Arts Festival brings its 16th edition to Limerick, bringing a celebration of the vibrant blend of Polish and Irish culture to the city this September 14-17
The 16th Polish Arts Festival features art exhibitions, music performances, theatre, literature, film, and workshops. It aims to promote local artists, support young talents, and encourage cultural understanding.
This year’s festival theme, “Embracing the Elements,” encourages contemplation of our world, nature, and human impact amid uncertain times in Europe. It seeks to inspire questions and connection, bridging cultural gaps while presenting new creative expressions.
The festival gives people the chance to immerse themselves in a vibrant cultural setting featuring thought-provoking art exhibitions, traditional and contemporary music performances by Polish, Irish, and Ukrainian musicians.
This year’s festival will feature a specially commissioned festival piece of music composed by Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford in collaboration with Anna Banko–Szumacher.
Speaking to I Love Limerick at the launch in the Belltable Theatre, Anna said, “It was an absolute privilege to work with Emma, such a fantastic Limerick artist, so the song will be in Irish, Polish, and English, that’s what we thought, it was great to mix those three languages together and it’s from our hearts as well. Female, Celtic, and Slavic traditions, woman it’s all about us so come on Thursday, September 14th to the Hunt Museum for our launch to hear our song.”
Polish-Ukrainian folk band DAGADANA are performing in Ireland for the first time at the Belltable 69 O’Connell St on Saturday, September 16. Limerick For over 15 years, the band has been perfectly combining elements of Polish and Ukrainian culture using jazz, electronics and world music. DAGADANA was the only band from Poland and Ukraine to play at the legendary Glastonbury Festival in 2019! Immerse yourself in traditional rhythms and singing in a modern version with a claw and energy that moves you to dance and allows you to return to the roots.
Other events include two visual art exhibitions, allowing attendees to Immerse themselves in the world of art with thought-provoking exhibitions showcasing the creativity, ingenuity and vision of Polish artists.
‘The Chronology of Water’, an exhibition of paintings by Katarzyna Gajewska, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, refers to the memories of Lidia Yuknavitch. The artist says, “There are many ways to drown and many ways to surface,” and the entire collection, which can be seen at The Hunt Museum Cafe from September 14 to October 13, subtly explores this statement. This exhibition will be launched on Thursday, September 14 at 6pm at the Hunt Museum.
‘Forces of Nature’ is a group photographic exhibition at the Belltable, 69 O’Connell Street, showcasing an insight into nature and the impact of man on the landscape. The captured reflection of art photographers deals with the inevitable changes in our relationship with nature. The exhibition features artists Anna Woźniakiewicz, Dawid Mazur, Iweta Kulczycka, Jarosław Musialik, Joanna Chrostowska, Justyna Machnicka, and Piotr Szczepaniak. Running from Thursday, September 14 until Sunday, September 22 at Belltable, 69 O’Connell Street and from Thursday, September 14 until Friday, October 13th online.
With more music on offer, the evening festival club also invites you to a one-of-a-kind concert by the Limerick hip-hop group Seven Nun-Sins with a guest appearance by the rock band N.W.R.L at The Record Room 46-47 Catherine Street on Saturday, September 16.
This year, in addition to the festival’s own original premieres, they will be the first to show the dance and music video project ‘Woman of the Seine – Topielica‘, directed by Dorota Korczycka – Bąblińska. The project combines Slavic mythology of drowned women with the Western European myth of the “Stranger of the Seine” and can be seen online as well as at The Hunt Museum as a video presentation.
As well as the musical and visual arts, this year’s Polish Arts Festival offers performance art, bringing the magic of performance art in urban settings as talented artists animate immersive stories in a street scene.
Festival goers can experience the interactive magic of Living Statues and two theatrical performances ‘Elemental Tales 2‘ in the gardens of The Hunt Museum on Culture Night, Friday, September 22. The entire show is devised with the participation of the Polish-Ukrainian local community and artists with special guests from The Theater Sztuka Ciała and Lutrek.
This year’s festival offers some literary delights for children and more with the festival inviting attendees to “Immerse yourself in the kingdom of literature and the magic of audio stories in our original project PAF Stories”.
“This year we have two new stories for you by Laura Barszczewicz and Peter McCluskey. The stories have been recorded in the audio version and we invite you to the magical land of your imagination. Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away,” said Festival organisers.
Offering interactive workshops, the organisers say, “Our bespoke PAF KIDS Day offers a whole range of attractions for children and teenagers. Take part in a fun-filled workshop where you can learn modern dance forms, the latest in digital photography, and definitely a bit of Polish! Check out our film proposal for families ‘Triple Troubles‘ and set out with a map in hand on a family Treasure Hunt in six locations in Limerick.”
With free admission to many events, the Festival of Polish Art promises surprises and unforgettable moments, offering a celebration of Polish and Slavic culture in the heart of Limerick.
Pictures: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick