top of page

Dara Vallely: Artist in Conversation with Brian Coney

Dara Vallely with Brian Coney

11 May, 7:00 pm. Artist Talk: 7:30pm.

Crescent Arts Centre

Dara Vallely: Artist in Conversation with Brian Coney

A night of conversation between Armagh Rhymer Dara Vallely and Writer Brian Coney.

A night of conversation between Armagh Rhymer Dara Vallely and Writer Brian Coney.
Followed by premiere of 'Daytrip (In Memory of Mary Butters)': 8:15 pm.
Subsequently the film will be shown every hour on the hour from at Crescent Arts Centre 2:00 - 5:00 pm except on the following dates:
Fri 19 May, 2:00 - 3:00 pm &
Sat 20 May, 10:00 - 3:00 pm.

Dara Vallely (1946) is a visual artist, musician and storyteller from Armagh. In 1978 he founded the famous Armagh Rhymers, one of Ireland's most celebrated music and theatre ensembles.

Vallely is a man of many talents. He is a gifted musician, playing the uillean pipes, bodhran, tin whistle, flute and concertina to name but a few. As a visual artist he has exhibited in the Ulster Museum Belfast, the Royal Irish Academy Dublin, Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee and New York and his work can be seen in public and private collections in Ireland and around the world.

Working closely with schools and cultural associations, he often uses his art in conjunction with performances by The Armagh Rhymers. Over the past 45 years Dara and the Armagh Rhymers have awakened and stimulated thousands of children in many parts of the world. In both his paintings and performances, Dara is deeply influenced and inspired by the mask and its ability to transcend centuries and cultures.

His paintings force the viewer to study the pictures section by section to comprehend the whole. The paintings are active, alive, exciting, the colours are strong with high contrasts.

Dara shows a confidence in the existence of the invisible world and the beings in it are often fused with the real world in his work. By doing so he tries to reconcile past knowledge of the spiritual and philosophical ideas with contemporary realities. In his paintings of session musicians there is an indication of the spiritual state obtained when listening to and playing music.

The whole landscape a manuscript
We had lost the skill to read,
A part of our past disinherited;
But fumbled, like a blind man,
Along the fingertips of instinct.

John Montague
“A Lost Tradition”,
The Rough Field
[IV: “A Severed Head”; poem 2]
(1972; rep. Collected Poems, 1995, p.33)


bottom of page