Take a Bow, Galway Arts Festival 2012

Oh, what a brilliant few weeks it has been. On behalf of all the GAF 2012 team, thank you so very much for your enduring support. Not only has it been another incredibly successful year, we have broken records for attendance across the board. A staggering 30,000 people turned out to see the fantastic Absolut Festival Gallery and a truly phenomenal 160,000 people attended the festival over two weeks. What can we say only a huge and heartfelt thanks. What an inspiration it is to see that despite everything – or perhaps because of it – a real love of the arts still exists in this country.

Over the course of the festival, various teams have been working away to ensure that events and experiences were captured for everyone to enjoy, now and always. GAF TV have been working especially hard, the fruits of which you can check out on their YouTube channel here, where you can enjoy highlights from this year’s festival, like this wonderful look at Macnas’s This Thunderous Heart:

While the two weeks in July when the festival takes place are GAF’s primary focus, work on the festival takes place all year round. For breaking news, exclusive content and to keep in the loop about next year’s preparations, not to mention enjoying the fruits of festivals past including this year’s, be sure to check out our website http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/, our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/galwayartsfestival and our Twitter feed https://twitter.com/galwayartsfest/ Over the next few days, we’ll be posting highlights of 2012, which you won’t want to miss.

All that remains is for us to say one final word of thanks to the people of Galway, all our sponsors, our fantastic performers, our volunteers and all of you who supported GAF 2012 in your thousands. Here’s to a record breaking 2013. We’ll leave you with a few exclusive images from this year’s magnificent festival, taken by Colm Hogan. Until next time.

Macnas turn the streets of Galway into a wonderland with This Thunderous Heart.

Artistic Director Paul Fahy basks in the fantastic setting of the Absolut Festival Gallery, which welcomed an amazing 30,000 people through its doors during the 2 weeks of the festival.

Spain’s Kamchatka perform their unique brand of street theatre for delighted on-lookers during GAF 2012.

ABSOLUT Art 2012: Unmissable Mach

Though we may rarely realize it, the Bible has had a more profound effect on human existence than any other text. Our ideas of good and evil, of the afterlife and damnation spring from between its covers; to this day, its far reaching power remains.  Scottish artist and Turner Prize nominee David Mach has been so inspired by the King James Bible that his latest work Precious Light undertakes to explore the themes and legacies of what is the most influential book, ever.

Visually stunning: David Mach’s Precious Light

An exhibition that has taken over three years to complete, Precious Light is a visually arresting work utilizing collage, sculpture and words to profound effect. Housed in the ABSOLUT Festival Gallery (a venue the size of a football field, folks and designed especially for the festival going from a warehouse to a world class gallery in a matter of weeks) Precious Light was transported by 40 articulated trucks and is Mach’s largest exhibition to date.

Speaking about the ABSOLUT Festival Gallery, the biggest temporary structure of the festival, Artistic Director Paul Fahy says, ‘…the ABSOLUT Festival Gallery is going to look amazing again this year! We have a great new design for the gallery and the build is progressing really well and is the most ambitious gallery project of the Festival’s history. Artwork from around the world has begun to arrive in Galway. The gallery will be home to five extraordinary exhibitions from David Mach, Marina Abramovic with Charles Atlas, Brain Maguire, Joe Comerford and Lynne O’Loughlin with Pete Ray.’

Artistic Director Paul Fahy and David Mach take a break during the transformation of the ABSOLUT Gallery space.

The ABSOLUT Festival Gallery is a fantastic space and experience. It was one of the jewels in the crown of last year’s festival – a common refrain around Galway at the time was, ‘aww – can we not keep it?’ – and this year’s is guaranteed to be even more impressive. Full details on this amazing space and all of this year’s visual art exhibitions are available from http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/

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