Excitement builds for Longford Lights Festival 2024, as new director appointed

Birr-based artist Caroline Conway has been announced as the new Artistic Director for Longford Lights, 2024. As preparations ramp up in advance of the February festival, Caroline Conway, (who was a lead artist in the 2023 festival), takes the helm for the 2024 event. The Longford Lights festival will take place over three evenings in Connolly Barracks, Longford from 23-25 February.

Longford Lights, 2024 theme is ‘Belonging’

In 2023, over 11,000 spectators came through the gates of Connolly Barracks to witness the special spectacle. Longford Lights 2024 will comprise a series of indoor and outdoor illumination-based art installations centred on the theme of ‘Belonging’. The festival will include several performances and displays over the weekend involving prominent national and international artists and groups. On Friday night of the festival this year, a light trail will be glowing inside the Connolly Barracks building. At the rear of the barracks, a large community installation involving one thousand participants, holding individual lanterns, will create a magical field of light.

Caroline Conway, Background

Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, Caroline first worked as a printmaker and now she primarily works with communities outside of the traditional gallery setting. Caroline’s work focuses on light-based installations, particularly video mapped projections. According to Caroline; “A big part of the ethos of Longford Lights is building skills among local artists so I knew there was a solid group of people that can deliver this project and meaningful connections made with community groups. It is such an exciting project to be a part of that created such a buzz in Longford. Within one year, it has gained a significant national profile.” She wants to honour her predecessor Tom Meskell’s vision from 2023 and continue with “a magical, immersive experience, made for and by the people. I also want to include some surprise performance elements and pieces that haven’t been shown before.”

Funding

Longford Lights is a partnership between Longford County Council and Mide Arts Group with funding support from Arts Council, Creative Ireland, and Fáilte Ireland involving over 400 members of local communities as well as offering employment opportunities to many artists,

Chief Executive of Longford County Council Paddy Mahon said, “The hands-on involvement of community groups with Longford Lights gives ownership and meaning to the festival. We look forward to the creation of yet another experience-based event in Longford to be proud of.” Additional details of the exciting 2024 Longford Lights festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

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