Talk on pioneering county Limerick woman to feature in new arts festival

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

A TALK on pioneering county Limerick woman, Sophie Pierce, who was an Olympian and an aviator in the 1920s, is to form a central part of the new Elemental Arts and Culture Festival launched this week.

A TALK on pioneering county Limerick woman, Sophie Pierce, who was an Olympian and an aviator in the 1920s, is to form a central part of the new Elemental Arts and Culture Festival launched this week.

A talk on Ms Pierce, from Knockaderry - also known as Lady Mary Heath - will be held in No. 1 Pery Square during the one day festival, which aims to “bring the arts in all shapes and sizes” to Limerick for one day of back-to-back entertainment.

“We uncovered the incredible story of Sophie Pierce who was an Olympian and an aviator when such things were unheard of,” explained Alan Hogan, one of the Elemental organising team at the launch in the Hunt Museum this week.

“We are lucky enough to have Lindie Naughton, author of Lady Icarus, a book about her life, coming to give a talk in the elegant setting of No. 1 Pery Square. It’s a fascinating life story which wouldn’t be out of place in a movie,” he added.

The inaugural festival will run on Saturday September 15 and is the brainchild of a team of people based in Limerick and involved in the arts who are keen to “showcase the positive side of the city”.

The festival will encompass interactive street art and performances, dance and short film, workshops and talks. Jennifer Allen, one of the organising committee, hopes the festival will “feel like a big party for a day”.

“The theme came about from the elements of nature - the five elements - so a lot of the performers use fire, air and water in their act, so it is going to be fairly colourful, dynamic and a bit of fun for the day,” she explained.

“It really just started with a couple of us having a cup of coffee and saying we should try and get Limerick moving with one big festival that does everything - you can have a cultural aspect, an artistic aspect, rather than just one specific genre. Everyone is invited to take part in this,” she added.

The festival will take place at various locations around the city, the Frank McCourt Museum, No. 1 Pery Square, the Hunt Museum, the Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre and on Bedford Row and Thomas Street, while plans are being developed for a large-scale event in King John’s Castle. See http://elementallimerick.com.