Life slows down. This is a feeling many people today would love to experience as they struggle to meet financial demands, keep jobs and generally survive in austerity Ireland.
That's the concept behind 'A Grand Experience', to have life slow down, and to take into account the simple beauty that surrounds us and in effect embrace.
'A Grand Experience', a new television documentary, directed by Meath director Garret Daly charts a journey of three artists, a writer, a photographer and a musician - along the Grand Canal in Co Offaly on board the historic 68m Canal Boat.
As they travel through Ireland's midlands, they rediscover a lost Ireland, a deep sense of history and heritage and a community that, in spite of the worst ravages of the recession, is thriving and embracing its own uniqueness and talent.
Their challenge - to creat an artistic response to the people and places they encounter on their journey. This is a visually stunning travelogue which brings viewers on a timeless journey through an unspoint and enduring part of Ireland.
Garret Daly, originally from Bellinter, devised the concept alongside producer Martina McGlynn. Their production company Mixed Bag Media is based near Daingean in Co.Offaly.
Garret Daly says: "This documentary highlights the beauty of Leinster. Having grown up on the banks of the Boyne, I think water and the impact it has on the lives around it has always interested me. This film does focus on the Grand Canal, but how I'd love to do something similar on the Boyne. Maybe the Arts Office in Meath might watch this and be inspired, because this project was solely funded by Offaly County Council.'
Garret's previous films include the award winning documentary 'Who is Dervla Murphy?', a TV series on the GAA for TV3, and numerous award winning short films. He is also a PPI award winning radio producer for work on RTE Radio shows. Next year he plans to direct his first feature. He will start 2013 in Los Angeles where he has been invited to showcase some of his work at the illustrious UCLA Film School.
The artist in 'A Grand Experience' include Eugene O'Brien, writer and playwright, best known for the play 'Eden' and the RTÉ series Pure Mule. Wayne Brennan is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter from Offaly, who has just won the RAAP/RTE Breakthrough Bursary for his song 'Roots in these Lands' which was written for the Documentary. Veronica Nicholson is a freelance photographer and visual artist living and working in Offaly. Her work and residencies has led to many successful and acclaimed exhibitions.
Together, they allow the audience to share in this heartfelt experience, and give us a glimpse into their creative world as they create an artistic response to the Grand Canal.
The resulting art works are inspiring, creative and accessible. Works that can be enjoyed by many, and in turn will allow people to experience this part of Irish cutlute and heritage in a different medium.
'A Grand Experience' was devised and created by Martina McGlynn and Garret Daly, the creative force that is Mixed Bag Media, a production company based in the midlands. The project was funded by Offaly County Council through The Per Cent for Art Scheme.
'A Grand Experience' will be broadcast on RTE 1 Television on Tuesday 16th October 2012, at 10.15pm. The film is directed by Garret Daly and produced by Martina McGlynn.
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