New Artistic Director appointed for Longford Lights 2024
Over 11,000 spectators attended festival last year
Longford County Council is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Artistic Director for Longford Lights 2024 as preparation ramps up in advance of the February festival.
Birr-based Caroline Conway, who was a lead artist in the 2023 festival, takes the helm for the 2024 event which will take place over three evenings in Connolly Barracks, Longford from 23-25 February. Involving over 400 members of local communities as well as offering employment opportunities to many artists, Longford Lights is a partnership between Longford County Council and Mide Arts Group with funding support from Arts Council, Creative Ireland, and Fáilte Ireland.
In 2023, over 11,000 spectators came through the gates of Connolly Barracks to witness the special spectacle. This year, the inimitable artistic expression of Artistic Director Caroline Conway will be on view again. 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.
About Caroline Conway
Having started as a printmaker following her First Class Honours and Post Graduate Diploma at Edinburgh College of Art, Caroline has since worked in the arts for many years. She primarily works with communities outside of the traditional gallery setting. Caroline’s work is now focused on light-based installations, particularly video mapped projections. Longford audiences are familiar with enjoying her work, both during last year’s festival, and more recently as part of the “Project Us” event held in Connolly Barracks on 24 November.
Caroline says that working on Longford Lights has been a fantastic community-based experience for her so far. “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 continued, “I want to continue to honour my predecessor Tom Meskell’s vision from 2023 of a magical, immersive experience, made for and by the people, but this year, I also want to include some surprise performance elements and pieces that haven’t been shown before.”
On Friday night of the festival this year, a light trail will be glowing inside of the Connolly Barracks building. There will also be a large community installation in the field at the rear of the site, which will involve one thousand participants from across Longford and the adjoining counties, whose individual lanterns will come together to create a magical field of light. A seminar taking place this weekend will see artists and the community join to meet, renew acquaintances, and make new connections around the art that is being produced.
Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Colm Murray congratulated Caroline on her appointment. “We are delighted to welcome Caroline back to Longford to share her artistic skill and talent for Longford Lights 2024. It is a huge achievement to take all the individual elements, made by so many different hands, and create a magical experience for so many people.”
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. For updates, follow Longford County Council on social media and check out Longfordcoco.ie.