Peadar King with Richard Murphy in Sri Lanka

INISH Island Conversations is a multi-disciplinary arts festival incorporating the finest of Irish and international artists.

INISH was born out of a moment of crisis for Inishbofin. When Atlantic storms
inundated the island in 2014, we envisioned a multidisciplinary arts festival like no
other, to echo the resourcefulness, ambition, pride, and inherent creativity of the
local community. What has been created since is something even greater, something
magical and formative.

INISH is inspired by its island home. It draws on Inishbofin’s extraordinary tradition of harbouring artists including Richard Murphy, Theodore Roethke, Cecil Day-Lewis, Seamus Heaney, Tom McIntyre, John Behan, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, and ignites new moments of encounter, enlightenment, enrichment and enjoyment. We want guest artists and audiences alike to discover for themselves the conditions that brought such luminaries to the island. We want INISH participants to learn all that they can about the joyful heart of life on Inishbofin and other small islands and about their special gift for fostering creativity and art-making and our participation therein. We want INISH to feel like a homecoming of the soul, and we want to recreate that feeling again and again anew, to grow new audiences with which to share that vision into the future.

The island home of INISH can conjure negative notions of isolation and containment, even confinement, but it is these very qualities that foster the special space INISH generates. INISH wants to focus minds and open hearts to conversations between artists and islanders, between audiences and their art-makers, so that new ideas might ferment and form. To spark those conversations, we first gather our guests and audience in a dedicated, remodelled space: the Community Centre in her professional festival dress. Our hub venue identifies clearly the boundaries of the shared festival experience. It then acts as the springboard for interactions with the whole island and its vibrant community.

INISH strives to ensure top-quality production values are unhindered by our island location. We believe strongly in the necessity of making artists feel comfortable in their art-making and art-sharing so that every moment of creativity can be a truly resonant celebration. Our vision is to release unfettered creativity that will inspire authentic conversations.

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