By Joe Barrett
The recently held Twin Trees Heywood, Art and Culture Festival was a resounding success
The event, as always, was a celebration of, and opportunity to highlight the history and heritage of the former Charter village and the exquisite Lutyens designed formal garden at Heywood Demesne.
The three day tutored En Plein Air, which drew a large crowd was an amazing success with artists from all over Ireland arriving in Ballinakill, many for the first time.
The first day of the festival Thursday 19 August was set in the astounding Heywood Gardens. Despite a little rain during the early morning, the day brightened up with glorious sunshine. The gardens were dotted with artists, each depicting their unique view, in their own individual style.
The following day the artists headed to the woodlands and lakesides of Heywood Demesne as the rain came down all day long.
Day three dawned brighter and the artists headed for Ballinakill Village. At the same time the festival’s Guided Historical Walk of the former Charter village got underway.
The Old School Community Hall housed the exhibition of the artist’s works from the previous two day’s painting, and both turnout and purchases of art were high.
At nearby Gills Pond, the angling competition for the Lutyens Cup, run in association with Ballinakill Angling Club, was hotly contested.
Congratulations to the winner John O’ Gorman. Noel Shanks Stapleton and Jimbob Fitzpatrick who finished in second and third places.
The festival came to a close on Sunday 22 August with a relaxing session of Yoga In Heywood Gardens with Simon Rogers of Blackhill Woods Retreat.
The committee is already looking forward to next year’s event and have set the dates which will take place during Heritage Week from 18 to 21 August.
Tickets are now on sale by logging onto www.TwinTrees.ie
The three day festival event was presented by the Twin Trees Art and Culture Committee, Ballinakill and supported by Laois County Council, Laois Partnership, Laois Local Community Development Committee, Laois Leader, Government of Ireland Project Ireland 2040, Office of Public Works and The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Twin Trees Art and Culture Committee, Ballinakill is a voluntary committee, formed to highlight both Ballinakill Village and Heywood Gardens as a tourist destination.
All funds raised are invested in festival costs and improvements and local community projects.