Anja Nohlen

Anja Nohlen is a visual artist from Germany, based in Monaghan and member of Monaghan Arts Network, working mostly in textiles and multimedia. Anja had several succesful solo and group shows of her work over the last years, the most recent in Dungannon, Ranfurly Arts&Visitors Center and a new group show together with N. O’Connor and A. McCormilla at the Iontas in Castleblayney, opening September 18th. Anja loves engaging in the two usually very distinct methods of art (which occasionally converge, though):

  • art as accomplished product, the result a deliberate, conscious, reflected visualisation of preconceived ideas
  • art as exploring process, a journey into the unknown, where the doing and the product uncover ideas, memories, feelings.

At this months showcase Anja will be talking about using art as a process of personal exploration and showing pieces that emerged on that journey in order to show that art as a process can be a meaningful and enjoyable way of expression for anybody , not only artists.

momo Mamo McDonald

A surprise guest speaker at tomorrow night’s Showcase is Clones woman Mamo McDonald. Originally from Tuam County Galway Mamo joined the Irish Countrywomen’s Association while living in Clones. She became president in 1982 and played a very major role in its acceptance as part of the women’s movement in late-20th century Ireland. In 1999 she received a People of the Year award in recognition of her services for Irish women and older people. On July 31st this year Mamo launched her debut collection of Poems “Circling” in Clones Library. Minister for Arts,Heritage and the Gaeltacht,Cavan/Monaghan Fine Gael TD Heather Humphreys was there to pay tribute to Mamo. As reported by Peter Hughes in the Northern Standard “Sad and humerous,wry and wise the poems in “Circling”are told in the distinctive voice that all serious writers aspire to:dreams are weaved from the rural and smalltown everyday, through which Mamo has moved with an absorbent consciousness, and the songs of ordinary people sung in a note of celebration that elevates them to a status of heroic characters in an epic imaginative landscape.”


John Nutley

John Nutley grew up in the Liberties of Dublin and moved to Monaghan in the eighties.  Coming from a very artistic family background, he became very interested in the arts from an early age.  On moving to Monaghan,  it wasn’t long before he joined a group called Spectrum Arts Group where he developed his love of art.  He mostly used photographs to develop his skills and in doing so he developed his love for photography.  He experimented in amateur photography and eventually joined Monaghan Photography Society.  He entered many competitions with the society and learned more skills and gained more photographic knowledge.  Further skills were gained when he joined a course in O’Fiaiach College Dundalk, which led to his current course BA in photography in DIT Dublin.  John is a diverse and keen photographer who can photograph almost anything.


Tara and Rossa Gilsenan

Sisters Tara and Rossa Gilsenan hail from Clontibret.  Tara plays harp, flute whistle and piano. As a Sean Nós singer, she has reached the All-Ireland finals in both English and Irish singing, winning a medal in English singing.  As a lilter,  she won first place in Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in August 2015. She has won numerous county titles in Scór and went on to reach the semi finals of the TG4 competition “Scór Encore”. Rossa is a highly accomplished violinist reaching an All-Ireland final in 2014, and, as a ceili drummer,  she has played with a number of bands and reached the All-Ireland in the solo ceili band competition.  She has won two All-Ireland Cómhrá Gaeilge titles the latest being in August 2015. Both girls received a great deal of their training with Baile Mhuineacháin CCE. They are also members of Armagh Pipers Club, with whom they travelled to Skye to perform.  Later this year, they will be heading to Edinburgh to perform at the Scots fiddle festival.  They are also members of The O’Neill Pipe Band in Clontibret and have performed throughout Ireland with them.  Whilst passionate about Irish music both Tara and Rossa also enjoy playing with The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland and have toured both nationally and internationally with them.