A new magazine of contemporary Irish life and culture launched earlier in July at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. The hook: everything in Holy Show is produced by artists and creative writers, and in issue 01 at least, it’s all non-fiction.
Ireland has had a boom in literary journals in recent years, but most focus solely on short stories, poetry and literary essays. Holy Show is taking a broader approach by adapting images and text from theatre shows, films, visual art exhibitions, dance productions and presents them in the print format, full-colour, and all the while delivering engaging and broad-ranging stories about the strange and unusual aspects of Irish life. It’s particularly interested in collaborations between writers and non-literary artists.
“There are so many incredible arts projects, exhibitions, and productions taking place around the country,” says Holy Show’s editor, Brendan Mac Evilly, “but it’s mostly the literary arts that get presented in print magazines and journals. There’s definitely interest in a magazine that can bring a range of other art forms, artists and their stories to journal heads and bibliophiles. But the key is to find the projects the strongest non-fiction narratives so that readers genuinely engage and come back for more.”
Issue 01 includes work by novelist Lisa McInerney (in conversation with Sen. Lynn Ruane), singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke, and Aosdána visual artist Gary Coyle, among others. There are critical musings on TV archival footage, hybrid essays, stage show extracts, film footage stills, and a gonzo jaunt to Mass of an Easter Sunday morning. It even finds innovative ways to present dance on the printed page with Stephanie Dufresne.
Holy Show is also billing itself as a production company. Its first show – a live audio-visual essay based on Ian Maleney’s Minor Monuments – is booked in for a 12-date tour across Ireland. The stage show is live audio-visual essay based on the critically acclaimed essay collection Minor Monuments by Ian Maleney (Tramp Press).
The hour-long show incorporates live readings with ambient sound recordings from Ian’s homeplace – the bogs of Offaly; voice-recordings of his grandfather John Joe whom the book centres on; and original film footage shot by film maker Jamie Goldrick. It premieres at the Iron Mountain Literature Festival in Leitrim on 5th October before moving on to the Seamus Heaney’s HomePlace in Derry, The Project Arts Centre in Dublin, the Still Voices film Festival in Longford, the Kildare Readers Festival, Wild Atlantic Words festival in Mayo, the Roscommon Arts Centre, the Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford, The Source Arts Centre in Tipperary, among others.
Holy Show costs €10, and is available to buy at Nationwide at Eason’s as well as Hodges Figgis, Books Upstairs, The Winding Stair, The Library Project, Connolly Books, Tamp and Stitch, Designist with more stockists around the country coming soon. Copies and subscriptions are also available at holyshow.ie, with free shipping throughout Ireland.
Holy Show is currently seeking ideas and submissions for Issues 02 and 03 from artists working in a variety of forms, and writers who are interested in collaborating with artists.