Drawing from the Well

Leading instrumentalists, singers and dancers have been commissioned to spend time engaging with collections of their choice in ITMA and to then produce something new that can be shared with the public.

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Drawing from the Well 3: Edwina Guckian, 18 November 2020

The Story of Jack Lattin Video & Blog was launched on 18 November 2020. The video is freely available to view on ITMA Facebook, YouTube and InstagramTV.

Edwina's blog is available to read along with the work of other artists in the series Drawing from the Well on the ITMA website.




The biggest challenge for me in this project was deciding on one topic to focus on Drawing from the ITMA Well. There are so many paths I wanted to travel but I've decided to follow the path of Jack Lattin, literally!
Edwina Guckian, September 2020

Coming up: 2 December 2020
Mary Bergin and Tony Linnane 

December's Drawing from the Well will see Mary Bergin and Tony Linnane play rare tunes from the yet-to-be-published William Forde Collection. 

When Forde died in 1850, he had amassed a very significant manuscript collection which is now held in the Royal Irish Academy. ITMA are delighted to report that we have well-advanced plans to make this collection publicly available. A publication in partnership with our friends in the RIA is being prepared by an expert editorial team of Nicholas Carolan, Caitlín Uí Éigeartaigh and Jackie Small.

I am really looking forward to learning and playing some of the tunes from the Forde Collection along with Tony Linnane. These tunes are particularly important, as they have not been in the traditional repertoire since the mid 19th Century, which makes the project all the more exciting.
Mary Bergin, September 2020

Coming up: 23 December 2020 Brían Mac Gloinn

In late December, we will feature singer, Brían Mac Gloinn who will share the fruits of his extensive research into song collections in ITMA. Brían and his brother Diarmuid of Ye Vagabonds’ fame, have an intimate knowledge of ITMA's Collections built up over countless visits over many years. Brían will focus on an exploration & enquiry into the singing tradition of Arranmore Island, Co. Donegal.  


Drawing from the Well (2020)  

Available on ITMA website / ITMA Facebook page / ITMA YouTube Channel / ITMA Instagram TV.

14 October:       Louise Mulcahy: Video and Blog

21 October:       Martin Hayes: Video and Blog

18 November:   Edwina Guckian: Video and Blog

2 December:     Mary Bergin and Tony Linnane

23 December:   Brían Mac Gloinn

A full schedule of artists is lined up for Drawing from the Well for 2021 in what promises to be an exciting programme in which artists connect with archival material to inspire new art. Our past informs our present and shapes our future.


Drawing from the Well Press Release available to download here.


Drawing from the Well was launched virtually by Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media on Wednesday 14 October 2020 at 7.30 am. The launch included contributions from Arts Council Director, Maureen Kennelly, ITMA Director, Liam O’Connor and a performance by uilleann piper, Louise Mulcahy. 


ITMA’s plans, policies and strategic direction are framed in the context of our main funders the Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon Strategy 2016–2025, Making Great Art Work and the high-level vision for the arts in a wider context. In Making Great Art Work: Traditional Arts Policy & Strategy 2018, the Arts Council notes that “Artistic research is an important and ongoing element of traditional artists’ creative work, and the Arts Council supports this through its Strategic Funding investment in archival resources and archival recording of contemporary practice.” It identifies two policy priority areas: “the individual traditional artist as the cornerstone of the Traditional Arts” and public engagement. Drawing from the Well is also shaped by the Arts Council Pay the Artist Policy. 

We greatly acknowledge the funding support of the Arts Council of Ireland in making this series possible.