Festival Forfest in the Czech Republic has become the most recent event to exhibit the paintings of Banbridge artist Tommy Barr.
Now in its 26th year, Forfest is a well established international festival of music and arts.
Set in the UNESCO protected old town of Kromeriz, the baroque style setting is described by Tommy as breathtaking. In particular the Chateau is one of the jewels of Czech heritage.
It houses an incredible art collection, which includes Titian’s great masterpiece, ‘Apollo and Marsyas’.
Simply walking through the rooms of this Chateau is inspirational and culminates in the great hall, which is one of the finest examples of the period and a must-do visit for any visual artist.
The whole festival is an explosion of concerts, lectures and art.
Tommy’s exhibition was shown across two venues in parallel, Gallery U Atruse and the Chateau. To have presented works in the Chateau adds Tommy’s name to a very prestigious list of past exhibitors. It is a privilege which he accepted with great gratitude.
The opening event for Tommy’s participation was held at U Artuse.
Guests were intrigued by the prehistoric (both Irish and Czech) motifs which had been blended into the paintings and the event ended with refreshments and conversations in the gallery gardens. For Tommy this is one of the joys of a hot climate. It was also nice to have a gallery team who are artists themselves, who have a real passion for art and who naturally create a relaxed and welcoming environment.
Festival Forfest has become a major event in the Czech cultural calendar, which this year was particularly apparent as they were presented with the Czech Society of Music’s Annual Award.
Tommy was delighted to have been asked to respond on behalf of the participating artists. He confided that he finds it difficult to come up with the right words on such occasions.
However, it was a welcome opportunity to thank to the festival organisers Vaclav and Zdenka Vaculovicovi for their generous invitations and for all the hard work done on behalf of the participants
Alongside his participation Tommy enjoyed the many concerts and events of the festival. He always treasures the friendships which are formed at such events.
Tommy’s contribution concluded with a lecture entitled ‘From the Stone Age to the Troubles’ in the Muzeum Kromerizska.
Following the lecture, the festival team presented one of his paintings to the permanent collection of the Museum.
This was accepted by the Museum Director, Ing Jiri Stransky. It forms yet another link in Tommy’s growing body of work held across major international collections.