News

 

Dealbh-Bhalla Mòr airson Cill Bhreannain! Bilingual Mural for Kilbirnie!

Air a' dhealbhachadh & a chruthachadh còmhla ri Pròiseact Òigridh Chill Bhreanainn & ri fhaicinn gu h-ìosal - larger images available on Facebook here.

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This new bilingual mural for thelocal Bridgeton Community Centre was collaboratively devised & created with members of the Kilbirnie Youth Project Summer Scheme & a young local artist from the Kilbirnie Employability Hub.

 

Pairèid Chàrnabhail Chaisteal Àird Rosain - Ardrossan Castle Carnival Parade Video!

Abair pròiseact sgoinneil! This was an amazing project over several months working with an incredibly dedicated group of committee members passionate about their local community & young people - hear what participants themselves thought of the work in this short 4.5 min video below & find out more about our work developing celebratory Street Theatre, Spectacle & Parade work with communities here.

 

Perth City Salute August 2017

On foot of the development of the William Wallace Big Head Puppet for Ardrossan's Castle Carnival Parade this year, Independeht State of Happiness was delighted to be invited to form part of Perth's Salute Event Parade, as ongoing development from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo's Outreach work in 2015. After developing & choreographing various Haka-style chants with young Korean Martial Arts enthusiasts, Highland Wrestling practitioners, visually impaired and elderly people during 2016's Paisley Halloween Parade & the Ardrossan Parade, it was delight to work with Dundee-based Scare Actor & Zombie troupe, Castle Horror, for the Perth Parade.

One chirpy Cockney "Brewed in Scotland, Born in England" Scare Actor was quite concerned about his Cockney accent being too audible & not fitting in with a Scots, Gaelic & English chant commemorating memory of Scotland's 38 Kings crowned on The Stone of Destiny in Scone – he was assured he very much welcome & his contribution both valued & valuable, as was a participant who had travelled all the way up from Newcastle to take part in the Ardrossan Parade Warrriors' performance earlier this year.

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Stàit Neo-Eisimileach Sonais / Independent State of Happiness will always welcome all who want to participate in our work engaging with, animating and bringing Scotland's rich & diverse history & folklore to life and Ariel Killick personally has a 17 year long track record of augmenting peaceful community cultural events across Scotland, Ireland & Northern Ireland, including a role as lead solo Vocal Artist & Stilt Performer at the Belfast Culture Night / International Day of Peace, seen here. Collaborating with experienced Historical Re-Enactment performers was also both a first and pretty awesome – as was linking in with a community of often highly skilled & knowledgeable performers who entertain at and augment history & culture events peacefully & without incident across Scotland every single year.

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Visual Art Commission for Paisley Weave Sma' Shot Festival 2017

Working to a brief to create an artwork that celebrated Paisley's rich weaving heritage, the global spread of the infamous 'Paisley Pattern' with a festival theme of 'The Threads that Bind Us' - celebrating what brings people together, brings a sense of belonging and makes Paisley's communities rich and vibrant, and how Paisley's proud heritage inspires a legacy for today's makers and artists.

 

Weave Your Dreams and Fly

Sneak Peak!

The months long process developing material for the Ardrossan Castle Carnival Parade finally came to an awesome conclusion on Saturday... I've gone straight onto a wonderful new commission but here's a sneak peak at some of the William Wallace Big Head Puppet & other wearable and portable art created with more info images & video material and post-parade Vox Pops with participants coming soon...

"We absolutely loved taking part, especially as the parade allowed us to showcase the people our charity helps - the blind and visually impaired, the elderly and vulnerable people. An honour and a privilege but most of all, it was FUN! :)" The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety

Wallace  Warriors Performing - Ariel

 

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Erin

 

 

Fèilltean Gu Leòr! Festivals Galore!


Tha mi fìor thrang ag obair airson pròiseact Ealain & Dràma Sràide mòr Mòr MÒR an-dràsda! A' cruthachadh culaidhean & gu leòr nithean spaideil airson a' chiad phairèid mar phàirt de Latha Carnabhail Chaisteal Àird Rosain air an 17mh den Òg-mhìos, agus gu leòr eile cuideachd!

I'm very busy in the middle of a massive bilingual Gaelic Street Theatre & Spectacle project at the moment for the Ardrossan Castle Carnival Parade on the 17th of June, creating costumes and wearable art and working with a wide variety of local groups - pictures coming soon!

I'll also be at the following festivals and events in the leadup to Summer!

27mh den Chèitean / 27th May: 

Latha Gàidhlig - Craoibh / Crieff Gaelic Day

3mh den Òg-mhìos / 3rd June

Fèis Thaobh an Iar Ghlaschu / Glasgow's West End Festival

Tiocaidean tro na ceanglaichean gu h-ìosal - ticket links below: 

Biastagan Mòra na Gàidhlig & Sgilean Siorcais - Big Gaelic Beasties & Circus Skills

10mh den Òg-mhìos / 10th June

Hòrò Obair Pheallaidh / Hòrò Aberfeldy

Sgeulachadh, Sgilean Siorcais & an t-Eich-Uisge air Cuairt! - Storytelling, Circus Skills & a visit from a Kelpie!

Solas Festival, 24mh den Òg-mhìos / 24th of June

Air ais aig Solas Festival am bliadhna - 24mh Òg-mhìos! Tha e na urram mòr dhomh a bhith air mo liostachadh còmhla ris na daoine gu h-ìosal agus trì bhùthan-obrach Sgeulachaidh agam nam pàirt den fhèis ann an 2017. Bithidh mi a' tarraing à eachraidh phearsanta mo theaghlaich ann am Muile a' thaobh nam Fuadaichean ann an Dàna-Thursan ri Aibidil nan Craobhan gu sònraichte, agus tha e a' ciallachadh tòrr dhomh gun deach iomradh a dhèanamh air an obair agam ann an aon àite ri leithid Andy Wightman & Lesley Riddoch, dìthis a tha air an t-uabhas a dhèanamh a' coimhead air a' cheist seo gu sònraichte agus mar a tha còraichean fearainn a' toirt buaidh air ghnòthaichean a' latha an-diugh ann an Alba fhathast.

I'm delighted to be returning to the fantastic Solas Festival for a second time and deeply honoured to be mentioned in the company of leading Scottish land rights figures Andy Wightman & Lesley Riddoch for this year's festival - Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet draws directly from the impact the Clearances had on my Scottish ancestors' in Mull and their decision to head to Australia in the 1850's, so it means a huge amount for my work to be grouped together with those who have done so much to highlight not just the injustices of the Clearances, but land rights issues in Scotland today. I'll be performing three of the four bilingual, immersive, interactive Storytelling shows I've developed since moving to Scotland in late 2012 at this year's Solas Festival, including the latest commissioned especially for Cabraich Rafters: Community, Arts & Learning in Lewis this year: Warrior Queen Sgàthach & The Blue Men of The Minch!

Solas 2017

  

2na Cuairt air Sgoiltean Ghlaschu, Fèis Aye Write, EP Rap Gàidhlig & Eilean Ì!

2nd Tour of Glasgow Schools, Aye Write Festival, Gaelic Rap EP & Singing on Iona!


Ooft - abair bliadhna thrang mu thràth! Bha e na thlachd mòr dhomh dol air an dàrna cuairt air sgoiltean Ghlaschu anns a' Ghearran & pàirt a ghabhail ann am prògram sgoiltean Wee Write airson Aye Write am bliadhna cuideachd! Tha e na phribhleid mhòr clann a chluinntinn a' ceangal faclan mar 'Epic', 'Inspiring', 'Hilarious', 'Awesome', 'Spectacular Experience', 'Fantastic', 'Brilliant & 'Makes Languages & Learning Fun' ris a' Ghàidhlig is tha mi gu mòr an dòchas gun tèid agam an obair seo a thoirt a dh'ionnsaigh barrachd cloinne anns an ùine ri teachd.

St Marys Primary P5Scotsoun P1c

Haghill P.S. 20.2.17

It's been a busy year already with my 2nd tour of Glasgow schools, and my 2nd year of engagement with major Glasgow Literary Festival, Aye Write!'s Wee Write, expanded to include working with schools as well as communities this year. I'm often humbled by the feedback I receive, and though there are many challenges involved in developing this work, repeatedly hearing children associate words like 'Epic', 'Awesome', 'Fantastic', 'Inspiring' & 'Makes Languages & Learning Fun' more and more keeps me going in trying to bring this work to more festivals, schools and communities around Scotland and its Diaspora. 

I've also been working with amazing Gaelic Soul Singer Àdhamh Ò Broin, and upcoming young Dundonian producer Innes Little on some new work integrating Gaelic Rap, traditional & contemporary song & music. Taking part in the Gaelic Gospel choir 'Soisgeul' event on Iona with Mary Kennedy recently has also been an incredible highlight. Further projects this year include 3 parades scheduled to build on community links forged in 2016 as well as what I hope will be a very special project close to home and heart over the Summer - fingers crossed!

 

Celtic Connections' Showcase

Thigibh a' tadhal air Ariel aig Stannd 16 ann an Tallaichean-Cuirme Ghlaschu bho 9.30 - 2.30uf Dihaoine an 27mh Faoilleach!

Come chat to Ariel at Stand 16 in the Glasgow Concert Hall at Celtic Connections' Showcase Scotland from 9.30 - 2.30, Friday 27th of January. 

Australian-born of Scots descent, & fluent in both Scots & Irish Gaelic, Ariel has previously performed at high profile festivals such as Belladrum, Solas & the Merchant City Festival, offering everything from bilingual Gaelic Storytelling & Drama workshops, roving bilingual Stilt Street Entertainment, Circus Skills & Graffiti Art workshops & projects, wicker & lantern sculpture to large-scale Community Participative Street Theatre & Spectacle Parade projects - if you'd like to really get Gaelic active in your festival - drop by for a chat with Ariel or have a browse around the other sections of this website!

 

Bliadhna Ùr - Bhidio Ùr - New Year - New Video!!

Tha am bhidio mu dheireadh mu shàr-phròiseict Fhèis Shamhna Phàislig ri fhaicinn gu h-ìosal is tòrr agallamhan ri com-pàirtichean cuideachd!

Take a look at the video of last year's fab Paisley Halloween Parade project, with lots of Vox Pops with performers & participants!

 

 

2013-2016: 800+ Bùth-Obrach, 200+ Buidheann, 10,000+ Duine & 39 air am Fastadh

2013 - 2016: 800+ Workshops, 200+ Groups, 10,000+ Participants & 39 Employed


Thug 2016 cothrom dhomh coimhead siar air na tha mi air dèanamh bhon uair a ghluais mi a dh'Alba aig deireadh 2012, agus ged a bha an turas seo air a bhith fìor, fìor dhùbhlanach uaireannan, cha mhòr nach urrainn dhomh creidsinn na tha mi air coileanadh ann am beagan a' bharrachd air 4 bliadhna.

2016 provided an opportunity to collate data and figures to look back at what I've achieved since moving my practise and life from Belfast to Scotland in late 2012, and I have to admit, I did more than a double-take when I brought all the figures together. Though few things have worked out in any way as planned during the period of Research, Travel & Development afforded by the two original grants from inter-Gaelic collaboration development body, Iomairt Cholm Cille, these three years have seen me work right across the four corners of Scotland, with over 200 schools, communities, groups and festivals, almost entirely in Scotland, though including some in N.I. & Ireland as well. During this time, I've engaged with more than 10,000 children, young people and adults directly through workshops and projects, delivering over 800 workshops & performances, and engaging with countless thousands more during several large-scale street theatre & festival projects, including those for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Cultural festival. 

This work also meant I facilitated paid employment for some 39 largely Scottish or Scottish-based artists across over 20 projects, and supported more than 80 businesses across Scotland and the UK. It has been a huge honour to facilitate this work, and particularly give nearly 10 young performers some of their first paid professional performance work.

2016 was also a significant year as an Australian couple, Kathryn & Gregg Brain, and their Gaelic-speaking son, Lachlann, faced serious threat of deportation from the Highlands. As the co-founder of Australia's first Scots Gaelic Summer & Autumn Schools, now going into their 20th year in 2017, and as a fluent Australian-born Gaelic speaker, I was grateful to be afforded space by one of Scotland's national daily newspapers, The National, to advocate in support of not just their case, but for Non-EU Diaspora Return Immigration Development in general, particularly for Clearances Descendants, for whom the threat of forcible removal from the land of their ancestors would inflict a double injustice. You can read the nearly 3 full pages of commentary and opinion from me printed by The National in 2016 here, here and here.

Ariel  Brains

Although it was a very heavy burden to carry in addition to an extremely demanding schedule from August to October, when the opportunity came to make a submission to the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee's Enquiry on the Demography of Scotland and Implications for Devolution, it was incumbant upon me to research the broader issues in detail and fulfill my solemn promise to wee Lachlann Brain to do what I could to help him and his family stay in Scotland. Thus I was very grateful, out of the 16 submissions on the matter officially accepted and published, mine was one of only four from private individuals. You can read the full 55-page submission here.

 

Neach-Ealain air Mhuintireas - Artist in Residence Irvine Festival of Light

Bha e na urram fìor mhòr dhomh a bhith nam Neach-Ealain air Mhuinntireas dhan fhèis seo am bliadhna - being Artist in Residence at the Scottish Maritime Museum for this new festival was not only one of the highlights of my year, but of my entire artistic career as well. Though an intense three and a half weeks, delivering some 18 workshops for school, community & youth groups whilst creating a 12ft Phoenix Ship, a collaborative 'Bàta nam Bruadaran' / Ship of Dreams, and many lanterns, the project was an incredible experience. Tha grùnn dhealbhan gu h-ìosal. It also provided an opportunity to bring the Paisley Phoenix Rising costumes created for the Paisley Halloween Parade to engage with further dancers, as well as lead the creation of bilingual St Andrew's Themed lanterns for the late November event.

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Pairèid Oidhche Shamhna Phàislig - Paisley 2016 Halloween Parade

Bha mi air ais airson an 4mh bliadhna ris a' phròiseact seo a tha na dhìleab air Mhòd Nàiseanta Phàislig ann an 2013. Back for the 4th Halloween since the Royal National Mòd in Paisley 2013, the legacy of the Paisley Mòd continued with this year's parade engaging more young and older adults and broadening our engagement with groups beyond the traditional dance & theatre genres. The exuberant joy expressed by participants and recorded in the images is one of the most powerful inspirations to continue this bilingual Gaelic Outreach & Engagement work, despite numerous serious challenges.

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Bha e dìreach sgoinneil obrachadh ris na buidhneann ùra agus chì sibh cho mòr is a chòrd e riutha gu h-ìosal. This engagement with two Paisley-based Martial Arts groups and a group of local Social, Youth, Care & Community Advocates & Workers made this year's experience even deeper and more meaningful than what was achieved in 2015's groundbreaking parade - apparently one of the largest bilingual outdoor public Gaelic arts events ever and the first of its kind in a parade context. The images below speak for themselves and further information is on the Street Theatre & Spectacle page of this website and more information on each individual parade section on the Independent State of Happiness Facebook page dated from early November 2016.

Maigheastaran nan Geasan  Oidhche Shamhna Phàislig a   Na Tattie Bogles    Paisley Hlween Pde

 

 Paisley Phoenix Rising  Paisley Hlween Pde 1

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 Kelpies  Paisley Hlween Pde

Abair deireadh bliadhna uabhasach trang! The end of the year from October to December was incredibly busy, with two major festivals, two schools tours and numerous other gigs - I'm still catching my breath! I'll be bringing the website up to date shortly, but if you'd like to see the work undertaken in the meantime for the 2016 Paisley Halloween Festival & Irvine's Festival of Light, for which I was Artist in Residence, you're most welcome to head to the Facebook page for Independent State of Happiness here.

Féile Ealaíon Chathair na Mart - Westport Arts Festival September 2016

Táim in Éirinn faoi láthair don tríú huaire leis an bhféile iontach seo - it's a year of thirds it seems this year, having just finished my third tour for the fantastic Highlands festival, Blas, back in Westport for the third year since 2013 and heading straight back into our 3rd Paisley Halloween Parade, creating bilingual Gaelic Street Theatre & Spectacle.

Ach an tseachtain seo - Cláirseacha! It's all about Irish Gaelic work making harps this week for the Westport Arts Festival parade, animating an folkloric tale describing how the first harp was made from the ribcage of a beached whale and highlighting the Achill Harp Festival as well. Coming from a very financially challenged background in my highschool years, where I experienced first-hand the income barriers facing working-class children and young people seeking to explore music due to the costs involved in purchasing instruments to play and practise on, it was a moving experience to work with children creating the quintessential Celtic and Irish musical instrument - the harp - for them to take home and keep. The joy, particularly sports-mad boys exhibited with their harps was particularly touching, and though the life of a freelance artist can be so brutally challenging that working under the name of Independent State of Happiness can sometimes seem like an extremely bad idea, the joy on these kids faces, and of those of others I've had the privilege and pleasure of working with this year, makes me think sometimes it's the most apt name ever.

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Turas nan Craobhan - A Journey with Trees


Is iomadh rud a bhitheas an luchd-fastaidh agus amhairc ag innse dhomh - those who hire me to deliver work in their communities, and their audiences tell me many things, and I'm always grateful for those who take the time to put it in writing.

"I also wanted to say that what you are doing with Gaelic is amazing, wonderful, innovative, inspiring, heartwarming... It was just lovely watching you yesterday - audience enthralled (adults and kids). I loved the way we all wove a story together, moving seamlessly from Gaelic into English into Gaelic - it was masterly!"

Dr Joyce Gilbert,
Corporate & Trusts Development Officer
Trees for Life

Taing mhòr dhà-rìreabh - Very many thanks!

Ariel Killick - Sìthiche na Coille - Forest Nymph

Agus dhan fheadhainn a bhitheas ag obair gu cruaidh gus tachartasan a chur air doigh? And for those who do incredible work making sure events like these take place? Tha iad dìreach sgoinneil - they are of course, officially awesome x

Dr Joyce Gilbert is Awesome

 Dealbhan le / Pics by Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life

 

Fèis Bhlas!! Fab Blas Festival Feedback!

'S fhiach dealbh mìle facal.. If a picture's worth a thousand words? I hear 'awesome' from children, young people and adults pretty often about my work, I think seeing it written as 'OSM' might be a first and always good to see 'totally awesome!'. I think it might be the first time I've head 'magic' connected to my Circus Skills workshops as well, but I guess there always time for a first after 750 workshops in over 170 schools, communities and festivals, working with nearly 9,500 people directly and thousands more via Street Theatre and Spectacle work. I'm just very glad to have work agus tha e uabhasach cudromach gum faigh daoine cothroman na facail seo a cheangal ris a' Ghàidhlig, and people connect words like 'awesome', 'amazing' and 'fantastic' with Gaelic is so important, well it keeps me going anyway...

Big Gaelic Beasties Ais-eolas bho phàiste 3 - fantastic

 

Caol P.S. Sgilean Siorcais

 

Big Gaelic Beasties Ais-eolas bho phàiste 1 - Osm

 

 

Featured Artist

Bithidh e daonnan na urram mòr an obair agam a bhith na pàirt d'fhiolmaichean aithriseach a thèid a dhèanamh airson Fèisean, agus tha an obair is na beachdan agam mu na pròiseactan ri fhaicinn is ri cluinntinn dhà thursan anns na bhidiothan seo gu h-ìosal. 

It's always a great honour for my work to be included in festival documentaries, and both commentary & my own work, including that of Independent State of Happiness, working with my Principal Collaborator & Lead Technical Artist, Calum Beaton, features twice in both the short films below for Paisley's Sma' Shot Parade & the EU 2016 San Sebastian City of Culture Tosta Minority Languages Festival at Scotland's Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, below:

Pop Up Gaelic Café @ Largs Viking Festival!

Bha sinn aig Marymass ann an Irbhinn an t-seachdain a chaidh is a-nise an dùil gu mòr ri tadhal air Fhèis Lochlannach an Leargaidh Disathairne a tha a' tighinn! We were delighted to be part of the incredible festival that is Irvine's Marymass last week and are really looking forward to cooking up some crafty Viking-themed phrases for this Saturday's Viking Festival in Largs!

Thèid agaibh sinn a lorg an-seo: You can find us on the grass next to the shelter which is located near the Viking Village, with entry by the road between the shelter and Viking Village.

Pop Up Gaelic Café - Independent State of Happiness

Blas 2016!

Tha e na phribhleid mhòr dhomh tilleadh dh'Fhèis Blas airson an treasamh turas is tha mi an dùil gu mòr ri tòiseachadh Diluain a tha a' tighinn! It's a great honour to return to the fantastic Blas Festival for the 3rd consecutive year delivering a range of Storytelling & Drama workshops, as well as Circus Skills with a twist! I'm really looking forward to touring schools from Glencoe to Applecross and more over the next fornight from Monday :)

                    Ariel at Blas 2016 

An Lùnasdal - August

Tha Cafaidh Gàidhlig na Sràide a' tighinn a-rithist! The Pop Up Gaelic Café is heading out again later this month to the wonderful Marymass Festival & Largs Viking Festival! Seo beagan dealbhan is sinn aig Latha Gala Chaisteal Àird Rosain na bu tràithe an Samhadh seo - here's a few wee lovely pictures from our first venture in North Ayreshire to the Ardrossan Castle Gala Day earlier in the Summer:

An Lùnasdal - August

Abair Samhradh trang! It's been an incredibly busy Summer, with Community Participative Street Theatre & Spectacle, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig's Family Week & Gaelic Graffiti Art for the EU International Minority Language Festival, our Kelpies at Belladrum & Gaelic Rap! Thèid agaibh blasad a fhaighinn dheth gu h-ìosal - here's a quick taste of all the action below:

Ariel's Gaelic Graffiti Artwork for International EU Minority Language Festival Tosta

Mar phàirt de Sheachdain nan Teaghlaichean aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, bha e na phribhlèid mhòr aig Ariel pìos mòr ealain a chruthachadh dhan Fhèis eadar-nàiseanta seo. As part of Donostia / San Sebastian 2016 European Capital of Culture, and Scotland's Gaelic College Family Week, Ariel delivered bilingual Circus Skills workshops and created a special Gaelic Graffiti Artwork for a shipping container, which forms the 'cultural cargo' sent out as part of the Tosta Festival to Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Galicia, Friesland & the Basque country.

Titled 'Mionchànan, Miann Mòr', Minority Language, Big Desire/Dream/Ambition - a play on words with 'mion' meaning 'small or mini' and 'mòr' meaning 'big' in Gaelic, the piece was collaboratively devised with participants of the Family Week workshops, and over an additional three days by Ariel. Tha Ceannard a' Cholaisde, Boyd Robadsan, ri fhaicinn còmhla ri Ariel gu h-ìosal. Ariel is pictured with Principle of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Boyd Robertson, below. 


The artwork is currently situated on the vacant land earmarked for the development of the first new Highlands village in many years, Kilbeg Village, beside Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, with this fact certainly playing a part in Ariel's development of the artwork and the following poetic blessing came to mind...

Mo bheannachd air Bhaile ùr na Cille Bige
'S air an obair uile ann is uime,
'S e mo ghuidhe gum bi a' Ghàidhlig ann cho beò
Gun leath i air feadh a' bhaile mar an ceò
Is gum bi an sluagh ann daonnan misneachail 's a' fàs
Is sìth agus soirbheas nam measg gu bràth.

Blessings to new Kilbeg
and all the work there and around it,
I pray that Gaelic will there be so alive
That it will spread over the village like mist
and that the people will always be courageous and growing
with peace and success in their midst forever.

I have to admit it does sound a good bit better in the original Gaelic!

Belladrum!

Chan ann ar n-Eich-Uisge amhàin a bha air an dòigh glan a bhith aig fear de na fèisean Samhraidh as motha anns a' Ghàidhealtachd! Our Kelpies weren't the only ones in high spirits to be at Belladrum this year!

 Stilt Kelpies  Belladrum

Bha e uabhasach fliuch an dàrna latha aig Belladrum - ach cha do chuir sin dragh sam bith air ar n-Eich-uisge! It was pretty dreich at Belladrum on the Saturday, but neeeeiiighhh bother for our Kelpies!
 

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Sma' Shot Parade

Abair pròiseact mòr! This ended up being a rather more monumental project than anticipated, with our Sma' Shot Superheroes piece involving some 600+ separate cut pieces! Bha e na thlachd mòr dhuinn an chiad chothroman mar chleasaichean pàighte proifeiseanta air trostanan a thoirt do dhithis chleasaichean òga cuideachd - It was a huge pleasure to also be able to offer their very first paid, professional stilt performance gigs to two exceptional young performers Ariel has worked with over the previous two Halloween parades in Paisley in 2014 & 2015. A wee taster of our Paisley 2021 Peacock troup & Sma' Shot Superheroes is below:

 

Advocacy

Mar Cho-Steidheadair Sgoil Shamhraidh Gàidhlig Astràilia, tha ùidh shònraichte aig Ariel ann an suidheachadh nam Brains - as Co-Founder of the Australian Gaelic Summer School, Ariel has been supporting the Brain Family and their son, Lachlann, who is in Gaelic-Medium Education, in their battle to stay in Scotland.

Ariel & Kathryn, Gregg & Lachlann Brain

Tha am pàipear The National air a bhith a' toirt tòrr taic dhaibh, agus air trì phìosan bho Ariel a fhoillseachadh - The National has been leading the media campaign to support them, and has given nearly three full pages of coverage for Ariel's advocacy for both the Brains and the broader Clearances Diaspora in Australia, Canada, America and New Zealand. Tha obair Ariel air obair phàighte a chruthachadh do bharrachd air 33 neach-ealain is neach-riochdachaidh bho chionn trì bliadhna gu leth - Ariel's work has created paid work opportunities for over 33 arts and arts production workers in just over three years and is but a small example of the socioeconomic and cultural contribution members of the Clearances Diaspora in Non-EU Countries can make to Scotland. You can read Ariel's contributions in The National here, here and here, and about Ariel's Scottish family history from the Clearances here.

 

An t-Iuchar - July

Tha an cola-deug mu dheireadh air a bhith craicte fhèin trang - the last fortnight has been incredibly busy and today's Wee Wednesday @ Glasgow's Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre! Ri linn atharrachaidhean air aoisean a' luchd-amhairc - due to changes in expected audience ages, bithidh am Fìor Sgeulachd mun Nigheann Bàn ann Diciadain - Sìne will bring The Real Goldilocks Story starting at 10.30am!

Airson na naidheachdan as ùire - For all the latest at the moment, there's lots of images & video on my Facebook page here.

 

An Òg-Mhìos - June

Gala Shràid Gibson a-rithist! 2016 brought another lovely but ultimately very wet Gibson Street Gala, but Ariel's Forest Nymph brought cheery grins to soggy festival-goers nonetheless!

 Ariel Killick Forest Nymph Gibson St Gala b 2

 

Ariel Killick Forest Nymph Gibson St Gala

Tachartasan Samhraidh / Summer Events Calendar!

Tòrr a' Tachairt as t-Samhradh! Stàit Neo-Eisimeileach Sonais / Independent State of Happiness has lots of ways of having fun with Gaelic over this coming Summer!

Nach Tig Sibh airson Ar Faicinn? Come along & join the fun!

Cafaidh Gàidhlig na Sràide - The Pop Up Gaelic Café (18 & 25th June, 20 & 27th August, North Ayrshire)

Sìtheag na Coille - Stiltwalkabout Character: Forest Nymph (19th June, Glasgow)

Ealain & Dràma Sràide - Street Theatre & Spectacle (2nd July, Paisley)

Biastagan Mòra na Gàidhlig - Big Gaelic Beasties Storytelling & Drama (13th July, Glasgow

Fiosrachadh iomlan gu h-ìosal - Full details below...

Cuideachd air fàire - Also coming up

• Ariel air a 3mh Cuairt air Sgoiltean airson Blas - An Lùnasdal - An t-Sultain Ariel heads out on her 3rd Schools Tour for Blas Festival - Aug - Sept

• Ag obair air "Fìor Sgeulachdan a' Chleasaire Sgriosail" - Developing a brand new Mixed Circus-Based Storytelling, Drama & Juggling Workshop "True Tales of a Terrible Juggler"

A' Tighinn Cuideachd! Look out for:

• Ariel a' Clàradh Ciùil ùir Rap Gàidhlig - New Bilingual Gaelic Rap scheduled over the Summer!

• 

Na Meadhanan / Media

Airteagal anns an National bho chionn goirid an-seo mu Thrèanadh air Trostain.

Recent article in The National here on Ariel's Stiltwalking Training by Paula McGuire.

            Cafaidh Gàidhlig na Sràide - Pop Up Gaelic Café

Blasad aotrom airson tòiseachaidh, Rudan Riatanach airson na Fèise dhan Phrìomh-Bhiadh, Na Pìosan Milis Mì-Mhodheil & Beagan Deochan Traidiseanta & òran beag!*

Serving up the finest Greetings in Scots Gaelic for Entrée, followed by a hearty Mainmeal of Essential Festival Phrases, our ever popular Naughty Bits for Dessert, all topped off with some tasty Traditional Gaelic Drinks & a wee song!*

*No actual food & drink involved, because that would really silly, even for the world's only Professional Gaelic Street Theatre Comedy Act!

18.6.16: Ardrossan Castle Carnival, Disathairne / Saturday 18th of June, Hill St, Àird Rosain / Ardrossan KA22 8HQ

25.6.16: Kilwinning Gala Day, Disathairne / Saturday 25th of June, McGavin Park, Dalry Road, Cill D'fhinnein / Kilwinning KA13 7HE

20. 8.16: Marymass Festival, Disathairne / Saturday 20th of August, Irbhinn / Irvine, KA12 8PZ

27.8.16: Largs Viking Festival, Disathairne / Saturday 20th of August, An Largaidh / Largs, KA12 8PZ

Le taic choibhneil bho Chomhairle Siorrachd Àir a' Tuath / Kindly supported by North Ayrshire Council

           Sìtheag na Coille - Stilt Forest Nymph

19.6.16: Gibson St Gala, DiDòmhnaich / Sunday 19th of June, Gibson St, Hillhead, Glaschu / Glasgow G12 8NU

Ealain & Dràma Sràide - Street Theatre & Spectacle

2.7.16: Sma' Shot Day Parade, Pàislig / Paisley, Disathairne / Saturday 2nd of July 'Sàrghaisgich Phàislig - Sma' Shot Swirl Superheros & their Paisley Superpowers!'

      Biastagan Mòra na Gàidhlig - Big Gaelic Beasties Storytelling & Drama

13.7.16: Kelvingrove Bandstand & Ampitheatre Wee Wednesday Holiday Fun, Kelvingrove, Glaschu / Glasgow

Taing mhòr dhà-rìreabh dhan iomadh Comhairle, buidheann poblach is feis a chuir taic ri ar obair.

Deepest appreciation to the many Councils, public bodies & festivals supporting our work this year.

Ma tha sibhse airson ar obair a thoirt dhan sgìre agaibh fhèin - Seo grùnnd ceanglaichean cuideachail airson maoineachaidh gu h-ìosal. Nam bitheadh sibh ag iarraidh obrachadh ann an co-bhann ri buidhneann eile coltach ribh, leigibh fios thuig Ariel cuideachd.

If your group would like to bring Stàit Neo-Eisimeileach Sonais / Independent State of Happiness' work to your area, here are some helpful funding sources. If you would like to apply for funding in partnership with other local groups or festivals, please get in contact with Ariel via the contact sheet at the bottom of the website.

 

June/An t-Òg-mhios 2.6.2016

The National newspaper has been covering the case of the Australian Brain family for some months now, and their son, who is in Gaelic-Medium Education. The National has kindly printed my views on the matter, and also the contribution my work has made over the last three years to the Scottish economy and employment. I am deeply grateful to The National and its journalist, Greg Russell, who have been following this case so closely, and there are a few minor clarifications & corrections I need to articulate in relation to this morning's article here.

I, along with another Gaelic-speaking Australian also now involved in educational work in Scotland, co-founded the Australian Gaelic Summer School in 1997. This work has continued since as Autumn and Spring schools as well, and is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. The £53,601 refers to my work directing some 12 different projects and events which has supported the 34 artistic and production staff mentioned. This is in addition to the extensive educational work around Scotland, also referred to, that has supported over 75 business in Scotland and in the UK as a whole. The Education Scotland Gaelic Education Conference today is titled "Gaelic Education - Transitions to Secondary" and I will be talking to teachers about my work and making a short presentation on how this work supports Gaelic learning and engagement and the fulfillment of Curriculum for Excellence Outcomes & Experiences.

It is also worth noting in relation to Gaelic making significant contributions to the Scottish economy on a broader scale that HIE Research revealed the potential economic value of Gaelic as an asset to Scottish businesses, communities & the wider Scottish economy could be from £81.6m to £148.5m a year.

Mòran taing dhà-rìreabh a-rithist dhan National agus dha na h-uile com-pàirtiche anns an obair agam air feadh Alba - tha mi fada, fada nur comain. Deepest thanks again to The National and all of the partners I have worked with in developing Gaelic Arts across Scotland since 2012.

June/An t-Òg-mhios 2016

Mid-year already! So I'm knee-deep, literally, at the moment in work for a large Street Theatre & Spectacle project in early July and looking forward to taking our Pop Up Gaelic Café to four festivals in the West of Scotland in June & August - rehearsing for this is always a joy & we're looking forward to serving up our tailored Main Meals for each festival, Gala & Carnival Day, and sharing laughs and banter with lots of new people. The Big Gaelic Beasties Storytelling & Drama Workshop also gets an outing at the awesome Kelvingrove Bandstand & Amphitheatre on the 13th of July. But now, it's full steam ahead getting everything sorted for Education Scotland's Gaelic Education: Transitions to Secondary conference in Inverness tomorrow. It was also an honour to recently present information on how my work can support Gaelic acquisition and development from Nursery to S7 & in the Community via the Education Scotland Glow presentation. 

Also in other news... I'm not able to edit or work on my News page in Gaelic for some reason at the moment, mar sin, gabhaibh mo leth-sgeul nach eil an naidheachd seo ri fhaicinn sa Ghàidhlig an-dràsda... so apologies for this latest update not currently being available in Gaelic.. I've a fun weekend grabbling website IT issues ahead!

 

May 2016

In over 15 years of my work featuring in various media in Ireland, Northern Ireland & now Scotland, this article here on my Stiltwalking Training in The National by Paula McGuire is one of the loveliest articles I've ever had the privilege of being involved in. Hearing Paula's journey from seriously life-limiting anxiety to a lady who's stood atop a plane, climbed mountains, been in an anti-gravity centrifugal Space-Training container and challenged herself to do an amazing array of things, she was a giant long before she came to me to learn to walk on stilts. Superheroes aren't just in cinemas - they are real and live among us in all shapes and sizes - an absolute and unforgettable privilege to work with Paula, and deepest thanks to Stàit Neo-Eisimeileach Sonais' own Superhero, Mr Calum Beaton for being so amazingly awesome so often and sharing some well-needed training space.


(just a wee thing, but it's not quite duct tape that we use...)

April 2016

A wee snippet on BBC Alba about my Contemporary Gaelic Arts workshops in Graffiti, Circus Skills & Rap for the lovely kids of Fèis Inbhir Narainn recently.... you can watch the piece, also featuring comments in English by one of the event organisers, here.

April 2016

Tha mi fada, fada an comain nan tidsearan, pàrantan is na cloinne uile a bhitheas a' togail ùine airson am beachdan a thoirt seachad as dèidh nam buthan-obrach agam - So grateful to the many teachers, parents & children who take the time after workshops to share their thoughts & feedback – Mòran Taing! 

Dàna-thuras ri Aibidil nan Craobhan – Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet

Gartcosh P4 Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet

Biastagan Mòra na Gàidhlig / Big Gaelic Beasties

From: Graham Scougall, Viewlands Primary, Perth

Sent: 09 March 2016 12:12

Subject: Gaelic Workshop

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!

One of the best, most engaging workshops I have had yet! The children absolutely loved it!
I would highly recommend this to anyone!

Thanks again for organising.

Scoogz

Am Fìor-Sgeulachd mun Nighinn Bhàin - The Real Goldilocks Story

Arran Corrie P - edited

April 2016

Na h-Eich-Uisge @ An Helix - nach iad a bha air bhoil coinneachadh ri Eich cho mòr is ainmeil! Our Gaelic & Scots-speaking Kelpies were very excited to meet their super-famous heroes at the Helix this week! Ged a thuirt fear aca gum bitheadh na h-eich sin aig a sheanmhair airson a breacaist... dìreach mar a bha a sheanair! One of them wasn't too impressed though quipping 'My granny would have had him for breakfast... just like she did my grandfather!'

Independent State of Happiness  The Helix Falkirk

       Independent State of Happiness  The Helix Falkirk a

Independent State of Happiness - Last Living Kelpies

March 2016

Well March got off to a flying start with Biastagan Mòra na Gàidhlig / Big Gaelic Beasties at Aye Write's Families Day, Wee Write, and Dàna-Thursan ri Aibidil nan Craobhan / Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet is coming up this Saturday at Ionad Sgeulachdan na h-Alba / the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, before I head off on tour of island schools and nurseries for four days next week. You can also book tickets for Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet here.

But the biggest news, and it is indeed a wee bit big... is The National's double-page spread on my work here  (although I have to admit, I never said I was 'on a mission to restore Gaelic to its former prominence...)

The National Newspaper - Ariel Killick 14.3.16

The article also features a lovely shot of some sword balancing by Mull-based photographer, Sarah Darling, for Comar's Festimull 2015. You can contact Sarah if you're looking for a lovely photgrapher in Mull atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The lovely centre image was also taken by my Principal Collaborator, the multi-talented Calum Beaton. 

 

February 2016

The New Year's off to a fine start with Storytelling & Drama workshops at two of Scotland's finest festivals and venues! From the 53-workshop tour of Inverness Schools for last year's Blas Festival, and a series of workshops around Fife and Perth over the next two months, I'm delighted to be performing Aye Write's WeeWrite Festival and back for the 2nd time at the Scottish Storytelling Centre - spread the word and come along for bonkers adventures with some of my favourite beasties and forest adventures amidst the slightly slower and gently thought-provoking pace of Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet a fortnight after...                                                     

Big Gaelic Beasties at WeeWrite Festival!

Saturday 5th March • Mitchell Library, Glasgow • 1:45 - 2:45pm • £5

Learn about some of the greatest Big Beasties of traditional Gaelic storytelling lore, the Water Horse, the Urisk, King of the Otters and the Five-Headed Giant, and take part in a rambunctious adventure through the Highland Glens as the King's Son and Daughter, guided by their magical Two-Tailed Cat, set out out to find and save their parents from the grip of the Five-Headed Giant & get their breakfast!

Suitable for children from P4 ages upwards.

"Fantastic interactive performance, very entertaining & educational", "Greatly enjoyed by all... a lot of fun... Ariel was brilliant" P4 Teachers, Inshes Primary

Big Gaelic Beasties - Ariel KillickBig Gaelic Beasties - Ariel Killick c

 

Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet

Sat 19 March •  Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh •  3pm - 4pm •   £6.00

An Gille Dubh / The Guardian of the Trees, saddened by the clearing of his beloved trees and people, has left his forest home to sit alone atop the highest mountains, leaving his beautiful, prized possessions to Sìne to tell his tale and spread knowledge of the riches of our native trees. This touching, subtly powerful yet fun workshop, including Gaelic poetry & referencing the Clearances, the decline of Gaelic and environmental issues, affords opportunities to learn, lie and dream amongst the 'stars' under a magical Gaelic spell, and take part in creating an exciting Scottish forest adventure!

Suitable for all ages from P3 upwards.

"Absolutely brilliant, just fantastic, they really loved it!" P4 Teacher, Cauldeen Primary

"A big hit, they loved handling the props!'","New & exciting to the students" P3/4 Teachers, Holme Primary

Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet - Ariel Killick - a

Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet - Ariel Killick

February 2016

Timing is definitely a funny thing. I just finished my Rap Showreel last week, before an interview with Ceòl 's Craic on Celtic Radio last Thursday, originally postponed from last November. You can listen to it by clicking here or listen to it from 6-7pm on Glasgow's Celtic Radio 95FM on the 1st of February.

The interview features the 1st and 3rd Rap pieces I ever wrote, now released as 'Dualchas & 'Saor', as well as the 2nd piece 'Set Yourself Free', which I might work on again someday. You can read more about this fantastic Inter-Gaelic Rap Project, with funding support gratefully received from Iomairt Cholm Cille & Bòrd na Gàidhlig here. So here we go...  The showreel is 5.11min long and features excerpts from 4 tracks produced to date, in addition to many images of my professional performance art work as a Stilt Entertainer, including Sword & Broadsword Balancing, Fire Art & Body Paint & Acrobatics, as well as coverage of a performance for the National Gaelic Awards, reviewed by The Daily Record.

And now... I'm looking for an Electronic Music Collaborator, specifically someone with a very professional attitude, who's passionate, wants to work hard, create work and gig/tour, and who also has a strong social conscience. Fluency and knowledge of Gaelic wouldn't be necessary, but an interest in Gaelic would be advantageous, as well as comfortable working & collaborating in bilingual & multilingual environments would be extremely helpful. I have a huge amount of written material ready to work on as well and my influences & stylistic interests include: Grime, Commercial chart & euphoric dance e.g. Faithless (e.g. Insomnia, Salva Mea), Die Antwoord, Balkan Beat Box, Lethal Bizzle (e.g. Playground feat. Shakka), M.I.A., Azealia Banks, David Guetta, as well as Samba, West African Drumming & Balkan music.

 

So if this sounds like you or someone you know, get in touch with links to your music and work, and let's do something amazing...

Draft Logo


Christmas 2015

Lots of discussions and meetings planning exciting projects & performances next year, but before we take a well-needed break over the holiday season, some wonderful parental feedback from the 3 Storytelling, Drama & Circus Skills workshops in the East of Scotland recently...

"I've never seen my daughter take part in anything, ever - that was amazing!"

Feedback like this is what keeps us going. If you'd like to look at bringing some workshops, stilt performance, the Pop Up Gaelic Café or community participative street theatre & spectacle work to your area, you're most welcome to get in touch here.

 

December

Is is that time already?! November went like the wind, but not without finalising a brief video of all the amazing work, performers and participants in our second year of Bilingual Gaelic Street Theatre & Spectacle of work for Paisley's Halloween Festival - a direct legacy project for us from Paisley's Royal National Mòd 2013. From a mere 7 performers and two groups of children and parents from Tannahill Community Centre & St Charles' Primary last year, over 50 children, teenagers and young adults worked with Independent State of Happiness this year, from 3 different Youth Theatre & Dance groups, including over 20 performers from St Catherine's Primary. It was truly an amazing project - you can have a look at a brief video, with images, participant feedback and a wee taste of the dramatic work here.

In other news, I'll be delivering a brand new Christmas & Snow-themed Lantern-making and Storytelling workshop with my lovely Snow Fairy character, Araya. I've previously been booked for three Halloween performances in mid-January before, but if you'd like to beat that record and make a booking for your local community or school group or venue for 2016, you're most welcome to contact me here.

November

Well while we're waiting for high quality images and videos which we can share here of the groundbreaking bilingual Gaelic Street Theatre & Spectacle work for Paisley's Halloween Festival, it's off to the National Theatre of Scotland for Ariel for their two-week Gaelic Directors' and Actors' Training Retreat, and Calum starts intense work for over two months of serious Panto action!

12193631 926536654107361 5258223475413671653 n

30.10.15 Paisley Halloween Festival Parade

 

Want to find out more about the characters in tonight's parade from 6pm, Thomas Coats Memorial Church, High Street, Paisley? Here's a handy guide!

Also....

WIN PRIZES! We're looking for the best photos and videos that capture the spirit of the bilingual Gaelic sections of our parade – with a free Big Gaelic Beasties Storytelling or bilingual Gaelic Circus Skills Workshop for your local school class or children's & youth group in Paisley or Glasgow! Post your images & videos to our Facebook page here & winners will be announced next week!

 Independent State of Happiness Bilingual Gaelic Parade Guide

Halloween!!

Yes, that time's finally arrived! After months of planning and meetings and more than 6 weeks working full time to creat the amazing costumes and wearable art pieces you're seeing tonight, as well as many workshops and rehearsals with groups of performers from PACE Youth Theatre, Right2Dance, Historical Adventures & St Catherine's Primary, there's just one day to go before this groundbreaking project takes place!

110 participants

70 Lanterns

60 young performers

34 hand-made costumes & wearable art pieces

3 Youth Arts Groups & 3 Languages – Gaelic, Scots & English

Major Bilingual Gaelic Street Theatre & Spectacle Parade – As Part of Paisley Halloween Festival

6pm, Friday the 30th of October, leaving from Thomas Coats Memorial Church, High Street, Paisley, PA2 9NH

Continuing the legacy of 2013's Royal National Mòd in Paisley & building on the success of last year's inaugural Paisley Halloween Parade, where Independent State of Happiness worked with 7 young stilt performers and over 280 children & parents from the Paisley area creating bilingual Gaelic street theatre and spectacle for the parade, Artistic Director of Stàit Neo-Eisimeileach Sonais/Independent State of Happiness, Ariel Killick, is delighted to be present this groundbreaking and ambitious project. Working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council Town Centre & Events Team, PACE Youth Theatre, Right2Dance, Historical Adventures & St Catherine's Primary, creating 12 individual parade sections, this event will be one of the largest bilingual Gaelic drama performances ever to take place.

Paisley Halloween Poster

Going forward, Stàit Neo-Eisimeileach Sonais / Independent State of Happiness will be working to collaborate with communities across Scotland, developing similar bilingual Gaelic street theatre and spectacle parade content to:

raise the profile of Gaelic & local events in a highly public, accessible & participative manner

broadening and strengthening contemporary Gaelic arts engagement opportunities and       language use contexts


• afford opportunities for creative & linguistic engagement across age groups

• build social cohesion & pride

• deepen & broaden understanding and appreciation of Scotland's diversely rich cultural heritage and identity.

as we seek to incrementally build on resources via locally available funding, to return bigger events and greater engagement opportunities to each community year on year.

This is a landmark event that marks a significant breakthrough for Gaelic Arts, with significant potential to effect positive transformation and progress in the visibility and profile of Gaelic across Scotland over coming years.

If you'd like to chat to Ariel about bringing this transformative work to your community, you're welcome to get in touch via the Contact Page.

 

October

It's been a busy month already with 53 workshops over two weeks for Blas Festival, then straight into the studio developing content for the 2nd Paisley Halloween Parade, a week touring schools in Westport, Ireland, developing content for the first Wesport Arts Festival Parade & their 40th Anniversary and now Mòd week! It's been a long and challenging journey since that one intense day with 5 meetings and a small part in a Gaelic play back at the Dunoon Mòd in 2012.. you can read all about Independent State of Happiness' journey via the three National Mòds since then here and some info about an exciting project that's part of the legacy from Paisley National Mòd in 2013 below!

Paisley Halloween Poster

 


September


It's Blas Festival time and Ariel is touring again for the festival and High Life Highland as part of the Community program! Yep, Blas is a blast and the feedback for the two new workshops, Big Gaelic Beasties and Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet has been fantastic - you can read some feedback and more about the workshops here and many thanks again to High Life Highland, Blas and Fèisean nan Gàidheal for supporting my work!

 

August

Apart from Stilt Performance and general Ringmaster-style work, the other main circus feather in my cap is the art of Balancing, or Equilibristics, to give it its fancier technical name. Maybe it's linked to having spent so many years on stilts, but it comes quite easily to me, which means lots of scope for taking it further. Here are some shots taken at Comar's Festimull, by Sarah Darling recently.

Actually, Balance is something I believe is pretty important - whether its a four-foot broadsword on the chin, striking a balance between the traditional and contemporary, the light and dark, child-appropriate content and that for adolescents and grown ups - it keeps life interesting with a broad perspective which enhances the experience of an artist in providing material for all. It's also great for developing focus and a sense of calm in challenging circumstances (when balancing swords, I mean..)

 Balancing 1           Balancing 3

 

       Balancing 2

August

Big things are afoot, as we move to the final stage of confirming and signing contracts for two major bilingual street theatre & spectacle projects, one working with Irish Gaelic in the West of Ireland first up and another with Gaelic closer to home in Scotland shortly after. As I've been working and training for the last 15 years to get to this point, it's a very exciting time and I'm deeply grateful for the skills, experience and enthusiasm of my collaborator and close friend, Calum Beaton, a core member of reknowned Scottish street theatre group, Mischief La Bas, for over ten years and one of the most experienced street theatre and spectacle practitioners in Scotland, and also, as far as we know, the only other such artist with Gaelic.

Exciting times indeed, with lots of planning and prep still to come, but first up, making contact with Festivals for bookings for November, Christmas & the New Year, and supporting Calum's & Theatre Found's Edinbrugh Fringe Show, 'Showbiz, Or, Repeat Until Funny', and preparing for my 2nd Blas Festival & 5th High Life Highland schools workshop tour across the Highlands at the beginning of September. 

 

June & July

So June and July have been very busy months, with workshops at two festivals in Scotland as well as for Irish-language Summer Schemes in Northern Ireland, and the work as part of Mull's first Festimull, organised by Comar Arts, Tobermory, being my absolute highlight! My work included well-attended bilingual Gaelic workshops in Circus Skills, Graffiti Art and Lantern-making and fantastic images by their professional photographic documenter, Sarah Darling, are below.

Mull 6Mull 1Mull 2

It was also really lovely too to see likely distant relative, Atty McKechnie's name up in An Tobar, the Tobermory Arts Centre, as one of those helping to establish it, with more stories kindly shared by his very close friend, Professor Sir Tom Devine & his wife, Catherine, afterwards. No better way to end my latest Mull Adventures than a trek to Shiaba in lovely sunshine, followed by Sir Tom's adamant affirmation that it is indeed 'the most significant site in the Western Highland'.

I should possibly also mention I've been developing a bit of a penchant for balancing of late, or Equilibristics, to call it by its fancier formal Circus name. An Tobar, where Comar is based, is a great venue, and since I brought along a couple of my favourite props.. .well, you can see what happened...

Balancing 1 1Balancing 2

I'm also still continuing with the development of Gaelic Rap, started last year through the initiation of the Inter-Gaelic Rap Development Project, kindly funded by Iomairt Cholm Cille/The Columba Initiative & Bòrd na Gàidhlig (Scots Gaelic Board). Now seeking Scottish-based collaborators, I not only had the privilege of performing at the Boom Bap Hip Hop Tent at Borders-based festival, Audio Soup, but also featuring as one of the artists highlighted by The National newspaper. You can read all about it here, and hopefully some wonderful collaborations will be forthcoming over the next few months.

I continue to work as a professional stilt performer though, and my very popular Rainbow Bubble Fairy character received some lovely images from a 1st birthday party I was asked to perform at recently. I'm delighted to be taking the Rainbow Fairy back to Northern Ireland again next week, where she has performed many times, before finalising contracts on my biggest and most exciting projects to date!

Ariel Killick - Rainbow Bubble Fairy 2Ariel Killick - Rainbow Bubble Fairy 1Ariel Killick - Rainbow Bubble Fairy 4

More Thank You letters...


I'm building up quite a collection of these now, but nonetheless, they're never expected and by no means come from every single project or workshop I give - which makes them all the more touching when they do come in. I know that they're often teacher-instigated, but the drawings and valient writing attempts never fail to put a final warm glow to a project. The letter where a child outright wishes me luck for the Festival was really sweet too - these letters never fail to be quite a beautiful and unexpected surprise, often as I head out on the long drive home after a project completion...

Community Artist in Residence at Coast Festival, Banff

Craobh nam Miann - Wishing Tree Project @ Coast Festival, Banff, Aberdeenshire... So for the last two weeks, I've been honoured to have been Community Artist in Residence at Coast Festival... I've never worked harder or longer hours, creating a nearly 2m tall 3D Wire Sculpted Wishing Tree whilst also delivering 6 Community Lantern-Making workshops. It has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my career to date, and an amazing affirmation of the relevance and value of Community Arts, as I worked with the SMART (Self-Management & Recovery Training) group, a Drug Addiction Recovery group, as well as members of the Banff Hillwalking Group, in literally putting their names in lights. Seeing the struggles of others and their determination to keep going has been both humbling and encouraging, and I'm deeply grateful to all the hard work of the Festival team in helping to make it happen. And the Banff community for engaging with the work by posting wishes on the tree, from small to great, hilarious to heartbreakingly poignant. I've also been honoured to have been part of assisting one woman's journey of growing self-confidence and making community links in her journey of recovering from addiction. Community Arts... powerful, beautiful and so worthwhile.. thank you to all my various tutors and inspirers on my own journey too...

Scottish Storytelling Centre!

Fantastic day at Scottish Storytelling Centre with totally sold out Gaelic Goldilocks event! Many thanks to the 30+ parents & children who came and especially to the centre for taking such lovely photos! Now to work on Big Gaelic Beasties & Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet for Blas Festival in September! Taing mhòr mhòr a-rithist do Arthur Cormack & High Life Highland airson an taic dhan obair agam - Deepest gratitude to Art MacCarmaig & High Life for their continued interest in and support for my work :)

May

Ariel's going to be at the great Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh this month!

The Real Goldilocks Tale!

Do you want to find out the real story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? What about the lesser-known Purplilocks, or Goldilock's other brothers and sisters with her on that fateful trip to the Bears' House?

Gaelic storyteller Ariel Killick leads an engaging, bilingual session through active and fun adventure, engaging youngsters with Gaelic vocabulary in the context of a familiar tale. Suitable for both young Gaelic-speakers and those with no Gaelic at all.

Tickets are available here and you can find out more & view images and feedback from the many sessions Ariel has delivered across the highlands for High Life Highland, Blas Festival & more, here.

This month Ariel is also honoured to be one of a number of Artists in Residence at Coast Festival in Banff, Aberdeenshire, where she will be working for two weeks working on a 3D Wire-sculptured lit commission, 'The Wishing Tree', which will become a participative sculptural installation within the Creative Hub in Banff Castle Grounds from the 23-24th of May. Ariel will also be providing community workshops, giving local people the opportunity to create their own Wicker-based lit sculptures, to the theme of 'Light' to mark 2015 as the 'International Year of Light' You can read more in the online programme here.

 

March 2015

March ended up being a much busier month than planned, and though I often receive hugely strongly positive feedback, this month's collective of workshop evaluation forms and feedback stands out, with teacher comments such as "Amazing afternoon of active learning"... "Ariel will increase the number of children who would be interested in developing their Gaelic language skills". With student comments such as "Sgoinneil, Amazing, Awesome, Epic" and my personal favourite "Actually really cool", I guess the Ardross Primary teacher might be right...
Ardross Primary - Feedback
Ariels Awesome Amazing Fantastic  Epic Workshop Feedback
Ariels More Awesome Brilliant Sgoinneil Actually Really Cool Workshop Feedback
January 2015


What a year 2014 was! I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work on many wonderful projects this year, starting with another fantastic circus skills, storytelling & drama workshops tour of Highlands schools. These workshops were toured again to almost every primary school on Skye during the brilliant Blas Festival in September and received consistently excellent feedback. Then it was straight into a very busy Fèis schedule, working with the fantastic children & young people of Fèis an Earraich to produce some really great quality Grafitti artwork for a massive Fèis banner, which you have a look at here. More work for the John Muir Award Scheme & Comunn na Gàidhlig came up, featuring Wicker-Based Lantern-Making, working with teenagers in six areas acround Scotland.

Then came June, and a Bilingual Circus Skills & Drama residency at Edinbarnet Primary, working with all classes from P4 up, developing bilingual circus-skill based sketches, as well as after-club lantern-making workshops. The feedback was so positive and encouraging, I've included it here. Then, straight into the first of my 2 Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival Gaelic Street Theatre projects, working with Jillibalu Barns-Riley, a native speaker of Australian Aborginal language, Djabugai and 2nd year BA student at the prestigious National Institute of Circus Arts, Australia, on the Corroborree Festival for the Royal Botanic Gardens. We toured three of their venues around Scotland and you can read a bit more about the project here. Straight after that, it was the long-awaited Great Gaelic Ferries project for Glasgow Festival 2014, leading two teams of young Gaelic-speaking performers and touring over ten days at various Queen's Baton Relay, Glasgow Green & Merchant City venues. It was a massive project and you can read about it further down this News page in July. Funnily enough, my mother also lives on the Gold Coast, venue of the next Commonwealth Games in 2018. Although a meeting wasn't possible over the Crhristmas period, it's something I'll definitely be working on...

I thought August might be a bit quieter, but it turned out to steadily get busier, leading up to the Blas schools tour and getting ready for the Royal National Mòd. A chance meeting at a random stilt gig led to me meeting one of Scotland's most experienced street theatre performers, Calum Beaton - with both of his parents being native Gaelic-speakers from North Skye, we hit it off immediately and forged a fantastic working relationship through our series of street theatre and spectacle engagements at the Mòd. Calum is a fantastic performer and you can see some images of us working together at the Pop Up Gaelic Café at the 2014 National Mòd here. Speaking of the Mòd, a Paisley Mòd Legacy Halloween Parade project came straight after, working with the energetic teenagers of PACE Youth Theatre. The way they engaged with the stiltwalking, costume-making and makeup training was one of my highlights of the year, only topped by how spectacularly well they did with their collaboratively-devised Gaelic work for the parade. They had an absolute ball as well and you can read more about the benefits of stiltwalking training for young people here. This parade, and the Christmas parade later in the year in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, also featured lantern-making workshops, and it was great to get working on some pre-parade community participative content development, with the kids, teachers and parents being delighted with the results.

Finally, the real standout project for the year turned out to be the Inter-Gaelic Rap Development Project, produced as a result of a once-off short collaboration set up two years ago with Pocket Circus. Working with two of Ireland's leading Irish-language Rappers, Bubba Shakespeare and GMC, as well as the seriously talented Ruairidh Greumach of Gaelic electronic outfit, Niteworks, it was a bit of a life-changing moment. You can hear two of the tracks produced here and have a look at the performance at the National Gaelic Awards that followed shortly thereafter. Since it was a Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Colmcille-funded project, I was only too happy to be asked to perform the bilingual track 'Set Yourself Free', but... it was my very first performance of that kind on a stage in front of a massive hall of about two hundred or more people. I survived the experience and well.. I've been able to watch the recording at least once without wanting to hide... I'm looking to get some more performance experience over the coming year and hoping to bring Bubba and GMC over to Scotland to develop some more work together... so watch this space!

December

Well it's been a busy time already with the Downpatrick Christmas Lantern-Making & Parade project just finished in Northern Ireland. Down District Council were the lovely people who once decscribed me in print as 'One of Ireland's leading Stilt Performers', so it was nice to return after three years and take not only Araya but deliver a series of community engagement workshops as well. You can see a few images from the project below and read more about lantern-making as part of street spectacle work here.

I also got a chance to document my other Christmas stilt character, Mrs Christmas, in action at the wonderful Belfast Christmas Market with fantastic Northern Irish photographer, Barry Wright. It was a stunning venue and you can seen more of the images and find out about my Chrsitmas characters here.

Mrs Christmas

Late November...

A fantastic image just received recently from the Paisley Mòd Legacy Halloween Parade Project 2014 with the outstanding cast from PACE Youth Theatre. The image captures perfectly their energy, spirit and just how much both they enjoyed the project and were a pleasure for me to work with. As my third time working with teeenagers in this age group, it was truly a delight from beginning to end and incredibly reaffiriming of the benefits of such work both for social engagement & cohesion and of stiltwalking training as a metaphor for growth and self-confidence. An amazing and unforgettable project I hope to repeat and develop with groups around the country, both Gaelic and non-Gaelic speaking, such as this group, who embraced the bilingual Gaelic aspect of the project with an encouraging enthusiasm I will simply never forget.

Independent State of Happiness & PACE Halloween Stilters

November

After nearly two years, the wonderful Inter-Gaelic Rap Project finally came to fruition in Cork, taking myself and the wonderful Ruairidh Greumach, drummer from reknowned Gaelic electronic band Niteworks, and a Gaelic-language tutor and poet in his own right, to Cork, Ireland, to work with the utterly amazing GMC & Bubba Shakespeare, two of Ireland's leading Irish-language rappers.

The project was such a success, Ariel performed one of the songs written, bilingual rap 'Set Yourself Free' at the prestigous National Gaelic Awards at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow, and was  reviewed by the Daily Record as giving a 'Knockout Performance' the following Friday, with this lovely image of Ariel appearing in the paper:

Daily Record Ariel Killick - "Knockout Performance"

With a lot of material written and recorded in just four days, it's vastly surpassed even my wildest dreams. Ariel is now looking to get the boys over to Scotland to work on a full album next year, so lookout for Crowdfunder funding details coming in the months ahead. A fantastic and highly-regarded producer & composer has also contacted Ariel and is interested in producing the album, which is some truly exciting news! However for a taste of what we got up to whilst our work gets the GMC mixing treatment prior to release, here is Bubba Shakespeare and the techno production genius that is Garry MacCarthy, with one of their very own tunes!

 Towards the end of 2015, I'll also be looking to take out Bilingual and Gaelic Rap Workshops to schools and communities in Scotland, so if you're interested, you're most welcome to get in touch! Ariel is also focussing on the teaching of rap in Gaelic as part of her Approaches to Critical Artistry module for her Master's Degree in Gaelic Arts (Teaching & Learning) at the Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow, in conjunction with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

 

November

What a busy time November's turned out to be! Amongst all my other projects came a very fruiful and constructive exchange trip to Northern Ireland and Donegal with the amazing CeangalG programme, an EU-funded iniative under the INTERREG IVA programme to help promote collaboration between speakers of Scots and Irish Gaelic and develop the 'Greater Gaeltacht' between the two countries. It meant two days for me travelling with the friendly Scottish delegation from SEALL & Sleat Community Trust to visit the amazing Cultúrlann in Belfast, the Turas centre in East Belfast and An Carn in Carntogher. It was a fantastic opportunity I'm truly grateful for and which gave the opportunity to develop constructive business partnerships with our respective Gaelic languages at the core. Very much looking forward to collaborating with at least two of these partners next year in delivering more innovative Gaelic and Irish-language contemporary arts services! A picture taken in An Chultúrlann of the exchange group members from Scotland (Glasgow & Skye), Belfast & Donegal is below.CeangalG Exchange Trip Members - November 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

October - Halloween!

The National Mòd may be over, but an exciting new legacy project from last year's highly successful Paisley National Mòd has just begun!

Pace Stilters

Ariel performed at the opening of last year's Opening Procession for the Paisley National Mòd, and is delighted to be now working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council to deliver a exciting series of bilingual Gaelic workshops in Stiltwalking, Lantern-Making and Halloween Storytelling & Drama to nearly 300 children and young people from the Renfrewshire area.

 

Groups involved include PACE Youth Theatre, St Charles Primary School & from the Tannahill Community Centre, culminating in a brand new Halloween Parade through Paisley City Centre from the Museum to Abbey Close on Halloween night, featuring magical live music & lighting spectacular from the Spark! drumming troupe.


Paisley Halloween Parade

 

October - Mòd Week!

What a week the Mòd Fringe was! While I could easily wallpaper two houses with the amount of press clippings I garned over my 12 years in Ireland with my work, it's fair to say neither my solo stilt performance work or the attendant press coverage has come anywhere as quickly in Scotland. Until now. With some 9 images of my work appearing in Scottish newspapers over Mòd Week (that I know of), including some 3 front pages (WHFP Front Page & two front pages of weekend supplements), and culminating in a 3 page Sunday Herald article by An Comunn Gàidhealach Chief Executive, John Morrison, where I get mentioned alongside the likes of Julie Fowlis, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers & current Gaelic Ambassador of the Year, BBC Alba presenter, Kirsteen MacDonald, things definitely feel different. I owe incredible thanks to the vision, kindness & openess of An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Inverness Local Organising Committee, Fringe Director, Bob Kenyon, my Fire Prop Handlers Dale Mawhinney & Calum Beaton, and again Calum Beaton & Anndra MacFhearghais for being fantastic actors to work with on this incredible and groundbreaking project. And 'Blowing the Horn for Gaelic Culture'? Very, many thanks to the interest from local newspapers in my work, and for ocassionally making me laugh with joy. It's been an incredibly, sometimes brutally tough time surviving largely on my own here in Scotland as things definitely didn't go to plan and I had to adapt very quickly to try to survive in what was essentially a totally new country with most of my Scottish family being pretty much all long dead, but this week has given me both great cheer, hope, and no small amount of confidence and reassurance of the value of my work and the esteem in which it is held. Thank you...

Cover of Press & Jounal, Weekend Supplement, 16.10.14

Cover of Press & Journal 'Weekend' Supplement

 

 Cover of West Highland Free Press, 17.10.14

West Highland Free Press Front Page 17.10.14

 Selected other press clippings:

There was also some pretty amazing shots taken of my Stilt Fire work as part of the Royal National Mòd Opening Procession by my wonderful Fire Prop Handler, Dale Mawhinney..

b Ealain Teine bho Ariel Killick

c Ealain Teine bho Ariel Killick

For more great images of my fire work as photographed by Dale Mawhinney, please click on my main stilt page here.

8th October

Independent State of Happiness proudly presents its program of Bilingual Gaelic Street Theatre, Circus & more at the Royal National Mòd & Inverness Street Theatre Festival! I am deeply grateful to An Comann Gàidhealach & all its sponsors for their support for professional Gaelic street theatre, spectacle & circus and look forward to meeting all those who've worked so hard to bring these great events to Inverness this year.

Independent State of Happiness Events Programme @ Royal National Mòd & Inverness Street Theatre Festival 2014
September
The Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival's over & after a wee break, it's off to deliver some 36 workshops in ten schools across the Highlands and Skye... it could only be the fantastic Blas Festival!
July 2014

The Great Gaelic Ferries Crew is busy practising our lines & songs because we set sail THIS WEEKEND! You can check out our full performance schedule below & we look forward to welcoming you on board! Part of Festival 2014 & the Merchant City Festival at Festival 2014... and just below is where you can find us...!

Independent State of Happiness BW0001

Sunday 20th July - Arrival of Queens Baton in Glasgow
Doulton Fountain @ People's Palace 6.45am - 7.30am
Barrowland Park 8 - 9am(ish)
Garrowhill Community Centre (Easterhouse) 12 - 4pm

Monday 21st July - Arrival of Queens Baton in Glasgow
Glasgow Gaelic School 8.00 – 10am
Kibble Palace, Botanic Gardens 1.30 – 2.30pm
Victoria Park 3.30 - 4.30pm

Tuesday 22nd July - Arrival of Queens Baton in Glasgow
Govanhill Library 9.30 – 11.30
Queen's Park 3.30 – 4.30

Merchant City Festival, Grounded Exhibition Opening 5-6pm

Thursday 24th July
Glasgow Green 2-3pm, 4-5pm, finish 7pm
Team B
Riverside Walkway Broomielaw (btwn SECC & Central Stn) 2-7pm

Friday 25th July
Riverside Walkway Broomielaw 11-4pm

Saturday 26th July
Team A
Merchant City Festival, Trongate to King St, 11-4pm
Team B
Riverside Walkway Broomielaw 2-7pm

Sunday 27th July
Team A
Merchant City Festival, Trongate to King St, 11-4pm
Team B
Riverside Walkway Broomielaw 1-6pm

Monday 28th July
Team A
Riverside Walkway Broomielaw 3-7pm
Team B
Glasgow Green 10.30-11.30, 1-3pm, 4-5pm, finish 7pm

Thursday 31st July
Team A
Merchant City Festival, Trongate to King St, 12-5pm
Team B
Riverside Walkway Broomielaw 2-6pm

Friday 1st August
Team A
Merchant City Festival, Trongate to King St, 11-5pm
Team B
Glasgow Green 1-6pm

Saturday 2nd August
Riverside Walkway Broomielaw 2-7pm

 

June 2014

Ariel & her Forest Nymph character were delighted to be a central part of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Corroborree Festival, in conjunction with Festival 2014 as part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival, and the first of Ariel's two Gaelic-language projects involved in the nationwide festival. Working with Jillibalu Barns-Riley, a native speaker of Australian Aborginal language, Djabugai and 2nd year BA student at the prestigious National Institute of Circus Arts, Australia, the pair collaborated over a two week period, developing a scripted piece of street theatre introducing themselves, their respective histories and languages, which was performed at three RBGE gardens around Scotland.



April 2014


Festival 2014 Gaelic Street Theatre Casting & Development Workshop

12-4pm, Sunday 27th of April, Tramway, Glasgow


Confident Gaelic-speaking performers aged 16+ and comfortable with improvisation, are sought for paid Gaelic and bilingual street theatre performances during this year's Festival 2014 including Merchant City Festival. Festival 2014 is the citywide celebrations alongside the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Performers will work in two mobile teams interacting directly with the public and animating selected routes in and around the Merchant City Festival and Commonwealth Games event zones. Seven performers will be selected from the Casting & Development Workshop on Sunday, the 27th of April, for this Glasgow-based work, however a larger pool of Gaelic-speaking performers interested in street theatre will also be sought from among those attending the workshop for a number of potential future projects throughout Scotland.

Rehearsal/Development Dates: 9th to 11th of July @Tramway, Glasgow

GlasgowLife/GGFA Performer Induction/Info meeting: 2pm, Sunday, 11th of May - This will include details of venue for rehearsals in July.

Performance Dates: Selected dates between 20th of July and 3rd of August. (max 10 full days in total)

Total Performer Project Fee: £1,000

Please email an updated CV and a recent image to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm Friday the 18th of April. Those without professional acting experience are also encouraged to apply.

Great Gaelic Ferries is Merchant City Festival/Glasgow Life commission and co-production between Independent State of Happiness and SiCO Productions. This project is lead by Ariel Killick, Artistic Director, in collaboration with Liz Carruthers, Associate Director.

www.facebook.com/independentstateofhappiness


 

March 2014
Other than the sight of a warm & comfy bed, not much can beat arriving back from work & meetings in Inverness at one in the morning to find nearly 30 more Thank You letters from the children of Millbank Primary for Sìne's Goldilocks Storytelling & Drama sessions. Since they're all so wonderfully cute and I've finally figured out how to show a few of them here, a wee selection is below. Things like these make the tough journey of surviving as a Gaelic-language artist all the more worth it...

February 2014

Such a lovely surprise from the P1-4 Gaelic class in one of the schools on my latest Highlands workshops tour – 17 handwritten thank you letters (with pictures) from the entire class after my Gaelic Goldilocks storytelling and drama session. I was very chuffed... and of course the class received a very special sparkly letter from Sheena herself as well..! (Unfortunately my website isn't co-operating and I can't show them here for some reason...) Off now to the National Theatre of Scotland's Gaelic Writers' Residency for a week in the Highlands... interesting times!

January 2014

Just back from some amazing international Gaelic talent development and skill sharing in Manhattan, New York - so much learned and so inspiring! I received some great news while training as well - on foot of the runaway success of the Gaelic and Bilingual Circus Skills & Creative Storymaking workshops tour of the Highlands last October - November and the high demand for the workshops, I've been rebooked to tour Highland schools from mid January to the end of the month! Such a great and encouraging start to the New Year, which is looking to be a busy one with potentially two Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival Projects, three international collaborative projects, environment-themed wicker sculpting projects in six regions of Scotland, as well as further schools and community workshops and week-long engagements. I'm so looking forward to working with all these many groups and individuals - here's to a great 2014 for one and all!

November 2013

Phew! Coming out of the busiest 8 weeks of my life, delivering some 70 workshops in Gaelic and bilingual circus skills, Halloween Storymaking and drama in 38 schools across Scotland and Ireland... 25 performances for Hopscotch's touring Viking show, a major festival in the West of Ireland, two festivals for my Gaelic Street Theatre troupe in Belfast, more stilt performance at the Royal National Mod and Halloween Fireworks Funday, intense networking at two national conferences, more meetings and proposal development and now suddenly it's not only Snow Fairy time... but the very exciting National Gaelic Awards with the Daily Record and Bòrd na Gàidhlig... thank you so much to all those who have supported me this year and the lovely people I've been meeting at Conferences... have to run now... a snow fairy wing to light up for today!


October 2013

Circus Skill workshops at the Royal National Mod in the Paisley Express and so much positive feedback on my Halloween and Circus Skills Workshops from my Highlands schools tour! If you right click on the first image, select 'View Image' and then use the magnifying function, you can read all of the teacher and student feedback from the evaluation forms....

September 2013

Incredibly busy at the moment, touring with a great theatre company, performing at the Westport Arts Festival in Ireland and taking Gaelic street theatre to Belfast for two events 5-6th October, with circus skill workshops coming up at the Royal Gaelic Mod in Paisley, Scotland very soon!

 

June 2013

Delighted to have just finalised travel arrangements for repeat bookings for the Rainbow Bubble Fairy for two summer events in Northern Ireland! Even though it's a bit more expensive to book my characters in Ireland and Northern Ireland now since I relocated to Glasgow, it's a great sign of the respect for my work held by Event Managers and a welcome boost in confidence during these challenging times. If you'd like to book the Rainbow Bubble Fairy for your event, please contact me on the contact details page below – and in the meantime, here's what some previous clients have had to say about the Rainbow Bubble Fairy...

"Just a note to say thank you for providing your services at the Teddy Bears Picnic, we have had a lot of positive feed back about your performance from both our own staff and those attending the event. It was a pleasure to work with you and I hope to see you again soon!"

Danielle, Council Events Officer, N.I


"I know the Rainbow Bubble Fairy is always welcome in the park and brings a very special piece of magic with her".
Caroline, Council Events Officer, N.I

 

May 2013

In some really exciting news, this week see the launch of the world's first professional Scots-Gaelic Street Theatre Collective sònaSonas in Glasgow! As founding Director and Manager, I am honoured and privileged to have a truly fantastic group of talented and experienced Gaelic-speaking performers on board and you can find out more about us at our website http://www.sonasonas.co.uk/Why not follow us at our Facebook page as well at https://www.facebook.com/sonasonas.sraide and share with friends?

We'll be hitting the streets of Glasgow this Thursday the 23rd of May on Buchanan Street, so if you're about, we hope to see you there! We'll be performing at the Glasgow Mela on the 15th of June and the Glasgow Merchant City Arts Festival over the last weekend in July as well with further performances and some exciting plans in the pipeline. sònaSonas is very grateful for the support provided via the Gaelic Drama Network Scheme through Creative Scotland, Bord na Gàidhlig, An Lòchran, Glasgow's Gaelic Arts Centre, and Glasgow Life.

Also,this Saturday evening, I'll be performing at the Happyness Inverness Comedy Festival as part of the Gaelic New StandUp Comedy Talent, at 6pm in Madhatters, Hootenanny's, Inverness. More info: http://happy-ness.co.uk/events/gaelic-new-talent-2/

It's looking to be a busy summer indeed as I'll also be delivering Trilingual Circus Skill workshops (Irish, English & Scots Gaelic) in Donegal in July with my two Irish-speaking circus partners Stephen and Con – you can read more about our work here: http://www.independentstateofhappiness.com/index.php/en/workshops/bilingual-circus-skills-workshops


Straight after that, I'll be heading southwards to develop Inter-Gaelic Rap with two of Ireland's best Irish-language rappers, Bubba Shakespeare and GMC - why not have a look at their work here? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3KNHaD-1J0

I'll also be heading down to Wales in June to work on my Welsh and juggling skills in preparation for the Celtic Neighbours conference at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland's national Gaelic college, later that month. I'll be continuing developing my acrobatic skills as well after my return to the artform on foot of a mini-documentary Northern Visions, Northern Ireland's leading community television organisation, created with me last December and only recently released - you can view it here: http://vimeo.com/62417251


Despite all this, I'll still have time for performance work around Scotland and Ireland if you'd like to book some high-quality stilt performance work for your festival, community or family day events, so you're welcome to contact me with any queries via my contact page below!

February 2013
So after nearly two years work, my bilingual (Scots Gaelic/English) circus-theatre show, An Gille agus Maighstir Tìm/Boy and Mr Time has finally reached the stage of funding applications and scheduling for a prospective national tour of communities and schools in Scotland later this year, with some truly fantastic partners.

While we wait for funding decision so we can confirm everything, here are some of the many reviews, largely from theatre and circus professionals, on the script for An Gille agus Maighstir Tìm/Boy and Mr Time:

"The integration of circus works well, a very well written and engaging story, would work, both visually and narratively, on stage." Paul Mc Eneaney, Artistic Director, Cahoots NI, Northern Ireland's premier childrens' theatre company.

"Totally unique, math dhà-rìreabh (excellent), very solid, unlike anything done in Gaelic before, thumbs up!"
Caitriona Lexy-Campbell, Gaelic Artist in Residence, National Theatre of Scotland

"Excellent, I'd really like to see it performed!"
Lis Carruthers, Gaelic Drama Consultant for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (Scotland's National Gaelic College) M.A. in Drama Programme

"Hugely exciting potential for staging, unique and engaging experience for audience, wonderful" - Raymond Keane, Artistic Director, Barabbas Theatre Company, reknowned Irish company, primary exponent of theatre of clown and producers of Circus / Tumblecircus collaboration.

"Brilliant, unique, unlike anything I've ever seen before, definitely worth pursuing" - Hanna Slättne, Literary Manager and Dramaturg, Tinderbox Theatre, Northern Ireland's premier new writing company.

"Unique, would be an exciting and viable production, a fascinating mix of physical and text based performance" - John Ashton, Former Managing Director, Macnas, Ireland's world-reknowned street theatre company.

"Fantastic, I love it! " – Matt Yates, Former Director of Education and Training at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and Director of Western Australian Circus Festival.

"Wow, I'd love to see it on stage" – Chief Executive of An Droichead Irish-language Arts Centre & Director of Irish-language Writers' Group

"Unique and inventive" - Emily DeDakis, Literary Manager & Dramaturg, Accidental Theatre, Belfast

"Brilliant", "Really funny" – Castlereagh Writers' Group, N.I.

"Wow, brilliant, really brilliant, I'd say it'd be a lot of fun to watch"– my mum...

 

January 2013
So it's been a long time since my last update and so much has happened, I've had no time until now to keep up news! So the big news is I've relocated to Scotland to continue work started last year on developing Scots Gaelic circus and street theatre! My bilingual Circus Theatre play 'An Gille agus Maighistir Tìm'/Boy and Mr Time is scheduled for a national tour of Scottish schools and festivals later this year with some truly amazing partners, and there are many other exciting plans afoot. I've always wanted to be fluent in Scots Gaelic, as my grandmother's family (nee MacKechnie) came out to Australia for the Goldrush during the Highland Clearances from the Isle of Mull in the 1840's, so it's been truly wonderful to finally realise this rather heartfelt ambition.

But what about all my years in Ireland and work with the Irish language? I'm not leaving Irish by any means, and have been working on a series of developing bilingual Irish/Scots Gaelic circus skills workshops, and a couple of other exciting things as well! I'm also continuing my freelance work as a professional translator into Irish between my creative work, and am of course, still available for performance work and workshops in Irish and English in Ireland as well. Here's to what looks like a fascinating and exciting 2013!

I also have a new video compiling my work as a Performer and Workshop Facilitator/Theatre Director, as well as client feedback you can view here: http://youtu.be/cWsDIdW040U
August 2012

It's been another incredibly busy time with Gráinne Mhór's very successful first international festival outing at the Glasgow Merchant City Arts Festival, leading to her first appearance on BBC Alba / Scots Gaelic TV news! The crowd response to this fully bilingual walkabout act was fantastic with lots of child-friendly dueling and smiles. Unfortunately Gráinne left without pillaging any valuables from anybody..(she did get offered a sugar banana from someone's pick and mix though..) Other exciting news is that two new characters are coming out in early September! Watch this space....

 

July 2012

Síona Scéalaí / Sheena Storyteller gets her first newspaper writeup!

Coalisland Post

Creative close to Coalisland Irish-language book club

July 10, 2012.

Coalisland Library was transformed into a magical world of witches, singing animals, ships and spells as this year’s Irish language children’s book club drew to a close for the summer.

Book club Léigh Leat, or “read on”, gives children from local Irish-medium schools the chance to read and interact with a variety of Irish books.

Irish-language performance artist Ariel Killick, otherwise known as Síona Scéalaí, Sheena the storyteller, encouraged the youngsters to create their own tales and bring them to life in a fun and imaginative way.

Chairs were transformed into icebergs and children adopted their character’s roles as they performed their stories during the club’s final meeting before the summer break.

Léigh Leat, which takes place fortnightly in Coalisland Library, has divided the children into two age groups this year due to its growing membership.

 

June 2012


Possibly one of the nicest bits of feedback I've ever received! From Dan Gordon, the scriptwriter for the Pat and Plain Project's "She was alright when she left us" drama in schools plays, after working with me on one of the project workshops.

“You are an amazing force of nature in its purest form – the kids are very lucky to have such a terrific role model in their midst. Sometimes I’ve been lucky enough meet people who no matter what language they speak can communicate with anyone – you’re one of them.”

 

May 2012


My very first booking for a professional gig in Scots Gaelic! So excited about taking Gráinne Mhór to Glasgow for a festival in late July - I've been working very hard on my Scots Gaelic so I'm really looking forward to using it! Now just to think of how I can adapt Gráinne Mhaol's patter to more suited to a Scottish context...suggestions on a postcard!

As I'm insanely busy at the moment, the Scots Gaelic version of my website is going to be translated by a very good friend and professional translator, Steafan Risnie, and I hope the site will be ready by late May.

Part of the reason I'm insanely busy is because I've started work on the fabulous 'Pat and Plain' project for the Lyric Theatre, which is in partnership with the Ulster Scots Agency and Foras na Gaeilge. I'm the mentor for a small Irish-language school in Belfast in their production of Dan Gordon's Titanic-themed play 'Bhí sí ceart go leor nuair a d'fhág sí muid / She was alright when she left us'. My first workshop with the P7 children of the school last week was utterly amazing, they achieved an awful lot, even surprising their teachers, and I'm so looking forward to taking this journey with them.

 

April 2012

 

It's alway great to get good feedback from a client, and it's not often I'm stunned, but sometimes it's nice to overhear what clients and bookers really think..(Booker) "I've been dying to use her for ages, I'd say she's brilliant!" (Onsite Manager) "She is, she's fantastic!"

Thanks to the lovely Dublin-based Promotions Agency for letting me know how happy they were with my work as the Rainbow Bubble Fairy at their event, and if you've been dying to use me for ages, just get in touch!

February 2012

Welcome to my updated website! It's been a long time coming – here you will find comprehensive information on all my work in the arts as well as ideas for your event or workshop. This month I'm having fun with primary school children in Tyrone with Bilingual Storytelling/Storymaking workshops as Síona Scéalaí (Sheena Storyteller). It's always lovely to hear teachers saying 'even they enjoyed themselves!'

 

 

 

                        Festival 2014 Gaelic Street Theatre Casting & Development Workshop

12-4pm, Sunday 27th of April, Tramway, Glasgow

Confident Gaelic-speaking performers aged 16+ and comfortable with improvisation, are sought for paid Gaelic and bilingual street theatre performances during this year’s Festival 2014 including Merchant City Festival. Festival 2014 is the citywide celebrations alongside the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow . Performers will work in two mobile teams interacting directly with the public and animating selected routes in and around the Merchant City Festival and Commonwealth Games event zones. Seven performers will be selected from the Casting & Development Workshop on Sunday, the 27th of April, for this Glasgow-based work, however a larger pool of Gaelic-speaking performers interested in street theatre will also be sought from among those attending the workshop for a number of potential future projects throughout Scotland.

Rehearsal/Development Dates: 9th to 11th of July @Tramway, Glasgow

GlasgowLife/GGFA Performer Induction/Info meeting: 2pm, Sunday, 11th of May - This will include details of venue for rehearsals in July.

Performance Dates: selected dates between 20th of July and 3rd of August. (max 10 full days in total)

Total Performer Project Fee: £1,000

Please email an updated CV and recent headshots/photographs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm Wednesday the 9th of April.

Great Gaelic Ferries is Merchant City Festival/Glasgow Life commission and co-production between Independent State of Happiness and SiCO Productions. This project is lead by Ariel Killick, Artistic Director, in collaboration with Liz Carruthers, Associate Director.

                                                      

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I am available to perform at your event, deliver workshops or collaborate in event development anywhere in Ireland or Scotland.
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