Since 2008 IMEALL has been chronicling cultural life in Ireland by getting up close and personal with our leading artists in all corners of the country. Shot on location, IMEALL provides a wonderful insight into the work of our arts practitioners and with thoughtful questions from our team of artist-reporters we catch a glimpse of the creative magic that is our nation’s greatest strength.
Looking back through Imeall it is possible to trace the cultural and artistic map of Ireland through our features. We have explored every avenue of Art in Ireland from galleries to obscure studios, from caves to prisons. Wherever the creative process flourishes our intrepid reporters follow.
It has been noted that Ireland’s reputation as an artistic powerhouse is the cornerstone of our cultural diplomacy on the world stage and IMEALL has witnessed that global reaction to our unique facility for creative expression.
From Ireland’s contribution to EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, to the highlights of Culture Ireland’s Imagine Ireland programme that has wowed US audiences in 2011, IMEALL has captured the story of Ireland as it has been presented on major cultural platforms all over the world.
One of the positive legacies of recent years is the abundance of arts centres all over the country and IMEALL has visited them all to witness the nationwide vibrancy and interest in the arts. But we are not solely confined to public spaces and often a more intimate portrait of an artist will take place in their own private space.
Artist Robert Ballagh opened the doors of his studio to allow IMEALL see the great man at work, while Colum McCann strolled on Sandymount strand with poet and IMEALL reporter Theo Dorgan and gave his most personal interview to date.
Among the many other illustrious guests who have been featured on IMEALL are Colm Tóibín, The Frames, Anne Enright, Sinéad O’ Connor, Colm Meaney, Enda Walsh, Mick O’Dea, Niall Tóibín, Villagers, Roddy Doyle, Dara O’ Brien, Cillian Murphy, Mick Flannery and Liam Ó Maonlaí.
However many of our interviews caught the stars in their ascent. When we look back now at interviews with Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen, we never envisaged the heights that partnership would take the artists, the same could be said for many of Ireland’s up and coming stars.
Of course the beauty of Imeall is often found away from the glare of our biggest stars and in the arts initiatives and movements that enrich the lives of people around the country, be that with inmates in Mountjoy Prison or with elderly people in rural Mayo who have discovered a passion for art later in life.
IMEALL, therefore, has captured, and continues to capture, the extensive sweep of the Irish arts world in a way no other television programme has managed.