Sunday, November 29, 2015


Margaret Hickey at the Tosnú studio

Group 8 had a wonderful night on Friday night at Margaret Hickey's reading at our very first Art and Words talk. Margaret read from her book Irish Days, as well as from her poetry and her wonderful book-in-progress which is a history of Irish food.

The studio at Tosnú was packed and everyone enjoyed perusing and buying before and after in the re-launched art and craft gallery.

Local artist and singer Andrew Duke

Tosnú Art and Craft Gallery will be open 10 to 6, Monday to Friday from now on.

Zara Little-Campbell of Tosnú

Friday, November 20, 2015


Group 8 member Úna Spain will give a talk on her arts practice on Monday Nov 23rd, @ 8pm in Gullanes Hotel.

Úna graduated from GMIT in 1997 with a Diploma in Art & Design and was awarded an Honours Degree in Photography from DIT in 2009. She also holds an MA in Contemporary Art Practice and Media. Her most recent body of work consists of photography, Super 8 film and a limited edition artists book collectively entitled Marking Time which looked at three ‘erstwhile’ sites in Ballinasloe and people formerly associated with them. The critic Aidan Dunne described this work as a ‘brilliant, composite insight into the social and psychological reality of change on a local scale in Ireland’ (Irish Times, June 17, 2009). Úna has exhibited at Tulca, The Kenny Gallery and The Gallery of Photography in Dublin.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Margaret Hickey to Read at new Art & Words Series

Author Margaret Hickey

Portumna-based writer Margaret Hickey is the first guest at artist collective Group 8’s new Art & Words series of talks in Ballinasloe. She will appear at Tosnú Art & Craft Gallery’s studio in Brackernagh, Ballinasloe, on Friday November 27th at 7.30pm. Admission is free. Tosnú will be open on the night, selling hand-crafted Christmas gifts and cards. Beautiful soaps, candles, cushions, knitwear, wood-turned boxes, children's wall art, textiles, clothing, books etc. Refreshments will be served.

Before Margaret Hickey moved to Ireland fifteen years, she worked as editor of a literary travel magazine and as a freelance writer in London. Prior to that she taught at a school for delinquent boys in Edinburgh and at the university in Paris. In 2001 Kyle Cathie, her UK publisher, brought out Irish Days, a collection of oral histories narrated by older people from different walks of life in Ireland.

Margaret writes short fiction and poetry, and mentors a creative writing group. Her current project, a social history of Ireland seen through the prism of food and drink, is near completion. In addition, she is Vice-director of Shorelines Arts festival in Portumna.

Group 8 is delighted to welcome a writer of Margaret Hickey’s calibre as our inaugural guest speaker. We promise a magical night of words, candlelight, quality crafts, tea, cake and lively discussion. Everyone is welcome!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Writer Margaret Hickey will be the first guest in our new Art & Words Talks series on 27th November at Tosnú (more to follow!). Meanwhile, Margaret is giving a poetry workshop in Loughrea, at the Bafffle Festival, this Saturday at 11am. Contact Victoria Staunton on 087 9020523 to book your place.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Batik: Garbally House - Fiona Ormsby
After a hiatus, due to a busy membership, Group 8 are back. We are hatching plans for the coming year. For now keep the 27th November 2015 free for a night of literature and cake in The Studio at Tosnú Art and Craft Gallery, Brackernagh, Ballinasloe. 7.30pm. Free admission!