Des Kenny Reviews Any Observer by Jason Deans

July 8, 2016

04 July 2016 - Our Arty Blogger is back! Des Kenny Reviews Jason Deans 'Any Observer' ... 

Decay and impermanence are part of the natural order of existence and calculating the rate of dissolution and comprehending the process can prevent disaster. In 2008 the economic system collapsed because it expanded beyond its stable structure and like a bubble growing too big to contain itself it burst. The fall out of this disaster in both political and social terms have not receded beyond an unseen horizon of forgotten history but remains layered within touching distance throughout society.

Jason Deans' exhibition in the Ground Floor Gallery in Draiocht endeavours to understand and invoke the reality of our economic collapse. The sculptural forms act like props on a stage where choreographed decomposition is performed with theatrical pathos.

Gathered in a corner a number of pillars of various sizes bound together by a common fate, teeter on the edge of collapse. They have no binding agent to guard against crumbling decay. Irrepressible gravity will tug on them remorselessly and they will disintegrate becoming a mound of lustreless sand. The triumphant pillars of society will fall shapelessly down into a shameless state of mortal loss, created by their own hubris.

This theme exploring the dissolution of the building industry, where poor regularity inspections were a common practice, is examined in the piece Poor Foundation. Small bricks constructed with sand and cement seems to cling with geometric certainty to a corner of the gallery. The broad base holding up the pyramid form stands passively static but recent history informs us that the use of pyrite as a foundation material has caused great cracks to materialise in buildings. Already a straight edge begins to curve as the bricks in this sculpture move incrementally out of alignment reflecting the reality of the valueless homes people possess with such structural damage.

A work called Comes Tumbling Down consists of roughly moulded slabs of clay removed from barren Nama construction sites. It appears strong and assured but surrounding its base are great clods of earth which have fallen from the structure. The form is unstable, eroding before the viewer and the piece becomes a meditation on the overreaching and dysfunctional thinking of a privileged few during the Celtic Tiger era.

A drawing of electrical pylons copied from engineering plans appears to plot a course of conviction against the tide of uncertainty which echoes the arrested fragile psychological mood of the nation. On closer inspection the drawings are made with chalk, an unstable substance, whereas it’s normal for ink to be utilised. There is also hesitancy in their execution; lines waver outside their edges and at times are drawn loosely by hand instead of using mechanical drawing instruments. There are no regulators to inspect accurate plans so why produce them to the definitive standard required. Based on these drawing two electrical pylons are fabricated with elder wood. This is a soft wood that grows like a weed on empty construction sites. It has no monetary value since it cannot be utilised for kindling or making furniture. One pylon is called Powerless which is symptomatic of how the country was defenceless and unprepared for the approaching economic meltdown.

Yet throughout this economic storm the ship of state remained afloat and mass unemployment was eased by emigration. This is alluded to in the piece called Wandering were a ship made from elder wood, canvas and tar is lifted up on a parody of waves constructed by Ryanair boarding passes. Although at times the shows formal narrative is bleak and sombre, it is by confronting the harm done to society that the possibility to create an environment where collective healing may occur and the nation can recover from the trauma inflicted by the financial crash. 


Read more about Jason's show ... here ...

Desmond Kenny is an artist based in Hartstown, Dublin 15. He is a self taught painter, since he began making art in 1986 he has since exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad, solo shows include Draíocht in 2001, The Lab in 2006 and Pallas Contemporary Projects in 2008. His work is included in many collections including the Office of Public Works, SIPTU, and Fingal County Council. Kenny's practice also incorporates print making and he has been a member of Graphic Studio Dublin since 2004.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Desmond Kenny, Jason Deans,

Free Rehearsal Space 2016

April 18, 2016

Draíocht is offering rehearsal space from 25 July – 02 September 2016 FREE of charge to professional artists/performance companies participating in Tiger Dublin Fringe 2016.
There will be 3 spaces available (Main Auditorium, Draíocht Studio and Rehearsal Room). Spaces can be viewed on our virtual tour facility HERE

As interest may outweigh availability, please write to or e-mail:
Emer McGowan, Director, Draíocht. The Blanchardstown Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Email: / Direct Line Tel: 01-809 8027.

With the following information (no more than 2 A4 sheets double spaced)

- Name of company and/or artists involved

- Concise details of the project to be rehearsed and if there is/are performance(s) scheduled

- Dates that the rehearsal space is required and if there is flexibility within those dates

- Which space you are interested in using

- How the piece is being funded

- Benefit of free rehearsal space to the success of the project


Closing date for receipt of information is Friday 01 July 2016.
Offers of space will be made by 15 July 2016.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Dublin Fringe Festival, Draiocht Info,

Beastly Bookmarks Family Day

April 12, 2016

Monsters, elephants, frogs, owls, cats … We made some amazingly Beastly Bookmarks at Family Day on Saturday 9th April. 

We used a mixture of magazines (for cutting out images), drawing, coloured paper, sticky on eyes, lots of imagination and then finally our trusty laminator to stick it all together!
We even made our own tassles with wool!

Super enjoyable and very easy to make!! Hopefully you'll be inspired to try your own! 

Stay tuned to our Youth Arts Programme ... here ... 

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By Draíocht. Tags: Family Day, Youth Arts,

Christmas Craft Fair 2016 - Call for Crafters and Artists

March 23, 2016

Draíocht is excited to announce its Christmas Craft Fair again this November and is now looking for Applications from Crafters and Artists. Priority will be given to those living in Fingal, making handmade items. There are approximately 30 tables available from €50 per table (for the weekend). Deadline for completed application forms: Friday 03 June 2016.


Application Notes:
1. Those interested must complete and return an Application Form by Friday 03 June 2016 and include a selection of images of the work.
2. Not all those who apply may be allocated a Stall due to over subscription of available spaces. Draíocht retains the right to select on other criteria such as ensuring a range of goods and price points available to the public.
3. On being allocated a place, a Booking Form with the non refundable fee will be required by Friday 01 July 2016.

For further information and an application form, please call Draíocht’s Box Office, tel: 01-8852622 or email:

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By Draíocht. Tags: Christmas Craft Fair,

Sharon Murphy will be working with Draiocht as Curator

March 21, 2016

Visual Arts in Draíocht


Draíocht is delighted to announce that Sharon Murphy will be working with us from March to December 2016 as Curator (part time). She will be working to refresh and refine our visual arts policy and programme. She will focus on connecting Draíocht’s context and priorities with artists and the public to develop a dynamic and engaging programme of exhibitions and projects in 2017. Her commitment to her own photographic practice as well as her extensive experience in arts provision for children and young people, in public art and in wider cultural strategy makes her a valuable addition to our team. Her appointment underlines our commitment to contemporary visual arts as part of a wider policy and strategy for Draíocht.

Sharon Murphy is an independent visual art curator and photographer based in Dublin. Previously she has worked in a range of key roles in arts, culture and education contexts including Director of Education, Abbey Theatre. Sharon has developed and managed a number of initiatives for artists including residencies, bursaries and exchanges and most recently she has commissioned public art under the Per Cent for Art scheme in a range of settings. She holds an MA in Modern Drama, a BA in Fine Art Photography and was the Irish recipient of the 2007/2008 Jerome Hynes Fellowship on the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme (UK).

You can contact Sharon on

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Sharon Murphy,

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