Free Family Day: Printing Christmas Cards

December 17, 2012

Free Family Day: Printing Christmas Cards

Unlike most years, we had a pretty quiet Family Day on the 8th of December... it could be because it coincided with probably one of the busiest Christmas shopping days of the year! But those that joined us in our first floor gallery printed some very beautiful cards with the help of our artists Jenny, Deirdre, Gen and Andrew.

If you want to make some printed Christmas cards like these at home, you can make a version of what we did with the help of a bit of recycling! Just keep the polystyrene trays that fruit and vegetables sometimes come in and any wrapping, posters or sheet of paper that have a plastic feel to them that might come in your letter box.

Start by using a pen to draw into the Polystyrene, marking out whatever picture you would like to print. Then roll out some paint- we used printing ink and perspex, but acylic paint would do the job and you could spread it onto the plastic coated advertisment that came through your door. This is so the paint is nice and thin...

Best to get you hands on a roller, which you can get from most art supply shops- but a paintbrush will work too.

Next, roll the paint out on to the polystyrene picture (as shown above), thinly and evenly and then press it down onto some paper.


Give it a good rub, pull it off and hey presto, you have a print!

Another idea is to cut up the polystyrene (or thick cardboard would do), then arrange and glue your cut out shapes onto a square of carboard, in a design you like. Roll over your design with an inked up roller. The paint will attach only to the design, as it is raised away from the cardboard base. You have created a stamp. Place your inked stamp down onto a sheet of paper and once again, give it a good rub. When you take it off, only your design should remain.



You can print these stamps over and over again in as many coloures as you would like. Once the print has dried you can glue it on to some card and discover that you will never have to buy a Christmas card again!


We also improvised & made some Christmas decorations for our tree with the left over print templates…

Any Questions, feel free to give drop me a mail ( or drop into our next FREE family Day on Sat 26th of January 2013- We will be making piggy banks.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Education, Family, Family Day, Workshops, Youth Arts,

Thank You Thank You Liam Halligan

December 12, 2012

The Participants have their say after a year long Theatre project in Draiocht with Liam Halligan, culminating in an end of year performance 'You Yes You' ...

Read more here ... 


I just want to say the last year being involved in Liam Halligans community project was amazing and something I won't forget in a hurry. Before this, I had always wanted to try an acting class but could never find something that suited, until this that was. After our first meeting I knew I wanted to be involved to the very end even if it was just doing props back stage and the community feeling was amazing. No one held back, which I think was largely due to Liam being such an open person, he didn't want you to do anything other than be yourself and create characters when needed. 

Because of this experience I am looking into doing another acting group, though I dont know if it will be as good as the classes that Liam and Draoicht supplied to all of us in the cast. I would recommend anyone to look into any of the future projects Draiocht or Liam have, because honestly it is one of the best things you will ever sign yourself up to, even if I was sick with nerves before each performance :D 



When I went to the first ‘You Yes You’ workshop, I hadn’t a clue what was in store. All the people who were doing the workshop were a few years older than me and being honest I was a bit overwhelmed that there was no one around the same age as me there. Not that I had a problem with that but I’d been so used to having everyone I did drama with being either younger or the same age as me and always competing for parts. But with the ‘You Yes You’ cast there was none of that. Everyone was behind everyone else. If you felt you couldn’t do something the cast was always behind you supporting you 100%. And the same goes for the amazing director Liam Halligan who kept the project so interesting and fun to do. He was open to any ideas the cast had. Everyone came out smiling and couldn’t wait for the next workshop. It was the highlight of my week - I couldn’t wait for Wednesday to come so I could just go to Draiocht and do the ‘You Yes You’ workshops with Liam and the rest of the cast. Liam always had the cast laughing at all of the workshops which made it so easy to get up on stage and act. ‘You Yes You’ is going to be missed and it’s a pity it was only a year long project. Because it was the best ever project in my opinion that has been done in Draiocht. And that’s thanks to Liam who was incredible to work with.



more coming soon ...

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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre, Liam Halligan,

We will miss you Liam Halligan ...

December 10, 2012

We're sad to say goodbye to Liam Halligan after his year working with Draiocht and our D15 participants ... the final performances of 'You, Yes You' were amazing ...

Enjoy some video snippets advertising the shows here ... and some from the Final Performances here ...

Also on hand was photographer Tom Lawlor who took some stunning pictures so we can remember this project for ever! More to follow ... 




Liam wrote this lovely Director’s Note for the Printed Programme on the night:

The piece of theatre you will see tonight is the result of an Artist-in-Residency project which began in November of last year.

This residency provided me with a wonderful opportunity to make something new and different - a piece based on what the community have to say. It allowed me time to work with a large group of non actors in a large theatre with constant administrative support. The objective was to bring a diverse group of individuals together, to build confidence, to have fun, to collaborate, to inspire each other and to create something that mattered.

I was hoping to spend the year working with a group of about 15 individuals from the local area but then Draíocht received over 100 enquiries! So this quickly changed the shape and the possibilities of what we could create. The last thing I wanted to do was to turn people away. So, we began in February and created 4 groups of approx 12 participants. We continued with 4 week sessions in April, July and October/November.

The themes and content of the piece slowly emerged. The sequences you will see are based on the improvisations and exercises that the group really enjoyed doing. The final group of 28 ‘die hards’ selected themselves naturally. A strong group dynamic developed and the themes took on more depth. All the text and the songs you will hear were suggested by the group.

As a theatre maker I wanted to hear the voices of people who are often airbrushed out of theatre, voices that are too quiet to be heard. I hope we have achieved that.

I am hugely grateful to everyone who came along and I am delighted that such a smashing group of people stayed with it to the very end. Thank you for all your commitment, energy and bravery. It will be very difficult to ‘say goodbye’. 

Liam Halligan


Very Special Thank You To:
Fingal County Council and The Arts Council who funded the project.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre, Workshops, Liam Halligan,


December 3, 2012


Hallelujah! Draíocht’s Community Clown Choir
With Veronica Coburn – Theatre Artist in Residence 2012/2013

Weekly Rehearsals begin MON 18 FEB 2013 //  7-10 PM  //  SIGN UP NOW!

Are you sociable? Do you like to sing? Do you like to laugh? Are you the type of person who is open to trying new things? If so, then WE WANT YOU!

A Clown Choir is a group of people who gather together to sing and laugh – to sing in celebration of what it is to be human and to laugh at the ridiculousness of the world we live in.

Hallelujah! will be a choir like no other. Weekly rehearsals will be one part play to two parts song. Performances will be one part concert to two parts clown theatre. Nobody will be asked to do anything that s/he is not comfortable with but for those who are interested in stepping into the spotlight then there will be ample opportunity for them to do so.

Hallelujah! ran a taster workshop on 03 November 2012 to give people an opportunity to see what it’s all about. 55 people ranging in age from 18 to 72 turned up on the day and had a great time. The day was a mixture of hard work and good fun. Everyone learned a little bit about how to be a clown and everyone learned the first section of Hallelujah!’s signature tune - Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Smile’.

Hallelujah! starts rehearsing in earnest on 18 Feb 2013. Rehearsals are every Monday night, Tuesday nights when the Monday is a Bank Holiday, with the choir working towards a year long performance programme that kicks off with ‘The M50 Symphony - A Symphony For Human Voice & Car Horn’ in July 2013. You don’t have to be a good singer to join Hallelujah! You don’t have to be a performer to join Hallelujah! You just have to be interested and willing. The ethos of Hallelujah! is accessibility, inclusivity and artistic excellence.

To register your interest and get further details please email or write to Emer McGowan, Director, Draíocht, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Draiocht Info, Music, Veronica Coburn,

Des Kenny Reviews Una Sealy

November 28, 2012

28 November 2012

Una Sealy, A Piano in the Kitchen, 120x120cm,  oil on canvas

Una Sealy paints directly from life. This engagement with reality imposes great strain on the creative act. A sitter may want to move, just as you need stillness, arrive late or wish to leave early. The artist must look intensely at life in constant change and corral the fluctuating sensations of a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface, a stretched canvas. This concentrated creative endeavour demands stamina, to endure the delight of success and pain of failure at that pregnant juncture between subject matter and painting process, hoping a work of art emerges.

In “Neighbours” a 4 feet x 6 feet in size oil painting Una Sealy depicts a couple in a suburban bedroom sitting on either side of a marital bed. The sheets dividing their bed rise like two opposing waves about to collide into each other. In the emotional undertow of these sheets, marital bliss is saved or lost. A chink of light falls upon this daily domestic drama, unveiling a shadow of marital tension. When Una reveals the inner moods of her sitters, she raises the level of portraiture beyond a study of appearances and enters the territory of psychological drama.

A large oil painting titled “Other People’s Children” is situated in a family kitchen. Centred in the painting is a mother and orbiting around her like moons are three children caught in the gravitational force of paternal love. Love binds as well as enriches and motherhood imposes restrictions on self fulfilment until the young have reached maturity. Una aptly explores the glazed eyes of resignation on a mothers face, burdened with love. This is a shared communion between two mothers, artist and sitter. An unspoken truth is revealed, the confined existence of motherhood is accepted and not spurned, that instinctively, they acknowledge, love hurts. The children are of course unaware of loves selfless obligation which allows them freedom to grow.

Una needs an intimate knowledge of her sitters lives to allow her unearth the stories lying dormant beneath surface appearances. In “Thinking of Home” the sitter yearns for her homeland but there are barriers she must overcome, the obstacles appear more internal than external. Over the sitters shoulder is a large imposing wall and colossal sea; metaphorically they hint at the internal handicaps she must overcome before returning home. This frustrated longing, etches her wistful face.

In another painting an old artist sits in her studio surrounded by the implements of her craft. Undone by the art world’s indifference, she remains defiant, since defeat cannot gain purchase in a life given to beauty. She seems to implore the younger painter; this is your future and my inheritance to you.

Una Sealy, End of Days, 24x30cm, oil on board

Upstairs a number of small landscapes of a beach are laden with information of changing weather patterns and are superior in content and incident then the large landscapes found downstairs. In another small painting a kiosk is positioned against a stormy blue sky encircled by puddles of rainwater. It has a cryptic air of nostalgia, a place belonging to the past, declining unmanned in the present. In “End of days” an old wooden garden shed falls apart in the briny air. Its decaying structure tilts towards the engulfing ground where it will rot and disappear. I recognise that this small painting will outlive me and I will decline and become interred by the hungry earth. It is from dust to stardust we must return from whence we came. In the tumultuous rush through flowering and the passing of our lives, Una Sealy seems to imply that art and love will help us come to terms with our moribund destiny.

Una Sealy, Alley to the Sea, 120x120cm, oil on canvas

Read more about Una Sealy here 

Una Sealy

Una Sealy / A Piano in the Kitchen & Other Stories / FRI 23 NOV 2012 - SAT 23 FEB 2013 / GROUND & FIRST FLOOR GALLERIES



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: Artist Interview, Visual Arts, Desmond Kenny, Una Sealy,

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