Des Kenny Reviews The Weight Of Water – Elaine Hoey

November 13, 2017

5.11.17
Our Arty Blogger is back! Des Kenny Reviews 'The Weight of Water' by Elaine Hoey ...

A four sided metal cage with serrated barbed wire stands starkly silhouetted against the autumnal light flooding into the Ground Floor Gallery space of Draíocht. The light shimmers along the inflexible framework as it marks out the compounded claustrophobic structure. The visitor enters into a restrictive hard edged enclosure through a sharply cut rectangular slot where a swivel stool awaits an occupant as if for interrogation.  The sculptural presence is a formal device in which Elaine Hoey’s work titled “The Weight Of Water” explores the plight of people caught in the current refugee crises across Europe. The visitor is hemmed in and movement restricted within the barricaded cage, no doubt replicating the situation of refugees incarcerated in various camps throughout the world. There is heightened tension when a gallery assistant provocatively questions the visitor if they suffer from vertigo before virtual reality headsets are fitted. Slightly unbalanced by such an inquiry, it is with slight trepidation the virtual world is faced as the headset is fitted. There is an immediate disconnection with the actuality of the outside world as a virtual realm takes over and realigns the senses to a new vivid environment.  Activating the subterranean visual chamber of the mind with an overload of sensory data it takes a while to reorientate your relationship and placement within this virtual construct. The thunderous noise of a helicopter encompasses the ears and its sudden arrival demands that you swivel your head upwards to locate its intrusion on the periphery of your vision.  The great grey mass of a helicopter without insignia hovers above in search mode, scanning the seas for boat people. Its unnerving presence demands vigilance since its intention whether benign or malign is uncertain.

In the gloom of half light figures emerge mingled tightly in a boat. A bearded man holds a dimly lit torch while a young child seeks comfort nestling their head against a parents shoulder. Waves beat without pardon against the sides of the boat as a large gate opens and the hunted boat moves out into the open shaded sea. A narrator explains the unwritten code of survival. To survive they must embrace the shadows and remain unnoticed and from yesterday’s forgotten dreams and desired revolutions a fragile hope of a new future beckons beyond the tortured sea. The route to freedom is found on churning seas and the destination is found using hope as a compass.

A tree suddenly appears shedding leaves as great concrete pillars surround its girth, depriving the tree room to grow. The tree becomes the symbolic representation of hopes engulfed and restrained by hidebound physical force. Abruptly the boat sinks downwards into a maelstrom of fire and explosions as war engulfs the refugees. It is uncertain if those on the boat manage to withstand the onslaught of conflict but gradually the boat rises and comes into view. Two fire beacons light a distant shore, guiding the sea tossed boat to land. The helicopter dramatically careers into view as it pursues the refugees. A desperate white sun bleakly rises above the horizon as the boat finds land. The displaced people have momentarily found peace away from their fractured homeland.

The programmes duration of eight minutes comes to an end but the feelings and experience of a people in flight from war endures long after the broadcast is concluded and remains clouding your mind as you exit the gallery.

 

The Weight Of Water – Elaine Hoey 
Thu 19 Oct – Sat 04 Nov 2017 
Ground Floor Gallery, Draíocht Blanchardstown
http://www.draiocht.ie/visual_arts

 

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, Elaine Hoey,

Des Kenny Reviews Lost State – Hugh McCabe and Suzanne Walsh

November 10, 2017

5.11.17
Our Arty Blogger is back! Des Kenny Reviews 'Lost State' by Hugh McCabe & Suzanne Walsh ...

Lost State is collaborative exhibition by Hugh McCabe and Suzanne Walsh and is situated in the First Floor Gallery in Draíocht. Their joint endeavour explores how relics of the past become artefacts in a distant future and what we hold as a great advancement in our present culture is seen as a curious case study by archaeologists trying to understand a forlorn lost history. The combination of digital photographs and video imagery by Hugh McCabe with a sound installation by Suzanne Walsh weaves an afflicted narrative that examines a mournful fracture on a technological society which disappeared after an unnamed catastrophe.

A Three tier video screen display unveils a sequence of swaying searchlight probes across a surface that appears from a distance to be an industrial complex. On closer examination the circuitry of a computer mother board becomes evident as the light uncovers the form from the shadows. The beam of revelatory light moves slowly across the surface, penetrating the darkness releasing its secrets from the gloom. The pools of light are unable to withstand the encroaching shapeless twilight as the screen is engulfed by an impenetrable formless dark, as the screen momentarily switches off. The screens become blank in an alternate sequential fashion as if ordained by the dialogue of Suzanne Walsh’s sound installation emanating from a speaker positioned on the gallery ceiling. The light on the monitors appear to follow Suzanne’s voice as it glides across the circuit boards, affixing the random movement of the searchlights with the semblance of a meaningful context. Echoing from the speaker is the pulsating rhythm of the wind as it lifts words like fallen leaves and tosses them around the gallery. Spasmodic phrases have urgency when repeated, demanding the visitor to decipher its implication. The recurrent term “it must have been” from the imploring narrator creates an atmosphere of foreboding since its incantation has no recognisable foundation.

At times the narration eases into descriptive passages, such as “E724 had hair line cracks” and “the marks never open” that appear to address the formal qualities of the materials under observation. Inexplicably a question seeps from the speaker inquiring “is there a threat” without defining the danger. The layers of interpretation within the dialogue, creates an open portal for the visitors imagination to explore.

Black and white digital photographs of computer parts hang starkly upon the walls of the upper gallery space. The clinical white border surrounding the images deepens the grainy intensity of the subject matter as the edges blur and slip into the hooded shadows. Dust particles gather obscuring numbers and letters, presenting a mood of decay and degeneration. They are obsolete components from a previous generation and culture and their fragmented nature prevents restoration. A tempered mood of loss prevails as the remnant parts are recast as relics of a nostalgic history that remains irretrievable.  All the while the disembodied voice of the narrator follows the viewer around the gallery alluding to societies past fate that remains trapped and locked in the hardware. She implores sadly “only remember what can be taken” but is unable to breach the silence from the inane computer parts.

The two diverse artistic disciplines of Suzanne Walsh and Hugh McCabe, combine to create a visionary account of a future beyond our digital age, that mourns its tragic demise. The seeds of this future history are taking root in the cracks of today’s environment.

 

Lost State – Hugh McCabe and Suzanne Walsh
Thu 19 Oct – Sat 04 Nov 2017 
First Floor Gallery, Draíocht Blanchardstown
http://www.draiocht.ie/visual_arts

 

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, Hugh McCabe, Suzanne Walsh,

Draiocht and Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris - Artist Residency Programme 2018-2019

November 2, 2017

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAMME 2018-2019




Centre Culturel Irlandais’ annual residency programme offers great opportunities for artists of all disciplines to tap into the resources of the CCI and the city of Paris, as well as being an important means of showcasing Ireland's dynamic contemporary culture on an international stage.

DRAIOCHT RESIDENCY
Draiocht is delighted to partner with CCI to support the 2018/2019 Residency Programme.
CCI and the partner organisations share the costs of residencies in CCI enabling the Centre to increase the number of residencies it can offer. 
Draíocht is supporting a residency (one to two months) for an artist working in any discipline with a clear focus on children and/or young people articulated in the proposal.
N.B. Please tick the relevant box in the Application Form if your profile corresponds (see example below).



Applicants must be Irish citizens or normally resident on the island of Ireland, with professional involvement in creative practice.
Residencies of 1 to 2 months will be awarded for the period August 2018 - June 2019.
Travel from Ireland, accommodation and a monthly stipend are included.


Full guidelines, terms and conditions available on CCI's website from 1 November 2017: www.centreculturelirlandais.com

Applications to be made on-line by Wednesday 10 January 2018, 5pm GMT.

Centre Culturel Irlandais, 5 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris


For further information, please email emer@draiocht.ie
 

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By Draíocht. Tags: Draiocht Info,

The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII

October 10, 2017

Coming to Draíocht in November as part of its International Tour



The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WW2

Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company with
Playwrights Deirdre Kinahan, Mary Moynihan, Fiona Bawn Thompson and Paul Kennedy​




A creative re-imagining of moments from the lives of women during WWII recalling stories of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as women stood up against fascism and totalitarianism and refused to accept oppression. Each performance is followed by a post-show discussion with the artists and invited guest speakers to explore powerful women’s stories in history and themes of gender equality and peace in Ireland, Northern Ireland and internationally. The performance goes on national and international tour to Ireland, Northern Ireland and Germany from September 2017 to February 2018, and we are delighted to welcome it to Draíocht.
 


Women’s stories in the performance include Mary Elmes (1908-2002), a Cork woman who was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving Jewish children from the Nazi gas chambers during World War II; Ettie Steinberg (1914-42) the only female Jewish Irish citizen known to have been murdered in Auschwitz; Marta Hillers (1911-2001) from Germany who wrote her autobiography Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin) under the name ‘Anonyma’ (Anonymous), detailing her experiences of the last days of WWII as she and over one million other women were raped and abused by Allied soldiers of the Red Army; Neus Català Pallejà (b.1915) from Spain, a member of the United Socialist Party of Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, an active collaborator with the French Resistance during WWII and the only living Spanish survivor of Ravensbrück  concentration camp for women;  Maria Eugenia Jasińska (1906-43) from Łódź in Poland who worked for the resistance and gave up her own life rather than ‘name names’; and Dolores Ibárruri, or La Pasionaria (1895-1989), from Spain, a revolutionary leader, political activist, communist and crusader against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War who created the famous cry ‘They Shall Not Pass’.



Audience Feedback

‘Such a moving piece of theatre. The performances were excellent’. Sabina Coyne Higgins

‘Thanks Freda and all the cast and crew of The Woman is Present! What a wonderful evening’ Mary Duffin, Audience member

‘Saw ‘The Woman is Present’ last night, a call to the heart: Stop war and trumpet the heroism of women, missing from history’. Dr Eric Weitz, TCD

‘It was just brilliant! The two actors were phenomenal. Well done to everyone involved!’  Niamh Clowery, Audience member

‘Brilliant, moving, eye opening journey into stories of women’s bravery tonight. Well done to all involved’, Audience Member




BOOK NOW:
The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WW2
Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company 

Thursday 30 November 2017  8pm
Draíocht, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15
Booking: (0)1 885 2622 / Tickets: €16 / €14 conc
OR ONLINE
 


The women’s stories featured in the performance can be found in the Women War and Peace Digital Book, with a foreword by Marian Harkin, MEP, which contains 23 stories of women’s experiences during World War II and is now available online. The book was launched at the Mansion House, Dublin on 8 November 2016 by Mary Lawlor, Front Line Defenders and Cllr Rebecca Moynihan, Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin. The editor of the book is Mary Moynihan, Artistic Director, Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company and Lecturer, BA in Drama (Performance), Conservatory of Music and Drama, and key contributors are Edyta Pietrzak, Inga Kuzma, Fernando Benavente Tendillo, Kilian Cuerda Ros, Arne Schrader, Freda Manweiler, Mary Moynihan, Jessie Maguire, Bernard Wilson (writing about the life of Mary Elmes) and Nadia Clare Smith (writing about the life of Dorothy MacArdle). 



 

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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre,

Home Theatre (Ireland) - Draíocht Successful in Arts Council Open Call Programme Funding 2018

October 9, 2017

13.07.17

Today, the Arts Council announced over €1m in funding for 11 new innovative arts projects around the country under their Open Call Programme. Open Call is an Arts Council programme which funds ambitious, once-off artistic projects by some of Ireland’s best artists and arts organisations.

And Draíocht is delighted to be successful in our application under this scheme with our Home Theatre (Ireland) project for 2018.


​Veronica Coburn, Artistic Director of Home Theatre (Ireland) with
Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts and Culture and
Emer McGowan, Director of Draiocht.


HOME THEATRE(IRELAND) is an ambitious, large scale and innovative way of making theatre that breaks down  borders between artist and audience, arts infrastructure and the public.  It will pair 40 leading playwrights/theatre-makers with 30 community hosts. We will ask them to spend time together in the host’s home to chat and talk, about what is important to them, about what they hope for and fear, about what makes them laugh, after which the artists will write an original play inspired by the host and performed in the host’s own home to an invited audience.   All 30 plays will be simultaneously performed across Dublin 15, on one night (6th October 2018) and a selection of the plays will be performed in Draíocht over 4 nights (10th to 13th October 2018).  

This now international movement, was developed by Kerry Michael from Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London in collaboration with Festival Internacional de Cenas em Casa, Brazil. It has had other UK and international partners including Birmingham Rep., and the State Theatre, South Africa.  And now Draíocht is bringing it to our home, Dublin 15.
HOME THEATRE (IRELAND) will be led by Artistic Director, Veronica Coburn, who worked with Draíocht on the 3 year project, Hallelujah! Draíocht’s Community Clown Choir (2013 to 2015).


Emer McGowan, Director of Draiocht with
Veronica Coburn, Artistic Director of Home Theatre (Ireland),
Rory O'Byrne, Fingal Arts Officer and Mary McCamley, Mayor of Fingal.


Sheila Pratschke, Chair of The Arts Council with
Emer McGowan, Director Draiocht and
Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council.

 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR HOME HOSTS ...ARE YOU INTERESTED?
Draíocht is seeking 30 hosts across all of Dublin 15 that will work with us on this Project. It doesn’t matter if you live in a big house or a little house, an apartment, out on your own or in a housing estate. It doesn’t matter if you live alone or with a few people or with lots of people. If you are interested in meeting with an artist, having a conversation with them with a view to hosting 3 performances of the 20 minute piece in your home on October 6th 2018, then we want to hear from you. The performances will be at 5pm, 7pm and 9pm and will be for an audience size dictated by your home. We will work with you to decide who those audience members are and we will support you with volunteer staff on the night. The participating homes will be confirmed in March 2018 and will be visited by Draíocht at that point.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR COMMUNITY AMBASSADORS ...IS THAT YOU?
Perhaps you would like to get involved in a different way? We are also looking for Community Ambasador’s who will partner with one host/home and act as a support to them. You will be their point of contact and be present for the visit and discussion between playwright/theatre maker and host. On the night of the performance, the Ambassador will be present for all three performances (5pm, 7pm, 9pm) and will be the HOME THEATRE (IRELAND) representative. The Community Ambassadors will be supported by Draíocht staff.

If you are interested in getting involved as a Host or as a Community Ambassador, there will be a FREE Information Session with Veronica Coburn, that will take place on Saturday 25 November at 2pm where you can learn more about the project. If you are interested, please email Emer McGowan on emer@draiocht.ie or call on 01 8098027.
 

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By Draíocht. Tags: Home Theatre Ireland, Veronica Coburn,

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