Clown Choir will Perform on Culture Night in City Centre

September 18, 2014

Draiocht's Hallelujah Clown Choir are travelling into Dublin's City Centre for Culture Night this Friday 19 September 2014.

You can catch them indoors in City Hall at 7.30pm, click here for more.

Followed by an outdoor slot in Barnardo's Square at 8.15pm.

We hope to see you there!

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By Draíocht. Tags: Clown Choir, Veronica Coburn,

Clown Choir Starts Back this Sunday

September 8, 2014

8 Sept 2014

We're delighted to welcome everyone back to Clown Choir this Sunday 14th September 2014, 11am-5pm. New Members are always welcome, so come along if you're interested and want to see what its all about.

Below is some information about the artistic focus of this year’s Clown Choir.

The artistic team has been streamlined and will be made up of:
Clown Director - Veronica Coburn
Choir Director - Debra Salem
Rehearsal Director - Louise Foxe

Veronica will lead all sessions, Debra will travel over to lead the choir musically every fourth week for the weekend sessions and Louise will take care of the notes on Mondays. 

Artistically, the choir is going to focus on building a musical repertoire suitable for performance in multiple contexts. They'll also look to build a repertoire of short clown sketches that can be interspersed with the songs. The idea is to have a store of adaptable material for use in any performance context. They will also investigate the idea of an original show for the choir built on participants' own experiences. This work will be of a more long term nature and will probably reach fruition in 2015.

There is a €100 euro participant fee for the Clown Choir for 2014. Payment can be made through Draíocht’s Box Office. Box Office opening hours are 10am-6pm Monday-Friday for Clown Choir Payments. Should you need to pay in weekly installments etc, please contact Emer by e-mail ( or phone (01 8098027) to make arrangements.


September-December 2014 Rehearsal dates in Draíocht:

Sunday 14th 11am – 5pm
Monday 15th 7pm – 10pm
Monday 22nd 7pm – 10pm
Monday 29th 7pm – 10pm

Sunday 5th  11am – 5pm
Monday 6th 7pm – 10pm
Monday 13th 7pm – 10pm
Monday 20th  7pm – 10pm

Sunday 2nd  11am – 5pm
Monday 3rd  7pm – 10pm
Monday 10th 7pm – 10pm
Monday 17th 7pm – 10pm
Sunday 23rd 11am – 5pm
Monday 24th  7pm – 10pm

Monday 1st  7pm – 10pm
Saturday 6th  11am – 5pm
Sunday 7th 11am – 5pm
Monday 8th 7pm – 10pm
*Tuesday 16th 5.30pm – 7.30pm
(*Performance at Draíocht’s Christmas Drinks tbc)

For any further information, contact Emer McGowan, Director Draiocht, by e-mail ( or phone (01-8098027).

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By Draíocht. Tags: Clown Choir,

D15 Youth Theatre Auditions 2014 - 21 September 2014

July 25, 2014

Download the PDF Application Form
Download the Word Doc Application Form

Now in its 4th year, it’s a very exiting time of year for the D15 Youth Theatre, as its Audition time again! If you are interested here's an application form; fill it in and drop it back to Draíocht. Places are limited, open to 14-18 year olds and admittance is by audition only.

The Audition will take place on Sunday, 21 September 2014 @ Draíocht 11am-2pm.

Please arrive at 10:45am to sign in. You do not need to prepare anything or bring anything with you.

We will begin with a chat about the auditions and what will be involved in participating in D15 Youth Theatre.  You will then take part in a group workshop.  This workshop will involve some group activities and some script work.  Don’t be nervous – being able to work as part of a group, take guidance and pick up new things is every bit as important as previous experience.

The Audition is NOT based on talent alone; participants are selected with regard to the following aim: 

We aim to establish a good gender mix, from a range of abilities and backgrounds and so, will select participants based on the following criteria: 

• Gender balance 

• Social/geographical mix 

• Inclusion of ages 14 years-18 years

• Interest and passion for theatre

We will let each participant know by letter if they have been selected by Thursday 25th September 2014.  Should you be offered a place, the first term will run weekly from Tuesday 7th October to Tuesday 9th of Dec 2014. There is a €10 membership fee for the term and a €2.00 weekly contribution.

For further information join D15 Youth Theatre on facebook or contact Sarah on 01 8090829 or

We look forward to seeing you at auditions and wish you luck on the day!

Download the PDF Application Form
Download the Word Doc Application Form

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By Draíocht. Tags: D15 Youth Theatre, Youth Arts,

Des Kenny Reviews DIC TAT by Marie Hanlon & Rhona Clarke

July 21, 2014

21 July 2014 - Our Arty Blogger is back! Des Kenny gives a personal response to our current exhibition DIC TAT, a joint exhibition of drawings by Marie Hanlon and sound works by Rhona Clarke.

Friday 18 July - Saturday 06 September 2014 
Read more … here 

Sarah O'Neill, Assistant Arts Officer, Fingal County Council with
Composer Rhona Clarke & Artist Marie Hanlon at the Opening Night.

Music and the visual arts have a long history of collaboration and have found common ground in the cross fertilisation of their creative practice. Stravinsky and Picasso worked together with Diaghilev’s ballet company, while composer John cage and visual artist Robert Rauschenburg collaborated with dancer Merce Cunningham; Yoko Ono’s performance art had a profound impact on British minimalist composers.

Visual artist Marie Hanlon and composer Rhona Clarke have maintained this historical bond between two disciplines and cooperated jointly to create the exhibition DIC TAT in the Ground Gloor Gallery of Draiocht. The common denominator in this show is the functional use of the metronome by artist and composer, permitting its pulsating rhythm to influence the structure and boundaries of the works created. Prime examples of this methodology are drawings by Marie Hanlon governed by the recurrent beat of the metronome.  

This process is described on two computer screens placed together. On one screen a metronome is filmed as the regimented pendulum swings back and forth on slow and fast cycles. The other screen depicts a drawing fashioned by the regular tempo of the metronome. The speed of the rhythmic pendulum dictates the drawings composition, on higher beat cycles the artist had only time to place dots of charcoal on the page whilst the lower beat pattern  permitted the artist longer intervals of time to determine direction of line, its length or curvature. Seven drawings of equal size created by this procedure crave space on a small wall with a flurry of intense mark making. The marks have a pulsing urgency, choreographed by the sequential ticking of the metronome and swirl over susceptible pages like a dancer moving across a naked stage. The commanding marks of formal abstraction have a synonymous connection with musical notation.

Rhona Clarke’s music is listened through earphones placed on plinths throughout the gallery space. In the first piece STILETTO, the metronome’s grinding pulse guides the sounds of tongue clicks, knocking and cello. This framework subsides as improvisation aids the release of an emotional subtext. The ear anointed by sound cannot help release images that gather behind the eye, enveloping the listener with a surprised impassioned response to the loud knocking at the end of the piece. The imagination introduces a narrative element, evoking a caller knocking loudly on a closed door while those within remain silent refusing to answer. The cloistered formalism that encloses music to an arrangement of sounds without meaning does not gain a foothold in Rhona Clarke’s score. Canon begins with a plunging momentum, scurrying forward with rolling notes from the piano on a fleeing journey to a distant reckoning.  Repeating note patterns almost dissolve into ambivalence as the pianist’s fingers try to maintain control over a runaway pulsing pattern of a speeding metronome. The piece ends on a spellbound single note, like a relieved full stop ending a rampaging sentence.  A number of sharp atonal resonant notes begin the piece called Forethought as the piano searches for internal forms that appear to correspond to the composers desire to allow music grow within its own existent logic. There is a short fused harmonic melody that disintegrates, allowing room and space for further possibilities to occur, as if the discovered answer is put aside to pose more questions. In Takeover a rapid echoing bell-like sounds vibrates ominously while a mellow guitar cadence acts as a counterbalance leaving the piece poised perilously in a weightless shroud of harmonic balance.

Twenty drawings by Marie Hanlon are dispersed imaginatively on a wall like notes on a musical score. The drawings resemble a visual reaction to music while not alluding to any specific musical composition. These drawings are not premeditated but allow music influence and guide the forlorn artists hand across the inquisitive but stubborn empty page. The artists pencil operates like a tremulous recording needle cutting a soundtrack onto a record.

A shared philosophical and open ended attitude to process in creating a work of art, allows the visual artist and composer coexist and collaborate while maintaining separate identities. Art unbound, shares the spoils of the imagination with the open hearted and these two artists shoulder this reciprocal vision collectively.



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, Marie Hanlon, Rhona Clarke,

Des Kenny Chats to Kathy Herbert & Dorothy Smith

July 14, 2014

Des Kenny, Dorothy Smith & Kathy Herbert

Kathy Herbert and Dorothy Smith participated in a five day drawing collaboration in Draiocht’s Ground Floor Gallery from 8-12 July 2014. Both artists have worked together on various drawing projects in the past. Meeting at an arts festival they discovered a shared interest in drawing and a common belief that the medium had great potential to move beyond their studio practice into the public domain. Drawing traditionally was considered an educational medium, training artists to become sculptures or painters. This notion perhaps historically changed in 1953 when a young unknown artist Rauschenberg erased a Willem de Koonen drawing, with his permission. This act of erasure released drawing from the shackles of tradition and made it relevant and responsive to the immediate concerns of contemporary culture. Artists began to realise drawing could forge a new experimental era of innovative art outside conservative structures.

A 25 feet x 5 feet sheet of paper is stretched across a wall of the downstairs gallery in Draiocht, fixed momentarily in stillness, waiting to absorb the artist’s concepts.

Each artist would separately walk around the Draiocht environs and return with sketches and photos and begin to incorporate these images onto the large sheet. Initially these images were disconnected and spread disjointly across the drawing surface. Editorial decisions in the beginning were limited, keeping the drawing process expansive and fluid; ensuring possibilities are not corralled by controlled selective interventions. At this stage a well pruned tree not fully delineated captures space on the left hand side of the drawing, while an elevated drawing of apartments furtively holds centre ground. Right of centre a lone dandelion precariously rooted in a cracked pavement, mirrors natures defiance against commercial control. An intercom looming larger than life size, shapes silently the right corner.

Various groups including teenagers and adults joined the artists on their walks. They created drawings, utilising materials and methodology employed by Kathy and Dorothy. This engagement with the public was an active element of the drawing project, extending artistic practice beyond shuttered studio walls.

The large drawing sheet began to fill with new imagery as the days unfolded towards the projects conclusion. Each artist’s drawings began to taper fugitively into each other, marrying their conscious streaming of disparate parts into a self contained unit. The drawing became a theatre of negotiation as drawing space diminished, unlocking artistic self imposed restrictions; reflecting urban life’s impediments, encountered and bypassed, during their daily walks of research. Poetic metaphor and bruising reality coalesced awkwardly on the glinting white membrane of receptive paper. Sketches of fences pointed like spears, skewering drawing space for one artist, as a traffic stop sign tried to marshal leeway for the other. The drawing appeared to be a living organism; making demands upon its creators too suspend personnel goals for the greater good. In this sunburst of creative understanding, a collaborative work of art surfaces, unsullied by individual ambition.

A well attended talk concluded the artists five day collaborative exercise in drawing at Draiocht. Both artists detailed their artistic history and how they will cooperate on future projects. They explained that the process in making a large scale drawing was as important as the finished product.

Contemporary art culture has blurred the boundaries between process and product, granting both equal aesthetic values. The discussion was vibrant and absorbing as the audience discussed how art created with the simplest means of pencil and paper, expanded visual awareness. Through the gateway of history, artists like Kathy and Dorothy are inheritors of Rauschenberg’s legacy, filling the void of his erased De Koonen drawing with a conceptual system that is open ended and inclusive.

MORE ... Enjoy a 360 Video of the finished work ... 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, Dorothy Smith, Kathy Herbert,

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