Liam McCarthy Awarded Draíocht’s CCI Residency Award 2021/2022

April 1, 2021

Liam McCarthy is the 5th and latest Draíocht recipient of a CCI Residency Award (2021/2022), one of 39 Artist Awards announced today by our partners in Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris.

Liam is a writer and drama facilitator. He has worked, in various capacities, for several theatre companies and festivals in Ireland and abroad. His play Mam and Love and Woo was recently awarded the Wilde Irish Writer Bursary at Dublin Fringe Festival 2020. As a playwright, he has participated in Druid Theatre’s FUEL programme, Corcadorca’s SHOW festival, Brighton Fringe’s WINDOW project, and “Words, Words, Words” at The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Liam has worked as Engagement and Participation Coordinator at The Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, supporting The Ark team to deliver inclusive and participatory arts experiences to children. He studied Drama and English at Trinity College, Dublin and at UC Berkeley, California.

Liam is currently developing Fergal, a play about self-love for 3-6 year olds. This project has previously received support from Irish Theatre Forum’s MAKE programme, Branar’s Tiny SHOWS initiative and Belltable. As part of his residency at CCI, Liam will develop his practice in presenting theatre work for younger audiences, exploring new and collaborative approaches to creating new work for children.

Draíocht is delighted to continue our partnership with CCI, supporting an artist to travel to Paris to participate in the 2021/2022 Residency Programme, tapping into the resources of the CCI and the city of Paris, as well as having the opportunity to showcase their work on an international stage. The recipients of Draíocht supported residencies are artists working in any discipline with a clear focus on children and/or young people. To date, 4 other artists have been awarded Residencies; theatre makers Mary Lou McCarthy and Dan Colley (2018/2019); writer and theatre maker Sian Ní Mhuirí (2019/2020) and theatre artist Deirdre Dwyer (2020/2021).

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By Draíocht. Tags: CCI Paris,

Jess Rowell - Dance Artist in Residence 2021

March 29, 2021

Jess Rowell - Making Waves
March - October 2021

We are delighted to announce the return of Jess Rowell as Draíocht's Dance Artist in Residence 2021

This dance residency responds to our 2018-2022 Strategy ‘Space for the Arts’, in particular our commitment to expand equality of access to more children.

"Last year shone a light on the resilience, ingenuity and versatility of dancers and dance as an art form. It is a universal language that connects us in many beautiful ways. I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Draíocht again this year. I look forward to building on the rich relationships created during 2020 and forming new ones." Jess Rowell

Throughout 2021 Jess will continue to develop her own professional practice and build on the creative relationships formed throughout her 2020 Residency. She will engage with school children, young people and artists with intellectual disabilities and form new relationships with other professionals working in the same field.

Some of the over arching aims of Jess’ residency are:

- To continue to build on relationships, movement and performance skills with members of Create Dance - Draíocht’s special needs dance programme. Jess will expand on the rich virtual repertoire created in 2020, whilst continuing to create new work in a supportive, appropriate and dynamic context for this group of young people.
- Make a new dance film ‘Ripples’ with the technical support structure developed in Draíocht during 2020. This film will feature members of Create Dance and guest dance artist Brian McSweeney. ‘Ripples’ will feature an original sound score written by film score composer Stefan French.
- Continue to support Brian McSweeney’s professional development and his relationship with Create Dance members by offering him a co facilitation role in the development phase of ‘Ripples’.
- Enrich Draíocht’s exisiting educational outreach programme; by developing a new ‘sensory friendly’ dance theatre performance ‘Making Waves’ for children with additional needs in ASD units within mainstream national schools and special needs national schools in Dublin 15. ‘Making Waves’ will feature three Irish based movement artists a composer and a set designer.
- Expand on Draíocht’s relationship with artists of all disciplines, nurturing collaborative exchanges between artists, young people and the community.

Jess Rowell’s Dance Residency in Draíocht is supported by The Arts Council, with additional funding provided by Fingal County Council and Draíocht.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Dance Artist in Residence,

Meet the Artist - Susan Buttner

March 22, 2021

Susan Buttner is Draíocht's Artist in Residence
June 2020-May 2021

"... being an artist is personal, there is no right way or wrong way, there is just your way ..."

Tell us about yourself

I am a Visual artist living in Dublin 15, I work in sculptural form, painting, performance and film. A recent recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland Visual Artist Bursary Award 2020, currently artist-in-residence at the Draíocht and previously awarded RHA residency on graduation from MFA Fine Art Sculpture NCAD 2018.

My work questions culturally sensitive and difficult topics, human suffering, alienation and difference, bodily experiences of knowledge and power. Through juxtaposing an art/life binary, within a minimal aesthetic, my conceptual interests involve intensive periods of research and collaboration with individuals and groups, who inform and influence the production of the work.

I am recipient of numerous awards, with works exhibited and held in public and private collections nationally and internationally.

What did you want to do as a job when you were younger?

I often wonder where my drive to be creative comes from, perhaps it was my mum, she studied music, singing in choral societies, this gave her a different perspective and an existence for herself (outside of being a busy mother). My dad’s brother Tony was graphic artist, maybe creativity is in our blood, it’s hard to know, but there was always encouragement growing up, to try things out, have fun, be curious, ask questions and explore stuff! In short, we were your typical Irish family, lots of noise and always outdoors exploring. Living by the beach on the Skerries Road in Balbriggan (as a youngster), provided ample opportunity to hear sounds, look around, find objects, hold them, and make sense of world. I’ve no doubt those early informative years, influenced my need to express myself as a visual artist. I applied to art college when I was seventeen, somehow, I always knew I would thrive in a creative space. As a mature student, I returned to college, completed a BA Fine Art Sculpture and later a Masters. I am a busy mother, dog owner and keen gardener with an eagle eye for skips full of detritus, I am always on the hunt for more stuff to use in my sculptural practice!

Studio routine

I am an early riser, most of my thinking happens between 6.30am and 8.30am, I feed the dog, tidy the house, I do emails, social media and make notes and attend to administration side of my art practice, which helps to ease my way into the making of the art practice.

My morning studio routine is full of rituals and habits, I walk in say ‘Hi gals’ to my materials and then walk straight back out, this may seem an odd thing to do, but the need for coffee masquerades my need to procrastinate, it eases the tension, and creates distance, providing head space. I am at my happiest in my studio but I also recognise my initial need to avoid the making, if only for half an hour while I go grab a coffee!

The studio can be a lonely space for some artists but in truth whilst I enjoy working collaboratively, (and often seek participation in group projects), I also strive to be self-reliant and consistent, it’s this consistent approach in my routine which helps propel my art practice.

How do you supplement your income?

Bursary funding awards from Fingal County Council and Arts Council of Ireland help supplement my income, I am also fortunate to be able to sell my paintings and work as an art educator whenever I can.

What other artists influence your work

There are too many artists to list here that influence my work, I consider myself fortunite to know many Irish and International artists and educators, who’s practices I greatly admire and respect.

What triggers you to start your work

Research, I love researching, reading, writing.

What is the thing you enjoy most about your work

Process, process process!

I enjoy the making, getting lost in materials and digging deep into research. I explore the narrative from multiply angles, engaging in sculpture, painting, performance, film, photography, often working with people, listening to their experiences. All these elements combine and expand the possibility of freeing the work up, allowing for accidental and unplanned outcomes.

How have you handled the business side of being an artist

As an artist, there is always paper work and returns to do. A large part of my time is focused on planning for the next project, keeping up to date with funding applications and open calls is part of my weekly routine, and acts as a driving force to help propel the research and development within my practice.

Tell us more about your residency in Draíocht's Studio and how valuable is this time for you

Working locally, availing of the resources of Draíocht and forging new connections has been an absolute pleasure. The studio space is big and bright, the Draíocht team are just fab, everyone is friendly and helpful, it’s a great creative meeting place in the heart of the community in Dublin 15 and despite the COIVD19 interruptions, and the subsequent closures (following health and safety guidelines) it has been and continues to be a really positive and enjoyable working space.

Are you working towards anything in particular

While on residency my focus has been to extend my practice, providing time to research, to make, to influence and unpack complex social and political issues on the human condition. I have been working with groups of people, artists and non-artists, performers and dancers, employing an explorative methodology, examining the female body as a contested site through a collapsing narrative holding the tension between historical and current.

Do you have any advice you would give to an artist just starting out

Developing your art practice takes times, you need to have a plan, start locally, make contacts, join emailing lists, go see exhibitions, bring a friend along. It is so important to go to exhibitions, experience the work in person and support those working in the arts.

Get to know the team at Fingal Arts Office/Fingal County Council, find out about their professional development courses, (they are terrific and a great way to meet other artists working within Fingal).

Put yourself out there, stand behind your work, claim a space for it and remember being an artist is personal, there is no right way or wrong way, there is just your way, find out what works best for you.

Consider joining Visual Arts Ireland, again it’s a great way of connecting and finding what’s current and happening on the Irish and International arts scene.

The best advice I would give to an artist starting out is; ‘Look after yourself, have fun, enjoy your practice, watch your mental health and stay in touch with your pals'.

Where do you see yourself in ten years

I consider myself very fortunate, to be an artist, it is hard, yes of course, but it fits, it works for me, I have built and made my life work around my practice and I am doing what I have always needed to do, to make and to be creative within the visual arts. I am lucky to have numerous friends, tutors and colleagues within the industry, whom I greatly respect, that I can call on for support and advice. I see myself in ten years’ time, doing what I do best, research and making, surrounding myself with stuff in my studio, enjoying the process!


Read more about Susan's work on her website:

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By Draíocht. Tags: Reviews & Interviews,

Draiocht News Update - 17 February 2021

February 17, 2021

Creativity Will Always Find A Way

Proving that creativity will always find a way…

We hope you enjoy our 2020 Review.

We would like to express our gratitude to our funders Fingal County Council and The Arts Council for their support in 2020, a year that brought many challenges.
Thanks to Draíocht’s Board and Staff, and all the artists we’ve worked with in 2020. 
Thanks to our audiences and project participants who engaged with us in person and online.
Thank you most sincerely to our Friends Scheme members and to those who made donations. 
Thank you for keeping in touch by phone and by email.
You kept us buoyant and sane!
We miss you all and we’ll see you in 2021, when once again we will open our doors and fill our seats!


Have you been to see ‘Light Up’ yet?

Draíocht, in partnership with Fingal County Council, has launched a new project for 2021 called Light Up, which will see us commission some really exciting artists to create outdoor digital art projections for everyone to enjoy.

Our first projection is a work by artist and illustrator Alan Nolan called We Can Be Heroes a work created especially for children, to celebrate a sense of new beginnings and optimism, after a very tough 2020.

If you're within a 5km radius, come visit our outdoor Light Up projection, from dusk each evening!

And winging its way to EVERY HOUSE in D15 this week, is our new 'Superhero Activity Sheet' created with Alan Nolan, to celebrate our first 'Light Up' Projection.

Perfect for families and schools, you can Download the Activity Sheet HERE.


Superhero Workshop with Alan Nolan
Fluffy the Wonder Cat

You can also join Alan in his Superhero Video Workshop, and create your own superhero pet and matching costume. Maybe you can even wear a costume when you visit our projections!

Share your pics with us!
#5kmfromhome #DraiochtProjections #LightUp


Create Dance & D15 Youth Theatre

Although we are still closed to the public, our online classes and workshops continue for our Create Dance and D15 Youth Theatre Members, with live Zoom Classes weekly on Saturdays and Tuesdays. 

We will continue to work in fun and exciting ways exploring all things dance and theatre, through improvised games, group work and the on-going explorations of themes of interest, just in a social distancing kind of way, until we can all be in the one space again later this year.


HOMEGROUND: Art, People, Place, Identity
Research and Development Mentoring Awards (2020-2021)

In December 2020, Fingal Arts Office and Draíocht were delighted to announce the selected recipients for HOMEGROUND: Art, People, Place, Identity 2020/2021, a new Research and Development (with mentoring) Award, for artists working in socially engaged and collaborative practice and/or artists working with children and young people.

The 4 artists, Michelle Hall (Visual Artist), Thomas Johnston (Musician/Theatre Maker), Monica Munoz (Choreographer/Dancer) and Jijo Sebastian Palatty (Film Maker), have started on their mentoring journey, with mentors Marie Brett, Annabelle Comyn, Christine Devaney, Joe Lee and  Fearghus O’Conchuir.

The artists also participate in monthly group meetings which allow for year planning, reflection, networking and peer support opportunities. For now, we are meeting online until we can return to Draíocht.

HOMEGROUND was conceived both out of Draíocht’s 5 year Strategy ‘A Space for the Arts’ where providing support and expertise to develop artist’s practice is one of our stated goals and out of a body of collaborative and children/young people’s practice that we have engaged in over our 20 years of operation. 

Draíocht is delighted to be working with this group of artists and mentors, under the guidance of Draíocht’s curator, Sharon Murphy, in a considered and curated programme that will support the development of their work and practice. 
HOMEGROUND is a partnership initiative between Draíocht and Fingal County Council’s Arts Office.

Read more HERE


Making Art Printing - Virtual Tour with Curator Sharon Murphy

With time standing still for much of our 2020 'Making Art Printing' exhibition, we know it was difficult for visitors to make it into our Gallery spaces to experience it in person. So, we are thrilled to bring you a virtual tour of the exhibition to enjoy instead, with Curator Sharon Murphy guiding us through the spaces and artworks.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our Gallery spaces as soon as possible in 2021.

In the meantime, why not check out our Gallery Instagram to see some amazing exhibitions from our 20 year history?


News From Our Friends

The Boy Who Talked to Dogs
Slingsby & Bryan Burroughs

BIG SHOUT OUT to actor Bryan Burroughs and all our friends in Slingsby Theatre Company, Adelaide, Australia, as they prepare to take to the stage next week! 

Beautifully adapted by Irish playwright Amy Conroy, 'The Boy Who Talked to Dogs' is a magical and mischievous tale of transformation, redemption, and what happens when the underdog finds his pack.

It tells the true story of Martin McKenna, growing up in Garryowen, Limerick in the 1970's, who eventually makes his way to Byron Bay, Australia, where he now lives as a best selling author and radio personality - celebrated as the 'Dog Man'.

Draíocht was delighted to have supported their latest project with a week long development period in our Studio in 2019 and we look forward to programming this show at a future date.

Read more HERE.


#IrelandReads - 25 February 2021
A new national day to celebrate reading

Ireland Reads is a public libraries initiative, in partnership with publishers, booksellers, authors and others under the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ campaign. Pop over to the website now and take the Pledge to squeeze in a read on Thursday 25 February.

Read more about it HERE


Fingal Friday Forum for Artists

Fingal County Council Arts Office is delighted to present the Fingal Friday Forum, an informal monthly get-together exclusively for Fingal artists.

Curator, Advisor and Mentor Eamonn Maxwell will facilitate the sessions. Guest speakers will be invited to cover a range of specific topics aimed at supporting, guiding and addressing what is required to build resilience and aid recovery within this important and specialist sector post Covid-19 times and beyond.

Sessions will be delivered via Zoom from 9.30am-11.00am on the first Friday of each month, until Friday 3rd December. 

The Fingal Friday Forum is free and open to artists working across all art forms. To register please email
Read more HERE



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By Draíocht. Tags: Draiocht News,

Draíocht 2020: A Year in Review

February 9, 2021

Welcome to Draíocht 2020 - A Year in Review!


We would like to express our gratitude to our funders Fingal County Council and The Arts Council for their support in 2020, a year that brought many challenges.

Thanks to Draíocht’s Board and Staff, and all the artists we’ve worked with this year.

Thanks to our audiences and project participants who engaged with us in person and online.

Thank you most sincerely to our Friends Scheme members and to those who made donations.

Thank you for keeping in touch by phone and by email.
You kept us buoyant and sane!

We miss you all and we’ll see you in 2021 when once again we will open our doors and fill our seats!


How Can You Help?

1. Share this video and the story of our work.

2. Make a €5 Donation towards our work in 2021



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By Draíocht. Tags: Draiocht News,

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