Des Kenny Reviews Sally-Anne Kelly - upon becoming aware of our Self

May 18, 2015

18 May 2015 - Our Arty Blogger is back! Des Kenny gives a personal response to our current exhibition by Sally-Anne Kelly ‘upon becoming aware of our Self’ …

Sally-Anne Kelly’s photographs and ceramic sculptures occupy the hushed quiet of the Ground Floor Gallery in Draíocht. The artist employs various mould making techniques to create a likeness of a person which is cast in clay to form ceramic sculptures. The eyes of the cast figures are closed, frozen in a sleep of forgetfulness. The calm of the gallery is stirred by rippling anxiety that maybe these closed retinal sockets might open and plead for your attention and help. Sorrowful eyes that corner your guilt and demand you to share unrequited suffering. The eyes impervious to the outside world remain shut but gaze inwards towards the featureless land of the forsaken.

The artist places these sculptures in shallow tide pools and photographs the somnambulant figures. Every person has different identities we project for the variety of public and personal situations that consume our time. The urgent need to project new identities of ourselves with social media has fragmented our calm private life into the straying reality of the glittering advertising sphere. The shape shifting desire to occupy a raptured dream persona overcomes the reticent self that remain content in the dull cloaked world of everyday existence. The new persona discards the old and they collect like empty mollusc shells on the sea shore. In one photograph a black coloured mask sinks slowly into the sand of a tidal pool. Drifting sand swirls upwards as if the last breath has exhaled in an unfulfilled sigh. This dark solemn face does not belong to the brightly coloured happy faced Selfies that are part of new media’s throbbing attraction. Undesired, the dark mask will sink into the quickening sands of the abandoned. In another photograph a face slowly turns on its side in weary resignation meeting the incoming tide like a derelict caught on clinging rocks, unable to float.

A bright blue face appears misplaced in this land of the lost, a gregarious presence more suitable to the brightly coloured world of the computer screen, than stuck in the mud surrounded by shells. Perhaps a countenance too exuberant, too over-the-top, manic and uncontrollable, while fun for a short time was tossed aside into shimmering pools of the forsaken. Some faces take on the fractured semblance of a fallen warrior, a hardened visor broken unable to withstand the humiliating loss of dignity. Shattered and desolate like somebody who is on the wrong end of cyber bullying and whose silver screen destruction imposes its mark on a fragile personality.

The ceramic sculptures on the ground form a roughly drawn circle stretching outwards from an empty centre. The faces rotate outwards away from an interior that is empty, multiplying beyond the control of a central force. The singular has become a multitude, a convulsive entity ready to respond to any situation in real or cyber space with a different persona. The outer image must conceal inner tensions and present a video streamed edited version of the self. They sleep and awaken when required to act out a role that responds to exterior stimuli. They perform to a script which will attract a fulfilling response and applause from similar entities. Some forms are distorted in an embryonic state similar to creatures in a science fiction film about to invade its human host. Can the void in the nucleus of this sculptural entity be filled once again by a guiding philosophy that keeps our core identity intact? Questions and thoughts linger on after leaving this show, transforming how we perceive and project our self-image in today’s culture.

Des Kenny chats to fellow artist Sally-Anne Kelly.

Draíocht's Galleries are open Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm. Admission is Free.

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: Reviews & Interviews, Visual Arts, Desmond Kenny, Sally-Anne Kelly,

Christmas Craft Fair 2015 - Call for Crafters and Artists 2015

May 12, 2015

Draíocht Christmas Craft Fair 2015
Draíocht Blanchardstown
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 November 2015, 12 noon-6pm


In celebration of Craft Year 2015, Draíocht is excited to announce its Christmas Craft Fair this November and is now looking for applications from stall holders. There are just 30 tables available (for the weekend) and priority will be given to crafters from the Fingal catchment area.


Due to the level of interest in Draíocht’s Christmas Craft Fair already, there will be a 2 part application process.

Those interested must complete and return an Application Form by May 30th 2015 ... Download HERE

On being allocated a place, a Booking Form with the non-refundable fee will be required by June 30th 2015.

Fee Structure:

€25 for two days for a 6ft table

€35 for two days for a 8ft table

€5 for two days for access to power

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

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By Draíocht. Tags: Draiocht Info,

Free Rehearsal Space 2015

May 11, 2015

Free Rehearsal Space 2015

Draíocht is offering rehearsal space from 04 August - 04 September 2015 FREE of charge to professional artists/performance companies participating in the Dublin Fringe Festival 2015.

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 19 June 2015. Offers of space will be made by 10 July 2015.


Draíocht is generously funded by Fingal County Council with additional funding provided by the Arts Council.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Artistic Collaborations,

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