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 SheetHERE.
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.
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.
#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.
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 email@example.com
We are delighted to launch ‘Light Up’, an artist led, community engagement Project, presented by Draíocht, in partnership with Fingal County Council. It sees Draíocht commission artists to create a series of images that will be projected on to our building over the darker months of 2021. It is one of a suite of responses from us to the challenges and opportunities that different levels of lockdown have presented around access to art for all and how we can continue to support and work collaboratively with artists.
Our building is currently closed to the public but these commissioned projections will provide points of connection between Draíocht, artists and the community we serve. They are a conversation starter, a focus for people of all ages to take a moment to look at something that is beautiful, that can bring joy, that is unexpected. They will be colourful, highly impactful and will make our building a living artwork, changing every few weeks.
Our first projections are works by illustrator Alan Nolan called ‘We Can Be Heroes’. Responding to a brief to create a work that was for children, that had a sense of new beginnings and optimism, Alan responded with a concept around 'kids as heroes'.
He said "We rightly laud our frontline staff as heroes for their work, but kids have been equally brave and have lost a huge chunks of their childhood -- they have missed out on birthdays, parties, school friends and school ceremonies; many have even lost loved ones. Yet they bounce back like heroes. Kids deserve to be honoured as such and to know that the coming year will be better."
We couldn’t have put it better!
Watch out for the downloadable sheet and accompanying instructional video designed by Alan around the ‘Super Hero’ theme. These can be done at home and in the classroom.
What will be on our building next? You’ll just have to wait and see!
Share your visit to our Projections with us ... #5kmfromhome #DraiochtProjections #LightUp
or email your images to firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming Soon ... The announcement of our new Zoom Poetry project for families called ‘Super POWer Poetry’. Details will be shared soon!
For the second part of Jess Rowell’s Dance Residency in Draíocht, we share with you the much anticipated release of ‘Between Us There Is…’, a film featuring dance artist and project director Jess Rowell and Brian McSweeney, a dancer with Down syndrome and an original member of Traces Dance Ensemble (estb 2009). His journey into dance began 19 years ago and he continues to move audiences all over Ireland and beyond with his breathtaking presence and passion for movement.
With an original sound score written by Dublin based composer Stefan French, filmed by film artist Conor Donelan and lighting design by Eamon Fox, the work explores and celebrates the unique 13 year movement relationship between Jess and Brian and their shared passion for dance …
"This was a creative journey like no other. A collaboration made possible through generosity, ingenuity and the ability to adapt whilst staying true to the artistic vision. Growing and creating with Brian over the years has been an incredible experience and having the unique opportunity to acknowledge our relationship within this work is a real honour. 'Between Us There Is...' showcases the power of artistic collaboration and the beauty of long-standing connection." Jess Rowell, Dance Artist in Residence 2020
“Electricity” ... “Let it go - like the rain falling down from the sky” ... “Back to being ourselves again” Brian McSweeney, Dancer, on how it felt to dance this year with Jess
"Coming from a background in music for film, this was my first time working specifically with dancers. Instead of responding to what I see on a screen in front of me, in 'Between Us There Is...' I drew my inspiration from Brian and Jess' movements. The resulting music is very much influenced by their energy and connection when they perform together. It has been a pleasure working with Jess over the past number of months, and it was a wholly collaborative experience from start to finish." Stefan French, Composer
"It was a privilege to bear witness to this beautiful process." Conor Donelan, Film Artist
“The impulse to create and communicate with others is universally human. Covid-19 has highlighted that in a way that we could never have imagined. And this impulse, this need is embodied in our artists. Adapting to rolling restrictions in 2020, Draíocht’s Dance Artist in Residence Jess Rowell, dancer Brian McSweeney, supported by their creative team and Draíocht’s dedicated Staff, created a duet called ‘Between Us There Is…’. This film of the process and end piece, captures a shared language, an unspoken connection, a quiet and beautiful reflection of a time, a shining example of our need to create and communicate. It is the best of us.” Emer McGowan, Director Draíocht
Jess Rowell began her Dance Residency at Draíocht in March 2020, just as Covid-19 entered our lives. This project was made possible through sheer determination, adaptability, team work, online rehearsals, live streaming sessions and the dedicated support from Draíocht's technical team.
With special thanks to Theatre Royal Waterford, Anne & Tony McSweeney, Libby Seward, Dermot Quinn, Trish Roche & Trinity Studios Waterford, Noel McAoidh and all the staff at Draíocht.
Jess Rowell’s Dance Residency in Draíocht was supported by The Arts Council, with additional funding provided by Fingal County Council.
We are so delighted to share with you our latest film, ‘Chance To Dance’, made during 2020 with Draíocht’s Dance Artist in Residence Jess Rowell (March to November 2020), members of Draíocht’s Create Dance Project (estb. 2013) and guest dancers from Traces Dance Ensemble.
‘Chance To Dance’ explores and captures the power of communication through movement and the exchange of gestures between dancers in space and on camera.
"It brought me so much joy to connect with these wonderful dancers throughout 2020, a bright light during dark times. Witnessing the dancer's creativity and progression week to week was so inspiring. One of the overarching aims of my residency in Draíocht last year was to build a relationship with Create Dance members. 2020 brought many challenges but we certainly made it happen."
Jess Rowell, Dance Artist in Residence 2020
“Thank you so much guys, this project brought genuine joy to Helena this past year. Anything that brings her a bit of joy, brings us a bit of joy, and that’s the truth of it. This has been a really really hard year and that was her only connection. It was just something very special. Since she has started doing this, her confidence has just skyrocketed!”
Jenny, Create Dance Parent
"Chance to Dance takes us into the creative process of Draíocht’s Dance Artist in Residence, Jess Rowell and our Create Dance participants as they develop a piece together while having to work apart. The engagement, the fun, the importance of connection, the importance of access for everyone to be our creative selves is captured in this film. It demonstrates the commitment from all involved to make this project happen against a backdrop of ever-changing circumstances. It is a beautiful thing and a joy to watch."
Emer McGowan, Director Draíocht
Create Dance is a core part of Draíocht’s programming which began in early December 2013 and has since become a much beloved part of our access programme. Create Dance welcomes children aged 6–18 years old, with a love of dance, to meet for weekly workshops in Draíocht with their dance facilitators, parents and siblings. Jess Rowell began her Dance Residency with Create Dance at the beginning of March 2020, just as Covid-19 entered our lives and adapted the project accordingly, working online weekly, using a mixture of pre-recorded classes, video messaging, emails and live workshops.
Jess Rowell’s Dance Residency in Draíocht was supported by The Arts Council, with additional funding provided by Fingal County Council.
Directed by Jess Rowell and captured by film artist Conor Donelan.