ITB’s Ashling Smith Wins Draíocht’s Inaugural Creative Digital Media Graduate Award 2018

June 15, 2018

We are delighted to announce Draíocht’s Inaugural Creative Digital Media Graduate Award Winner, in association with the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB), is Ashling Smith with her piece VISION.

The Creative Digital Media Graduate Award 2018 was open to this year’s graduating students from the Creative Digital Media degree programme at ITB and was selected by Fiach MacConghail , CEO Digital Hub Development Agency, on behalf of Draíocht following a short-listing process.

In taking his decision Fiach MacConghail described the field as strong and competitive with rich and varied work and he found the decision a difficult one. He considered the quality of the work, the ideas and interests of the students and how Draíocht's resources could best support the graduate in the development of their emerging practice.
He said of the recipient: "I am selecting this graduate - Ashling Smith - because of the sculptural and painterly quality of the work, it’s immersive multi media form which integrates sound, image and text. It is ultimately a considered work blending creativity and art. The artistic intention of the piece  highlights the vulnerability and joy of making art." Fiach MacConghail

On announcing the award Emer McGowan, Draíocht’s Executive Director said:
"Draíocht is delighted to be working with the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown to provide this exciting opportunity for a Graduate Student. Our Strategy 2018 – 2022 ‘Inspiring A Passion for the Arts’ highlights our commitment to building partnerships and to supporting the work of emerging practitioners.This new award demonstrates Draíocht’s commitment to these priorities." Emer McGowan

Hugh McCabe, Course Coordinator, Creative Digital Media, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) said:
"Working with Draíocht on this award is a fantastic means of further developing the sorts of synergies between art, design and technology that are at the heart of the Creative Digital Media programme at ITB. We are delighted that the opportunity to collaborate with Draíocht is being offered to one of our students and look forward to seeing the results." Hugh McCabe


Draíocht’s Marketing Department caught up with Ashling to find out more about her and her work!


Artist: Ashling Smith
ANDRES POVEDA PHOTOGRAPHY


Q: Tell us a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from and where you live?
I am originally from Dublin. I moved down to Wexford when I was 10 and come from a family of 5 siblings, 2 brothers and 3 sisters. I am the second oldest and the oldest girl. School was always difficult for me, but I did love art class. I could work on stuff for hours in art and felt comfortable in what I was doing. Irish Dancing was something that I did from the age of 4, I loved dancing and eventually put the shoes away when I was 15 or 16 as I wanted to concentrate on my Art Portfolio. I attended an art portfolio course in Killester College and eventually went on to Stillorgan College and that’s where I first learned digital media. I got a quick grasp on web and graphic design and decided that this is what I wanted to do. I ended up in Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) studying Creative Digital Media, where I studied a wide range of things such as Film Making, Photography, Web Design and Graphic Design. While in college to get better at Web design and branding I worked with clients for free to build up a portfolio and recognition. After a while I decided to set myself up as a freelancer and eventually got a few jobs while studying in college. All these skills that have become an important asset in my personal and professional work. I have just recently graduated from ITB this May with a First-Class Honours.
 


Artist Ashling Smith & Emer McGowan, Director Draíocht
ANDRES POVEDA PHOTOGRAPHY​


Q: When you were small, what did you want to be when you grew up? Were there any clues in your childhood that you would follow an artistic path later?
I loved to be creative from a young age and storytelling was always something I enjoyed. I think I tended to have an overactive imagination as a child, so to write that all down or draw pictures of characters was always a great kick for me. I remember my nanny buying myself and siblings rolls of paper to colour on, I could sit there for hours and colour away, I was always given paints, paper, crayons and colouring pencils for birthdays and Christmas, so I think that prompted me to colour. and be artistic.


Hugh McCabe, Course Coordinator, Creative Digital Media ITB,
​Artist Ashling Smith & Emer McGowan, Director Draíocht.
ANDRES POVEDA PHOTOGRAPHY


Q: How long have you been an artist and why choose an arty profession over a more conventional career, like being an accountant, or working in an office for instance?
I started off in a course in Killester, after I left school to create an art portfolio to go into animation. I also took life drawing classes to get a better at drawing the human form. I was 17 at the time and quite shy in expressing my art as I haven’t yet developed the confidence and hid most of my work prior. I did not get great encouragement from tutors in my Art Portfolio course and I began to give up. Following that I did not get into the animation course that year, but I decided to try again and ended up in Stillorgan College, I still had the idea to pursue animation and began my portfolio again. This time the course was digital based and a new world to me. I quickly got into the Web Design and Graphic Design, but still wanted animation. I had loads of professionals in the industry telling me that I had great design skills that were much stronger than my skills for animation. When presenting my animation portfolio for interviews I was told I had great experimental work and design skills and should pursue them more. After the second time not getting into an animation course, I decided that I should go about design and luckily that’s how I got into ITB studying Creative Digital Media. I now have a degree in Creative Digital Media. All these little life lessons through those years were able to set me up to work in a professional manner. My final year project set me up to use my skills of my artist background and digital media background and combine them to create something I didn’t think I would be ever able to do, and I’m so grateful for the lecturers in ITB and encouragement from them to make that possible. It's always great to be surrounded by positivity. I always thought I would end up doing something that involved being creative, it’s the only way I function.

Q: Perhaps you also have a conventional day job to supplement your income as an artist?
My day job is still creative, I design Websites for clients and design their brand, as well as look into their online presence such as social media accounts. It great when I have a client who trusts me to lead their brand and reach out to their audience. Other times there would be approval from the client before publishing, but everyone is different in how this process works. Its is nice to have a day job that is also creative.



Ashling Smith, VISON

Q: When did you create your first piece and what was your subject matter?
My first digital piece that I created was my first website from a Web Design course I took. Pretty sure its still out there online somewhere I used a free hosting and domain space. It was a portfolio website to show my work. I laugh looking back at it because I used an awful font that designers would shame me for (think it was comic sans if I remember), and too many colours. But I like to look back at work I did from years ago and see how far I have come today in my skills.
 

Q: Do you have a distinctive style? 
I don’t like to think of myself as having a distinctive style, as I see my personal work that I do as experimental. Comments made about my work is that its very colourful, which I never took note of until it was said to me. I do like to be colourful with my work as I love colours. I find them so expressive and they can tell so much in a story. In terms of my work with graphic design and web, my style would be more clean and simple, I don’t like overcrowding the space and like to keep focus on the main content that needs to be seen.

Q: Have you ever tried other art forms like photography, sculpting, making music for instance?
Photography is something that I love experimenting with, especially when it comes to long exposure shots. I would go out into the city and take long exposure shots of the city lights. I also find any type of lights around the house and move them around the camera to capture the lights, I find this so interesting to do.


Ashling Smith, Dancing Lights 2017 (Long exposure photography)

Q: What is the thing you most enjoy about your work?
The experimenting is something I enjoy, I don’t know what the end result is going to be when I start projects like this and it suits me so well to work that way.

Q: How do you keep motivated if you’re having a bad day?
If I am having a bad day and getting frustrated, I would typically just walk away for an hour or two and take myself away from the space I am working in. I find that if you are outside the space you're working in, you can relax more and see what is causing the bad day. When I feel ready I will go back and continue my work. I try not to pressure myself, because if I’m not feeling the motivation I will not get anything done.
 

Q: How do you feel about the business side of being an artist, promoting yourself and getting exposure? 
This is something I am currently working on I have just finished college, so this side is all so new to me, but I am hoping over the next few months I will improve on this. I do however have an Instagram that I set up and recently a Facebook page.

Q: Could you tell us a little more about your residency in Draíocht’s Artist Studio? How valuable is this time for you and are you working towards anything in particular?
I am delighted to have been awarded with Draíocht’s Inaugral Creative Digital Media Graduate Award for my Final Year Project Vision. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Draíocht and have my exhibition displayed at PLATFORM 2019. I will be having a 6 weeks residency with Draíocht and my exhibition, with 2 other artists, will be on for 12 weeks. I am really excited for this opportunity and have a year to decide on what I like. Ideas that I have will be a similar theme to my installation piece Vision. I will use the 6 weeks in Draíocht to build the Installation and set it up and before that will prepare content I feel work best for me. Now I am scoping out ideas and can’t say for sure what I will have for next year, but I am excited to explore that.

Q: Do you have any advice you could give to other young artists just starting out? 
I am just starting out myself and still figuring it all out. But what I would say to any creative out there is to always be yourself in your work and never compare yourself - the whole point of being creative is expressing your own work.


WATCH ASHLING'S WINNING PIECE, VISION:
Vision is an audio-visual Installation representing artists and celebrating creativity, through visuals and sound-based media. The project is achieved through projection mapping and a five-piece structure. It is based on the voices of anonymous creatives with different backgrounds sharing their stories on what creativity means to them.

Live version:       https://vimeo.com/274941472
The Making of Vision:     https://vimeo.com/269284586



 

Draíocht’s Creative Digital Media Graduate Award offers the winning graduate:
- A six week residency in Draíocht Studio (Summer 2019) and a sum of €300 expenses
- The opportunity to exhibit new work as part of PLATFORM 2019 (Summer 2019)
- Mentored, supportive environment. 
Further information: marketing@draiocht.ie
 

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By Draíocht. Tags: Reviews & Interviews, Visual Arts, Visual Arts Opportunities, Ashling Smith, Hugh McCabe, Sharon Murphy,

The inaugural Draíocht@Night took place in tandem with the opening of Aoife Dunne’s LIMITLESS

July 11, 2017

We are still BUZZING after AOIFE DUNNE’s ‘LIMITLESS’ Launch last Friday Night, 7 July, complete with DJ, Dancers and Fizzy Pop!

The inaugural Draíocht@Night took place in tandem with the opening of Aoife’s LIMITLESS in our Ground Floor Gallery (showing until 26 August).
Aoife also curated our First Floor Gallery exhibition of works by her contemporaries which resonate with her own practice. Exhibiting artists are Evan Bech, Ciaran Gallen, Martina Menegon, Sadbh O’Brien & Kate O’Loughlin (also showing until 26 August).

Draíocht@Night also included Meta Perceptual Helmets by Cleary Connolly: Anne Cleary, Denis Connolly and Niall McKenzie; and a site-specific performance by Dublin Youth Dance Company DYDC with director/choreographer Mariam Ribon and dancers Hannah Bergin, Roberta Ceginskaite, Cian Coady, Sarah Connolly, Mia DeChiaro, Aoife Kane, Louise Kennedy and Saoirse O’Kane.

We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Draíocht@Night is co-curated by Aoife Dunne (Artist) and Sharon Murphy (Draíocht Curator in Residence 2017) with choreography curated by Mariam Ribón, Dublin Youth Dance Company (DYDC).


























MORE ... Read more about LIMITLESS by Aoife Dunne
MORE ... Watch LIMITLESS on Vimeo
Better still, call into Draiocht and experience LIMITLESS in our Ground Floor Gallery until 26 August 2017.
Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. Admission is Free.
 

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Aoife Dunne, Sharon Murphy,

School Portraits from 1994-2017

May 23, 2017

Opening this week in Draíocht’s Galleries

School Portraits
An Exhibition featuring the work of 4 Artists, all of whom have immersed themselves, often for extended periods of time in schools, to create bodies of work that capture the rich and varied moods and lived experiences of Irish school life, including a new commission for 2017 with 6th class pupils of Scoil Bhríde N.S. and Tyrrelstown E.T.N.S. in Dublin 15.

Artists: John Ahearn, Mandy O’Neill, Blaise Smith & Kilian Waters 

GROUND & FIRST FLOOR GALLERIES, DRAIOCHT BLANCHARDSTOWN
Free Admission, Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm
Launches Wed 24 May 2017 at 6pm
Runs until 24 June 2017

Join Helen O’Donoghue, Senior Curator, Irish Museum of Modern Art in conversation with the Artists and with Sharon Murphy, Draiocht’s Curator in Residence 2017 on 24 May at 6pm to Launch the Exhibition.


Kilian Waters, Helen O'Donoghue, Mandy O'Neill, Blaise Smith, Sharon Murphy
 

School Portraits invites us to see contemporary artists’ representations of young people, school buildings and the wide range of activities and experiences that occur during a school day.  The exhibition presents work by sculptor John Ahearn, photographer Mandy O’Neill, painter Blaise Smith and film-maker Kilian Waters. From classroom to playground, from close-up to group studies, from painting-from-life to filmed testimonials, the exhibition is an extended portrait of school and of those who go there everyday.

 

School Portraits is the second in a series of exhibitions curated by Sharon Murphy for Draíocht. The 2017 gallery programme is informed by the social and cultural profile of Dublin 15 - where more than a quarter of the population are school-going - and by a commitment to showing a range of contemporary art practices, as well as marking the intersections between youth culture and visual culture, especially in the realm of the perfomative.

 

The works in School Portraits share not only a common theme but also a dynamic exploration of the genre of portraiture. The finished portrait is the outcome of an encounter between artist and sitter but it also begins a similar encounter between subject and viewer. Most viewers have been to school and so the pictures function as a kind of looking-glass in which they see themselves then and now. Portraiture is compelling because of its inherent ambiguity arising from the tension between individual identity and common humanity. At first glance we recognise the uniformity of the school experience but, on closer viewing, we are invited to perceive the individual identity of everybody portrayed.



John Ahearn

St Francis Street Boys 1994 by New York-based artist John Ahearn is on loan from the Irish Museum of Modern Art. It was made during a collaborative project between the C.B.S.  Francis St, Dublin and the artist during a residency at IMMA. Making the busts involved the boys having their heads and shoulders encased in quick-drying rubber latex to make the moulds from which final plaster casts were made.

 

 
Blaise Smith


Blaise Smith

Selected paintings from Schoolwork by Blaise Smith RHA are on loan from Presentation College, Carlow. Schoolwork is the outcome of a Per Cent for Art commission 2011 in which the artist undertook a year-long residency at the school. The paintings in oils were all done from life and feature numerous portraits of the students and staff recording everyday life in the cycle of the school year. 



Mandy O'Neill

Selected photographs from Promise by Mandy O’Neill are chosen from her self-initiated long-term residency (2013-2016) at Gaelschoil Bharra, Cabra.  Initially conceived as a year-long photographic study, the project grew to represent the resilience of the children and the spirit of childhood during years when the adult narrative was dominated by the seemingly endless search for a proper built environment to replace the pre-fab structure in place since 1994.

 

Seen and Not Heard is a film triptych and sound work by Kilian Waters, specially commissioned by Draíocht for this exhibition. The work was made in recent months during a short residency with children from Room 13 Inquiry Fingal at Scoil Bhríde N.S. and Tyrrelstown E.T.N.S. in Dublin 15. It portrays the diversity of faces and voices of local 6th class children as they recall and anticipate, reflect and dream at a key moment of transition in their young lives.


Kilian Waters
 

Room 13 Inquiry Fingal is an initiative of Fingal Co. Co. Arts Office under the direction of Julie Clarke and led by resident artists Orla Kelly and Anne Cradden. The Fingal Room 13 studios are the first such student-run studios to open in the Republic of Ireland.

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

Further information from Sharon Murphy, Draiocht’s Curator in Residence 2017. e: sharon@draiocht.ie / 01-8098026

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Sharon Murphy,

Studio Incubation Residencies For Artists and Curators 2017/2018

March 31, 2017



INCUBATE

Studio Incubation Residencies  

Draíocht is delighted to announce Sarah Ward and Louis Haugh as the first two artists invited to participate in INCUBATE - a series of Studio Incubation Residencies designed to support young and emerging artists and curators in giving time and space to research and develop new work.

The next series of residencies take place late 2017 and early 2018.

OPEN CALL!
The INCUBATE Residencies are for emerging, early career artists and curators (individual or small collective) who wish to have time and space to research, test new ideas, develop new work.  Draíocht has a particular interest in artists and curators whose interests lie in one or more of the following:
- interdisciplinary practice; 
- visual culture and new technologies; 
- socially engaged and collaborative practices; 
- visual arts practice for children and young people.
The Curator-in-Residence, Sharon Murphy will liaise with the artists and provide supports as required. 
A fee of €300 will be available for each residency.  
If you wish to be considered please send the following information to draiochtincubate@gmail.com by June 2nd 2017:

A current CV (2 pages maximum); A covering letter detailing your interest in and intention for DRAÍOCHT INCUBATE including an artist statement, outline plan, details about the nature of your artistic practice and process and; Website and/or other links to your work and/or up to ten images of relevant work in jpeg format.

Further details from draiochtincubate@gmail.com

Closing Date for Applications: 02 June 2017

MORE ... See a PDF of the Space

MORE ... Virtual Tour of Draiocht's Artists Studio including Dark Room

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Visual Arts Opportunities, Sharon Murphy,

Sharon Murphy Curator in Residence 2017

January 6, 2017

Sharon Murphy will be Draíocht’s Curator-in-Residence 2017 having recently received an Arts Council Visual Arts Curatorial Award. Her interests as Curator focus on the centrality of art within the lives of young people; the intersections between youth culture and visual culture; and the relationship between the visual and the performative. She sees Draíocht’s Galleries not only as places to show work but also as creative social spaces.

Her residency will explore models of practice and programming in the visual arts that engage and animate the Dublin 15 community, especially its culturally diverse and young population.


The outline programme for 2017 will include:

- A year-long residency by artist Michael McLoughlin
- A children’s commission
- An inaugural visual culture season
- A public commission involving artists from Fingal and supported by Fingal County Council.

Sharon is an independent visual art curator and photographer based in Dublin. She holds an MA in Modern Drama, a BA in Fine Art Photography and was the Irish recipient of the Jerome Hynes Fellowship on the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme (UK) 2007/2008.

NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE VISUAL ARTS 2017-2021
Draíocht has recently created a new strategic framework for the visual arts for the next five years which includes the following features:

- a curated approach to programming the visual arts
- a commitment to ensure that visual arts programming within Draíocht (or led by it) takes close cognisance of the demography of Dublin 15 and the social context within which we work
- an openness to the changing nature of the visual arts and to increased inter- disciplinary practice.

The programme will be officially launched in Spring 2017 when full details will be announced. 

For further information, contact sharon@draiocht.ie

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Sharon Murphy,

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