In November 2021, Veronica Coburn returned to Dublin 15 to seed a new, ambitious, participatory art project, to look to the text of the Irish Constitution to explore the role of women in the Irish State. Working with Film Artist, Joe Lee, Composer, Sinéad Diskin and Choreographer, Sibėal Davitt, Draíocht invited anyone interested in participating to come and find out more about the project, with an Open Day in December 2021.
Over 10 weeks in 2022, a diverse group of interested people met each Saturday afternoon in Draíocht to creatively explore the fact and impact of Article 41 in the Irish Constitution.
The creative team is back in Draíocht for a month long residency to further develop the Project, and we asked Veronica how its going.
During those 10 weeks in 2022, the creative exploration focused on lived experience of family with starting points of hands and feet. What hands have you held? Whose footsteps have you walked in? Moving into music and movement we remembered songs our grandparents sang, our parents, ourselves, our children. In such simple detail, social history becomes visible. Joni Mitchell the harbinger of a changing world. We talked about dance as a tool of expression. Why do we dance? When do we dance? What is it we feel when we move our bodies in delightful isolation, so much dancing in kitchens, or in unison, close to another person, ritually in communion with many. And we talked about art and politics and change.
The riches from that process formed the basis of the next stage of development, a month-long residency in Draíocht in June 2023, where the core creative team explored possible forms of an ambitious performance piece inspired by the creative voices of people from Dublin 15.
Over the last four weeks, the rehearsal room and studio space in Draíocht have been scattered with copies of the Irish Constitution and full of the sound of Amhrán na Bhfiann ('The Soldier's Song' - Ireland's national anthem), as well as the sound of Sibéal Davitt's feet and so much Madonna!
We’ll be bringing our findings back to the origin group later in the year and making a plan for how to bring this Spoken Opera to the stage in 2025.
Article 41 Creative Team:
Lead Artist / Veronica Coburn
Composer / Sinéad Diskin
Dance/Performer / Sibéal Davitt
Visuals / Joe Lee
Article 41 Creative Workshop Group:
Sandra Austin, Colm Deignan, Helena Foley, Niamh Geran, Jean Grey, Ger Halpin, Áine Hayden, Margot Jones, Maura Maycock, Toni McNally, Brenda McSweeney, Anne Owens, Maureen Penrose, Elaine Quinn, Vanessa Smith, Nicola Whelan.