Create – National development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts - Create - the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts Thu, 03 Sep 2015 12:34:57 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Tolka Nights – September 10-12 River Tolka

Tolka Nights

Public Art Commission

Three evening events exploring the river Tolka

Thursday September 10th, 2015 at 7pm:
The Grasshopper Inn, Clonee, Meath.
Pub Quiz, Ambient Projection & Hospitality.

Friday September 11th at 8pm:
Tolka Valley Park, near Blanchardstown, Fingal.
Screenings & Live Performances.

Saturday September 12th at 6pm:
National Botanic Gardens, Dublin.
Symposium & River Amplification.

Tolka Nights is a series of public art events, funded under the Per Cent for Art Scheme , happening in September in three distinct sites along the river Tolka. The events will consist of sound, film, performance and discussion, and explore the river's significance as an ecosystem, to communities, to diverse histories, and to regional and national current affairs.

Tolka Nights has emerged through the individual and collaborative practice of six artists brought together specifically for the commission: Matt Green, Sven Anderson, John D’Arcy, Jennie Guy, Conan McIvor and Stuart Sloan.

The opening event of Tolka Nights, held at the Grasshopper Inn, Clonee will be a Tolka Quiz enriched with riverside sounds, images and food inspired by Tolka edibles. The quiz will appeal to both those wanting to test their knowledge of the river and those wanting to learn and experience more of the river in an interactive, sociable setting. Quiz teams can expect rounds such as ‘What’s that Tolka Sound?’ and ‘Tolka or Not Tolka’.

The second event in Tolka Nights will present audiovisual work by the six artists on a full-scale outdoor screen with an immersive sound setup. Video works and live performances will merge over the course of the evening. The event setting is at the riverside deep within the Tolka Valley Park behind the Blanchardstown shopping centre.

The final event of Tolka Nights will be a symposium of presentations about the Tolka, flooding, and work by other artists in response to similar themes. This will take place in the College of Amenity and Horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin. Following these discussions, the audience will move outdoors for a closing sound event, dispersed within the garden’s unique landscape set along the Tolka.

The events contain both solo work by all the artists and activity designed and developed as a collective. The solo work includes:

  • A series of audio-visual compositions by Matt Green recounting expeditions along the Tolka in search of elusive wildlife.
  • A short film by Sven Anderson and Jennie Guy exploring an impossible ecological event and a resulting series of disjointed planning proposals addressing the built environment surrounding the Tolka. This fractured narrative will be bookended by a live reading performance by Guy and an immersive soundscape performance by Anderson.
  • A choral work of found-texts and improvised melodies composed by local singers in workshops led by John D'Arcy.   
  • An experimental film by Conan McIvor that attempts to chart the timeline of the river through a collection of vignettes; a journey through the mythical, spiritual, historical and contemporary stories associated with the Tolka.
  • A documentary short by Stuart Sloan that explores how humans affect the Tolka and how the Tolka affects humans.  

These projects are the outcome of the six artists’ extended engagement with the Tolka. Over the last several months, the group have been working through local libraries and media archives, and consulting with the river’s residents, users and maintainers as a means of grasping the river’s intricacies. Some members of the group have focused on documenting the river through audio and video recording, while others carried out song-writing and rehearsal sessions at the river’s banks, or investigated sites along the river as settings for experimental films. The artists are not attempting to narrowly define the Tolka and its significance, but instead suggest a collective of actions and responses that invite continued explorations along the river.

Tolka Nights was commissioned under the Per Cent for Art Scheme relating to the creation of flood defence systems on the River Tolka in catchment areas across Dublin, Fingal, and Meath. This commission is supported by the Office of Public Works (OPW), Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Meath County Council, and Create. The commission provides a dynamic platform for public art to explore new connections between the river Tolka and the regions surrounding it.

All events are free and open to the public, but booking is required via Eventbrite.

For more information about Tolka Nights, including bookings for the events, please visit:

Social Media:

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Review of Jay Koh's Art-Led Participative Processes by Michaële Cutaya Activities from Open Academy Mongolia, 2010 – Jay Koh and Chu Yuan. 

Book review by Michaële Cutaya

Art-Led Participative Processes

Dialogue and subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday

by Jay Koh
University of the Arts, Helsinki, 226 pp. 2015, 978 952 7131 03 9

Born in Singapore, Jay Koh is an artist and curator who has conducted participatory public art projects throughout Europe and Asia since the 1990s. Informed by his previous work as a social and health activist in Cologne, his art activities are led by a search for social justice. He has been working over several projects in Ireland since 2007 and has developed strong ties with many artists and organisations in the country. Art-Led Participative Processes, Dialogue and subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday is the book form of his PhD thesis for the University of Arts in Helsinki. The PhD thesis included interviews, recordings and videos in addition to the main text. Building upon a series of case studies of participatory projects conducted in Myanmar, Finland and Ireland, the text develops a methodology for participatory practices focusing on the collaborative processes involved. Acknowledging the multiplicity of disciplines that contributes to our understanding of social interactions and interpersonal relationships, Koh draws theoretical insights from anthropology, cultural theory, philosophy of language, sociology and psychoanalysis. In keeping with the modernist avant-garde lineage, Koh aims for his art to be resolutely transformative, but he questions the shock tactics and provocations the avant-garde is routinely associated with. He also finds the lack of an ethical framework for participatory practices problematic. The research for the book sets out to find a framework and methodology for socially engaged art practices and an ethics of engagement to deal with such issues as the authorship of the work and the sustainability of the outcome.

Koh’s practice is situated within the broad spectrum of participatory and relational art, but responds more specifically to Grant Kester’s theorisation of Dialogical Art. In his approach Kester requires “us to locate the moment of indeterminateness, of open-ended and liberatory possibility, not in the perpetually changing form of the artwork qua object, but in the very process of communication and solidarity that the artwork catalyzes.”[1] Kester was Koh’s supervisor for his PhD thesis and wrote the foreword to this book. He welcomes Koh’s focus on the nature of collaboration itself:

The complex process whereby the spatial and temporal horizons of a given project are established, transgressed, and re-asserted, and the various subject positions (of artist, witness, collaborator, antagonist, and so on) are formed, modified and differentiated, is little understood, and seldom treated with any real theoretical or analytic sophistication. (p.1)

Through a constant weaving of theoretical concepts, reflexivity and recounting of experiences from participatory projects over sixteen years, Koh draws out a methodology: Art-Led Participative Processes (ALPP). For which he gives the initial definition as follows:

ALPP are a holistic set of micro processes that take place concurrently between others and me as fellow participants over a durational indeterminate time, through progressive phases. They involve acts of communication, interpersonal negotiations, relationship building and reciprocal enactment and re-enactment of roles and activities and performances in everyday context. Working together and in gradual accumulative manner, they affect the outcome of a re-examination of how we as individuals acquire values, form / construct our subjectivities, exercise choices, respond to inequality, understand agency, and imagine alternatives. (pp. 30-31)

This definition will be re-articulated throughout the book in response to new contexts and concepts. Some terms such as micro processes, interpersonal negotiations or gradual accumulation will recur in Koh’s narrative. The successive processes of ALPP involving the closely related four key concepts of Dialogue, Participation, Construction of Subjectivity and Performances in the Everyday are described as:

Several processes occur in ALPP, consisting of ( 1 ) participative and dialogic interactions and performances; ( 2 ) creative exploration / imagination through art-led activities; ( 3 ) the exercise of engaged criticality (examining subjectivity, etc.) to generate transitional meanings and intersubjective bonding; and ( 4 ) knowledge / resource-building activities. All of these take place within structures of everyday life. (p. 31)

Koh examines each key concept in turn using specific project examples where their validity has been tested. The long running NICA project in Yangon was instrumental in uncovering difficulties that are addressed through the developing theory.

The first key concept, Dialogue is based on Mikhail Bakhtin theorisation of dialogism using such terms as ‘heteroglossia’, ‘polyphony’ or ‘utterance’. Dialogue constituting the first phase of a project in initiating contact, it is important to recognise the non-neutral nature of language and to acknowledge the different voices: “language is […] loaded with multiple meanings, references and expressions from the past,
present and class differences […], acting together in any utterance by an individual
who is being addressed by and in turn responds to others, termed as addressivity.” (p.49) However Koh is aware that belief in dialogue should avoid ‘dialogical determinism’ or that all conflicts can be solved by a free and open exchange. (p.56)
Recounting an early experience in Yangon when working on bringing together two artists organisations to set up a networking and resource-sharing symposium in 2002 (Collaborative, Networking and Resource Sharing, Myanmar), Koh proposed a working process based on ‘accountability’ and ‘transparency’ which sounded like good practice. However the approach depended on a common understanding of language and practice that was defeated by cultural differences and social conditions specific to Myanmar. (p.26-27) This led the artist to consider the need to reduce the level of anxiety through the use of everyday social spaces and what the artist terms secondary socialisation prior to engaging with sensitive issues.

On Participation, Koh starts by a critique of participation in both art practices and NGO work, finding their use of participation often tokenistic or likely to reflect in their top down approach the very power structures they profess to challenge. For his part Koh proposes self-determined participation. By this he means a participation that is undertaken voluntarily and driven by curiosity or desire to learn and which is sustained through decision-making processes (p.68). Incidentally this self-constituting approach to form a group avoids the fetishization of ‘community’ on an ethnic or social basis. For instance when starting to work with the ‘new’ community of migrant Chinese in Dublin within an overall agenda towards social integration [2], the group Koh ended up working with was (self) constituted of very diverse individuals who each had their own personal reasons to engage with the project. Or not.

Building upon sociological theory of primary and secondary socialisation in the construction of subjectivity, Koh suggests that ALPP work as a form of secondary socialisation, which can lead to a transformation of individuals’ narrative. To initiate this process, it is necessary to reduce anxieties and as such the social space of the everyday plays a vital part – first encounters usually take place in a convivial social setting such as a restaurant (p.60).

The in-depth case study of Koh’s work with Chinese migrants in Dublin from 2007 to 2010 allows for an examination of the working concepts of ALPP and their re-articulation. The initial commission by CityArts led to the development of two public art projects with migrant Chinese: Ni Hao – Dia Duit and Reading the Self Reading the Other. Koh recounts how he initiated contact meeting up with people and placing articles in the Chinese newspaper the Sun Emerald. Koh acknowledges the distortions that his recounting the events necessarily introduces, and how important it is to account for his own subjectivity at all stages in the process. It is an attractive aspect of Koh’s approach where he recognises problems of methodology as well as failures along the way. They are not all equally dealt with in the book but the sense of constant questioning of his own assumptions makes for a dynamic reading.

The two projects allowed for a better understanding of how processes of socialisation might be taken into account:

As each person’s interests and priorities are conditioned through primary and secondary socialisation, much time, sustained exposure and accumulated engagement as open process (not grand theory) are needed for any change to come about or for new interests to develop. The process entails a sustained period of slowly building up familiarity and trust, through co-presence and interaction with others in initially convivial situations. (p.122)

A photography competition proved to be an ideal setting to engage participants’ interest and open up discussions on subjects that matter to them. Open process and a slow build up of trust are core elements to Koh’s working method, which raise some questions around the context of the projects. In the narrative there are few references to the artist’s relationship with funding organisations, but one such is telling and hint at very real difficulties. Through the open process of exchange initiated with the Chinese migrants, the new migrants expressed a sense of exploitation by the more established and better connected Chinese community. The issue was taken up as part of the project, but ruffled some feathers with the funding organisations that had close ties with the established Chinese community. Koh suggests it might have had an influence on the suspension of funding the following year (p.111) – he was however able to source funding from elsewhere to continue his work. The openness of the process and the sustained engagement with a group demand a loose structure where the participants can follow the process where it leads them. Conditions in fact one might be tempted to call ‘autonomous’. For all the social engagement and responsiveness to the people and structure of authority to be dealt with, the recounting of the projects from Myanmar to Ireland give the impression of an indeterminate space of action, free from external agendas. An impression invalidated by the short aside concerning the suspension of funding in the Dublin project. Another comment also alludes to how certain activities initiated by Koh might have been presented by the funding organisations as a validation of their activities in contradiction with the very problems Koh’s projects highlighted (p.126). Of course these problems in participative public art practices have been often raised; the lack of time to develop a project and the conflicting aims of the founders and the artist/participants being recurring conditions that artists have to deal with. What struck me was that many artists in the overall field of socially engaged practices have often shrugged off notions of autonomy as irrelevant to their work, and yet in his (and others) recounting of his projects, Koh presents a situation that is best described as autonomous: the participants can follow the best fitting line of inquiry or action – “Outcomes need to be kept indeterminate” p. 142 [3]– within a flexible time frame that will allow for the sufficient time. Perhaps the concept of autonomy needs fine tuning to different situations but it may not be quite done yet as a sought after if always elusive condition of practice.

ALPP engage with another debated topic with the transformative potential of everyday life. Classical autonomists, such as Theodore Adorno, argued that it was too alienated by consumerist ideology to be a place where change can take place. Others, such as Michel de Certeau, saw the repetitive and unconscious nature of the everyday actions as the ultimate place of resistance to ideology. Henry Lefebvre for his part acknowledged that no matter how alienated everyday life might be, there would be no change that will not start there. Recent political developments from Greece to Spain or even Ireland, seem indeed to place the possibilities of change within the everyday life rather than traditional party politics.

Some issues that have often come to the fore within participative public practices are given a thorough account in Koh’s thesis. One is the status of the artist as outsider sometimes criticised as a superficial parachuting as opposed to the embedded artist. Koh’s approach is refreshing in detailing the many advantages of the ‘outsider’ artist while acknowledging some drawbacks. His lack of knowledge of the place and lack of proficiency in the language are advantageously offset by his capacity to sidestep certain social restrictions without causing offence. In Rauma for instance, people responded to Koh’s questions but would have thought them intrusive coming from a fellow Finn (p.27). To allow sufficient time for the project to develop make up for some of the problems of the outsider artist. Acknowledging time as a precious resource, it is nonetheless bound up to the necessities of the project. The length of a project is indeterminate at the outset, but Koh is clear that his engagement is limited as continued interactions might become counter-productive – ceasing to be perceived as an outsider and becoming involved in local power struggle for instance might limit possibilities of actions.[4]

Koh’s book provides a rich and detailed account of the micro processes involved in the interpersonal relationships of his participative practice. He defines his role as a ‘relationally responsive character’ with neither the autonomy of the interventionist nor the subservience of the facilitator. Theory and practice are constantly mirroring each other in Koh’s responsive and reflective methodology. One might wonder however, at a time when an increasing number of our interactions are mediated by digital technologies, in which directions will a practice tightly focused on the personal encounter develop?

Michaële Cutaya

[1] Grant Kester, Conversation Pieces, University of California Press, 2004, p.90.
[2] In 2007, Koh was commissioned by CityArts, with support from the Irish Youth foundation and the Dublin Inner City Partnership, to carry out research with potential groups around the issue of social integration (p.105).
[3] The indeterminate outcome is also what Koh identifies as the main difference with the ‘pretermined objective’ of the activist. P.162.
[4] For a good discussion of these issues see Ailbhe Murphy, Should I Stay or Should I go Now? Temporal Economies in Socially Engaged Arts Practice, Fugitive Papers 5, Winter 2013 pp. 16-19.

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Workshop call out for artists, curators, and cultural practitioners - deadline September 7 Create-Logo-Strap-Grey-479-82Fire Station Artists Studios logo


Call out for artists, curators, and cultural practitioners

2-day workshop  

20 & 21 October 2015

‘Strategies of Non Participation’ - workshop by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler

FSAS and CREATE are delighted to present this workshop which addresses ways of working, in conditions of flux and challenge, for Artists, Curators and Cultural Practitioners.

This 2-day workshop explores alternative strategies of ‘non-participation ’ for arts practitioners in the field of socially engaged and collaborative arts practice. It investigates the terms and conditions of images, objects, collaboration, dialogue and the social today. The workshop will also examine the mechanisms for sustainable practice and for mutations of how to work collaboratively in the very fluid world of today.

The term ‘non participation’ is a device developed by artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler for questioning and challenging current conditions of political involvement and resistance. Their collaborative art practice titled ‘The Museum of Non Participation’ embeds its institutional critique in its very title, yet it releases itself from being an actual museum. Instead it travels as a place, a slogan, a banner, a performance, a newspaper, a film, an intervention, an occupation: into situations that enable this museum to “act”.’ Mirza and Butler work across national boundaries, combining an activism and learning in their methodologies. How this approach transfers across geographical and cultural boundaries provides both opportunities and challenges, which will be explored as part of the workshop.

Artists, Curators and Cultural Practitioners working in the field of socially engaged arts practice and who would like to examine new ways of developing their working methodologies are welcome to take part.
Fees for this 2 day workshop are €50 which includes lunch

To apply, please submit an up to date CV and a short cover letter, outlining your interest in this workshop to

Deadline for submission: 7 September 2015

Artists Biographies

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler's multi-layered practice consists of filmmaking, drawing, installation, photography, performance, publishing and curating. Their work challenges terms such as participation, collaboration, the social turn and the traditional roles of the artist as producer and the audience as recipient. The artists have repeatedly found themselves embedded in pivotal moments of change, protest, non-alignment and debate. Experiencing such spaces of contestation both directly and through the network of art institutions, Mirza and Butler negotiate these influences in video, photography, text and action. Their recent solo exhibitions include: The Unreliable Narrator, Whitechapel Gallery (2015); The New Deal, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013); and The Guest of Citation, Performa 13, New York (2013). Mirza and Butler have exhibited internationally, including FACT, Liverpool, Centro de Arte Dos De Mayo, Madrid, La Capella, Barcelona, Arnolfini, Bristol, and Serpentine Gallery, London. In 2014 they were nominated for the Artes Mundi 6 Award for artists engaging with a social practice. Most recently, Mirza has exhibited Fig2, 27/50 at ICA Studios curated by Fatos Ustek July 2015.

For further information, please email

This workshop is being run as part of the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Partners: Create, Ireland (coordinating partner) Agora Collective, hablarenarte:, Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Live Art Development Agency, Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art, M-Cult and Tate Liverpool.

Logo: Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European UnionCollaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) logoArts Council logo

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Cork "Ignite": Artist Simon Mckeown – Dream big at Cork Culture Night – September 18 Artist Simon McKeown, Cork Ignite workshops, June 2014.

Cork “Ignite”: Artist Simon Mckeown

Joining cork-based disability organisations to

Dream big


Cork Culture Night

Friday September 18th 2015

Simon Mckeown, renowned international artist, will present a free live art event during Cork’s Culture Night 2015, as one of three “Ignite” commissions, which represent the largest ever investment in Ireland’s arts and disability sector. Cork Ignite will showcase a dazzling mix of technologies; riverside buildings will be brought to life through wild projections and an accompanying music score.  

Simon will be working with the National Sculpture Factory and Create, along with Cork-based disability organisations Suisha Inclusive Arts at COPE Foundation and SoundOUT, to produce a spectacular event that will dazzle thousands of on-lookers on Friday September 18th. He says of the Ignite commission, “My aim is to create, in collaboration with different groups, a hugely exciting body of work in Cork and for this work to be seen as a fundamental stepping stone in the perception and production of art which touches on, or considers disability. Partnership and collaboration are key to what I do”

Simon has over 25 years of professional creative experience, and was awarded his own prestigious Cultural Olympiad/London 2012 Festival commission, which represented a watershed moment for contemporary disability art.  Simon’s work is often process-based, and he is committed to inclusion and collaboration through his practice, working with artists with disabilities as key shapers or co-creators of an artwork.  His work is a reflection of his interest, knowledge and experience of disability and in particular society’s view of ‘normality’ and ‘difference’. Simon also draws from his own personal experience having been born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition causing extremely fragile bones.

Ignite is a new platform designed to generate Ireland’s most ambitious showcasing of talent from people with disabilities, led by  international and Irish artists and performers with disabilities, with projects taking place in 2014 and 2015 in Cork, Galway and Mayo. These commissions each represent an investment of up to €60,000. The initiative will conclude with a tour of one of the resulting works to all three counties (and beyond) in 2015.

Ignite is managed by a unique partnership involving the Arts Council, Arts & Disability Ireland (ADI), Cork City Council, Galway City and County Councils, and Mayo County Council.

Cork Ignite is also supported by:
•    Teesside University: School of Computing
•    Cork Arts and Health Programme, HSE South
•    Cork Education and Training Board
•    XL Video
•    The River Lee Hotel: the official accommodation and hospitality sponsor for Cork Ignite
•    UCC98.3FM: University College Cork’s official student radio station
•    CIT Cork School of Music
•    The Theatre Development Centre, Cork: towards residency support.
•    Focus Surveys for production support.

Cork Ignite, Union Quay, Cork (access from Parnell Place/Anglesea Street)
Friday 18th September, gather from 8.45pm for a 9.15pm start.
Cork Ignite welcomes audiences with disabilities. Access information and further event information will be available on

Audience Advisory: Please be aware that there will be some flashing lights.



Simon Mckeown trained in Fine Art and a Lecturer in Computer Animation and Post Production at Teesside University, Simon Mckeown has an affinity for motion capture and its ability to perfectly catalogue the movements, idiosyncrasies and beauty of a person, regardless of body shape and size.

He was awarded his own London 2012 Summer Olympics commission and took part in two other Cultural Olympiad/London 2012 Festival projects, widely recognised as a watershed moment for contemporary disability art. His original piece of work, Motion Disabled, went global in a single day when it was projected on to buildings in 17 countries all over the world in a project coordinated by VSA.  See here:

Simon was named DaDaFest International Artist of the Year 2010. He has exhibited at the Smithsonian International Gallery, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, the Deutsche Hygiene Museum in Dresden and in Australia, South Korea, USA and all over the UK. 

For more information visit:


The National Sculpture Factory is based in Cork, Ireland and annually programmes dynamic new commissions and produces art projects in collaboration with Irish and international artists and other agencies.  It is the co-commissioner for Cork Ignite by Simon Mckeown. For more details visit


Create is the national agency for collaborative arts  in Ireland. Create provide advice and support services to artists and arts organisations across artfrorm working collaboratively with communities in social and community contexts. Create also work with a range of arts organisations on partnership projects and events, including a varied and exciting talks programme with leading speakers from across different sectors.  It is the co-commissioner for Cork Ignite by Simon Mckeown.  For more details visit


Pádraig Naughton, Executive Director, Arts & Disability Ireland, says, “Ignite represents the single largest investment in the arts and disability sector ever. It is an opportunity to dream big and make real, new and innovative work by artists with disabilities, on a scale previously never before seen in Ireland.”

Arts Council Director, Orlaith McBride, says, “The Arts Council is delighted to follow the progress of Ignite, a groundbreaking alliance between the Arts Council, ADI, Cork City Council, Galway City & County Councils and Mayo County Council, which has led to the commissioning of exciting and challenging new work. These collaborations will generate Ireland's most ambitious and wide ranging showcasing of talent from people with disabilities, led by international and Irish artists and performers with disabilities.”

Sean O’Sullivan, IT Entrepreneur, former “Dragon" from RTE’s Dragon’s Den, and supporter of the project, says, “Cork Ignite is an ambitious project that not only highlights Cork as both a technology and cultural hub, but shows how working across borders and taking an international approach builds innovation. As any great engineer and product designer knows, art and technology work hand in glove.”

Valerie O’Sullivan, Director of Service with responsibility for Cultural Services says, “Cork City Council has been involved in this sector for a number of years, with our partners in the Arts Council and Arts & Disability Ireland, as well as Mayo and Galway County and City Councils.  We are delighted that Cork will present as part of the series of Ignite commissions.”

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New audio: Panel discussion as part of Asylum Archive Speaker icon

New on soundcloud:

Panel discussion as part of Asylum Archive

Date: March 3
Time: 6pm
Venue: Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, Galway City

Speakers in order
Chair: Katrina Goldstone Panel: Vukasin Nedeljkovic, Anthony Haughey (DIT), Charlotte McIvor (NUIG), Megs Morley, curator;  Anne Mulhall, (UCD).

Click here to listen on soundcloud.

]]> (Create) frontpage Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:12:47 +0000
Create News 18: Susanne Bosch on Nomadic Practice Cover image for Nomadic Practice - CREATE: NEWS 18 - May 2015

Nomadic Practice - CREATE: NEWS 18 - May 2015

Artist As a Double Agent

Susanne Bosch

'I am sitting at the airport, about to fly to Berlin. For the millionth time, I find myself in a contradictory position between knowledge and action; what it is that I know and what it is that I do.

'I am flying again, an action that I intended to stop even though I currently what might be called a nomadic practitioner. More ironically still, I'm coming from a four-week residency dealing with sustainability and future viability and going to Berlin to participate in EU project to look at ways of enhancing transnational mobility for collaborative artists…'

Read more… [PDF]

]]> (Create) frontpage Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:32:31 +0000
(Re)Public for Chicago as part of Culture Ireland 2016 Showcase Hyde Park Art Center. Image: courtesy of the Art Center.

Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland, is delighted to announce that their proposal for a collaborative arts showcase to be held in Chicago during 2016 has been successful in the Culture Ireland International Culture Programme for 2016. Culture Ireland invited proposals from artists and presenters interested in participating in the 2016 International Culture Programme of the Government's to mark the centenary of 1916.

Organised by Create, with the support of Culture Ireland, (Re)Public will showcase the work of seven leading socially engaged Irish artists in different artforms. Create will bring the showcase to the Hyde Park Arts Centre, Chicago in autumn 2016. The exhibition, as well as a series of themed events, will engage with a number of socio-political themes, reflecting the complexity of 21st century Ireland and the richness of collaborative arts practice in Ireland today.

The artists taking part are: Seamus Nolan (Visual Arts) Dylan Tighe (Theatre/ Music) Marie Barrett/ North 55 (Visual Arts) Philippa Donnellan / Cois Ceim (Dance) Sean Taylor and Mikael Fernström / Softday (Sound Art) with curator/artist Megs Morley (Film/Visual Arts).

Hyde Park Arts Center in Chicago is a leading American cultural institution, and an ideal venue to demonstrate the place of Irish artists in a broader global collaborative arts context. Hyde Park Art Center welcomes 45,000 people annually and is an outstanding example of how an institution can develop its city’s artists while remaining accessible and relevant to its immediate community.

Hyde Park Arts Center
Culture Ireland

Culture Ireland International Culture Programme for 2016

For further information on (Re)Public – contact Katrina Goldstone

Culture Ireland 2016 1916 centenary logo

]]> (Create) frontpage Thu, 16 Jul 2015 09:54:57 +0000
Minister Leo Varadkar launches Typecast - July 1 Left to right: Sammy Jo Tyndall, Kristian Dalgarno, Kathrina Wynne, artist Kathleen Moroney and Minister for Health Leo Vardkar at the TYPECAST launch. Image: Ailbhe Murphy.

Minister launches Typecast - ceramic sculptures created by Coolmine clients

The Typecast Project with partners: Create, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Coolmine, funded by Léargas through the Grundtvig Programme.

Mr. Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Health launched the Typecast project with a display of ceramic sculptures created by twenty Coolmine Therapeutic Community clients, as part of their recovery from addiction.

The sculptures named Up & Down, Round & Round – Trying to Reach My Destination are displayed in the Coolmine Centre. The clients worked on them over a twelve week period, in collaboration with artist, Ms Kathleen Moroney, who shared artistic concepts, led workshops working with clay and produced the display of the artwork.

The Typecast project initiated and led by Create the national development agency for collaborative arts, in partnership with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Coolmine Therapeutic Community, in conjunction with the European Lifelong Learning Programme.

Minister Varadkar congratulated the clients on their achievements and said that the innovative collaboration between various agencies had not only identified the creativity of the clients, but also made a valuable contribution to their recovery.

“By complementing the excellent therapy provided by Coolmine Therapeutic Community, Create and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland have given these clients a tangible opportunity to identify their talents in a workplace environment, away from addiction and its consequence. I hope that other agencies will emulate this collaborative approach in the delivery of their services,” he says.

The project is based on the ‘Typecast’ which was instigated by Portraits of Recovery in partnership with the British Ceramic Biennial as a pilot in 2012.

It centres on the use of clay as a medium, material and process, offering an opportunity to artists to work collaboratively with a community in recovery to explore ideas that may stem from the groups’ experience.

This involves an EU learning collaboration across six countries in order to develop and share methodologies, which support artists working with people in recovery from substance misuse.

Ceramic artist, Kathleen Moroney, worked with the clients within the context of substance misuse and recovery, to create a new contemporary collaborative artwork utilising clay.

Kathleen said that some of the works in the collection contained light, some had moving parts, but all of the works united in a permanent display reflecting separate journeys together.

“The clients put their trust in me and in the art process, even when I challenged them to move beyond their comfort zone. Through repetition and time, and the simple act of churning out clay cars, we created a space of trust, where complex personal narratives eventually unravelled and were translated into ceramic compositions rich in metaphor,” she said.

Each client was at a different stage in their recovery, everyone was experiencing something different, change was consistent, acute and cyclic. They worked within the constraints of a six inch clay tile and their stories were restricted to the ‘relevant now’, which was highlighted in coloured underglazes.

Ms Pauline McKeown, CEO Coolmine Therapeutic Community said that communities like ours tend to be invisible.

“By making recovery “visible” through this project via access to cultural opportunity it provides a voice, control over identity and representation, helps overcome psychological access barriers to inclusivity and can help de-construct stigma. We believe that this project has made a valuable contribution in helping to return to a drug-free life,” she said.

Ms Muireann Charleton, the Council’s Education & Innovation Manager said that the project was a journey of discovery about the realities of life for those people in recovery, and specifically how working with clay can open up a sea of positive possibilities in the discovery process. “This was the first project of this nature undertaken by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, and we are privileged to have been involved”.

Ailbhe Murphy, Director, Create: “Create is delighted to support this exciting artists’ commission and to be part of this very important project, which represents a significant EU learning collaboration across six countries.”

This project was funded by Léargas through the Grundtvig Programme, which is part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, focusing on education for adults.

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DIY12 with Adam James – deadline June 22 Wasteland Rituals, 2014. Image courtesy of Joe Plommer.

DIY12 with Adam James Call for Participants

DIY 12: 2015 - Adam James ‘Maps of Power’
with Create
Application Deadline: 22 June

Dates: Thursday 3 - Saturday 5 September, 2015
Venue: Central Dublin performance studio location tbc.

Constructing a fictional people to remap a forgotten city

Project Summary

‘… the places are what remain, are what you can possess, are what is immortal.’

– Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

This project takes two fictional communities and explores the traces left behind as they pass North to South through an outmoded landscape.

Working together, we will respond to dereliction, brownfield and industrial sites, wastelands and forgotten streets exploring how these spaces might inform our sense of self and community. Through structured play, we will unearth forgotten stories and stage a midnight meeting between two estranged communities.

This project fuses pyschogeography with pervasive Nordic larp (Live Action Role-play) and builds upon my work exploring the creation of fictional outsiders, their worlds, totemic-sculptures, proto-politics, languages, rituals and myths.

For this project I am interested in bringing diverse group of people together for a weekend of workshops exploring community creation methods culminating in a midnight Larp which is a reflection of Dublin’s Northern and Southern outskirts and is an attempt to remap dereliction.

This workshop is open to people of any background that are looking to learn about new ways to form communities, tell stories and reclaim spaces. There are no formal requirements needed to participate in the project, other than a positive can do attitude and a willingness to engage in outdoor physical activity alongside people from various backgrounds. The culminating activity itself will involve a walk of approximately 2-3hrs, so participants will need to have at least a modest degree of fitness and sensible walking shoes.

I will be particularly interested in hearing from people with an interest in sharing information, workshops, experiences, methods or artwork relating to: crowd dynamics/group psychology/ survival skills/proto-politics/social cartography/urban archeology/song lines and anything you feel is related.

Central to the workshops is the exploration of group alibi, silence, contact improvisation, blindfold story telling, and intuitive ritual creation and sculptural responses to environmental and architectural stimuli.

As an applicant, you must wish to participate in the creation of a moving image art piece created through the documentation of a midnight larp. Over three days you will, you will take part in something special – the creation of a fictional community, a new moving image work and a city wide pervasive larp.
This workshop is free but participants are expected to bring their own food and drink. If you are coming from anywhere other than the locality and need accommodation, we will provide information on this when your attendance has been confirmed.


Apply via this link:

Adam James

Working across performance, role-play, film and sculpture, Adam James brings to life characters, rituals and events, which look at the place of body, ritual and play in contemporary societies. He is influenced by ethnographic and anthropological studies, and produces works portraying fictional peoples evolutionary steps, which in turn generate elaborate artifacts and documentation.

James’ practice has developed from an on-going interest into the social and cultural characteristics of outsiders, and more recently the gestural qualities that define a group or individual as being inside or outside of the whole. Using role-play, Adam creates semi-fictional characters whose purpose is to better understand personal, social and cultural constructs. Central to his methodology is the use of alibi as a tool to engender risk taking, improvisation and experimentation.

Working alongside community groups and dancers, James’ facilitates the co-creation of fictional cultures, which are used in the exploration of site-specific locations, such as brownfield sites. As such, James’ performances often take the form of hidden or pervasive games in which imaginary in-between worlds are temporarily inhabited by micro-communities.

Born in Birmingham (UK), Adam James has been performing, exhibiting and running Larps nationally and internationally since 2007


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Create Debate – Makeshift Ensemble – June 21 Makeshift Ensemble. Image: Una Hennessy.

Create Debate – Makeshift Ensemble

As part of Cork Midsummer

Date: 21 June
Time: 2pm
Venue: TDC, Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin St, Cork City; (021) 427 2022
Free but ticketed

Create is delighted to be working again in partnership with Cork Midsummer.

An afternoon salon event, hosted by Create, will offer an opportunity to share the experiences of artists that work with communities in a festival context, and their learning as they make participatory work.

Create have invited Cork based theatre company Makeshift Ensemble. In conversation with Katherine Atkinson of Create, they will talk about their new theatre production, Roger Casement, and their engagement with the people of Cork as both participants and audience.

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