2022 in Review
2022 was a year filled with professional development opportunities, artist advisory support, awards, bursaries, public events, capacity building and more.
As the work of collaborative/ socially engaged artists continued to evolve through 2022, we were delighted to be able to support their work throughout the year and across the country.
Here’s just a selection of our activities in 2022.
We started the year in January by sharing a new Artist in the Community Scheme Case Study. These Case Studies are designed to reflect the real lived experiences of collaborative artists working with communities of interest or place. SEED: objects of wonder is a new mixed media journal of art and writing, devised by writers Felicia Olusanya and Grace Wilentz and funded by the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by Create. Aware of virtual platform fatigue resulting from the pandemic, and a revived interest in receiving beautiful mail, the pair came up with the idea of making a paper ‘cabinet of curiosities’ in which a curated selection of prints, poetry, interviews, film stills, recipes, photographs and crafts can be found. You can read the full case study here.
In February, we were delighted to attend the launch of The Apology, a short film performance that brings together diverse experiences of Ireland’s housing crisis as one compelling narrative. The Apology is the first public act from ‘Multi-Story – Creative Engagement for Housing Change’, a project by artists Fiona Whelan and Feidlim Cannon, and Housing Action Now, supported by Create through the Arts Council’s Commissions Award 2020. The Apology has gone on to be viewed widely, with sections of the testimonies featured, read into the official Seanad Record. You can watch The Apology here.
Also in February, we announced the recipients of the Artist in the Community Scheme Mentoring Award Pilot, Tara Carroll, Niamh Gibbons, Kasia Kaminska, Yasmin Mello and Brigid Mulligan, who worked with mentors Aisling Byrne, Ruairí O’Donnabháin, Deirdre O’Mahony, Feidlim Cannon and Jijo Sebastian, respectively.
In March, we shared recordings from the 2021 Networks of Solidarity online talks series co-organised by artist/organiser Kate O’Shea and writer/researcher Enya Moore from the Just City Collective, which aims to strengthen transnational networks of solidarity and deepen awareness of place-based struggles that reverberate from Dublin 8 to Gadigal Country (Sydney, Australia). This series featured four interconnected and overlapping sessions entitled Between our Minds; In the Roots; Through our Stories and On the Airwaves from invited artists, activists, community workers, designers, academics, researchers, writers, and filmmakers based largely in Ireland and Australia. You can watch all four of the videos on the resources page of our website.
Throughout the year, we offer one to one advisory sessions for artists and community members who wish to learn more about or develop their collaborative practice. April was busy providing feedback to applicants to the Artist in the Community Scheme, and connecting with successful award recipients. You can read more about the projects and research and development awarded funding here.
In May we partnered with Dance Ireland to offer “The Ethical Turn in Performance Based Collaborative Practice – Decentering the Dance Artist in a Collaborative Context”, an interactive workshop for dance/theatre/live performance artists engaging in or learning about collaborative practice. Led by artists Cathy Coughlan and Tobi Omoteso, this day-long workshop explored fun, open and authentic co-creation, and the duty of care and respect necessary as dance artists working in a collaborative context with diverse communities. This workshop was offered as part of our commitment to ongoing professional development for collaborative artists.
In June, we published and distributed our bi-annual Create News. Issue #31 featured John Bissett, a community worker who lives and works in Dublin. John has been involved with a broad range of social movements working to effect positive change and to challenge the imposition of policies and actions which dominate and inflict suffering across the social body. He has been involved with grassroots youth and community work in the city of Dublin since the late 1980s. John is currently a member of Housing Action Now and Red Wheelbarrow Productions. In this piece, John writes about the long history of arts and activism, focusing in particular on his working base of Rialto, Inchicore and Bluebell, in Dublin’s south inner city. Read the full issue of Create News here.
Also in June, we collaborated with National College of Art and Design (NCAD) on Collaborative Learning in the Neighbourhood: Reflections on NCAD’s Dublin 8 Neighbourhood Residency, a public sharing by students and stakeholders of the Residency programme. Since its inception in 2020, NCAD’s Dublin 8 Neighbourhood Residency programme has offered Undergraduate Fine Art students an in-depth learning experience of the richness of community-based collaborative arts practice. Immersed in the local neighbourhood of the college and hosted by a network of community organisations including Rialto Youth Project, The Bridge Project and Robert Emmet CDP, as well as Create, the residency supports students to develop their ideas and practices in context and in partnership with others. This event brought together NCAD students and staff, along with local community workers, youth workers, artists and educators to critically reflect upon shared experiences and consider the challenges and potential of collaborative arts practice in the neighbourhood.
In July, we partnered once more with Counterpoints Arts to offer the 2022 School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice. Influenced by global and translocal practices, the Summer School is shaped by the diverse life experiences of participants and the work and mentoring of visiting artists and facilitators. The 2022 edition of the School further focused on the cultural and political understandings of ‘place’ in a world increasingly shaped by displacement and uncertainty. The School took the form of a five-day residency enabling a ‘think and do’ collaborative approach, utilising a combination of creative workshops, critical and comparative case studies, a creative group challenge, one-to-one mentoring, together with international guest artists including curators, policymakers and activists.
Also in July, we announced Pavithra Kannan as the recipient of the Create, Galway Arts Centre and Creative Places Tuam residency award.The residency took place in September across both Galway Arts Centre and Creative Places Tuam, providing opportunities for research, exchange, networking, and learning, with additional curatorial advice from Galway Arts Centre. Pavithra used the time and support afforded by the residency to address specific environmental, social aesthetic and economic concerns within a located context involving aspects of time and space.
In August, the board of Directors appointed Damien McGlynn as Direct of Create. Commenting on Damien’s appointment, chair of the board Clodagh Kenny said “Following a rigorous recruitment process, we are delighted to welcome Damien to Create. He is coming to a strong and resilient organisation with a clear reputation in the field of collaborative arts practice in Ireland and abroad. Damien has extensive experience strategically managing the complexities of partnerships, stakeholder relationships and in realising creative projects. His experience and ambition make him very well placed to lead the work of Create nationally and internationally”. Damien’s appointment sees him take on the position held by Dr Ailbhe Murphy since 2015. The board and executive sincerely thank Ailbhe for her leadership, dedication and passion over the past eight years.
In September, Round Two of the Artist in the Community Scheme closed for applications. The awardees were announced later in the year. Each year, the Create team engages in a critical evaluation of how we ask applicants to apply. In recent years as part of a commitment to widening access to the AIC Scheme, we have implemented online application forms as well as introducing additional access supports, to remove barriers for artist applicants. You can read more about these efforts on our website.
Also in September, we also announced Amna Walayat as the recipient of the SIRIUS and Create Artist Residency Award. Amna is a Cork-based, Pakistani-born artist examining South Asian identity, drawing from her personal experience as well as past and contemporary narratives of othering. The residency took place at SIRIUS between 22 September and 18 October, and provided Amna opportunities for professional development, exchange, networking, and learning, with additional curatorial advice from SIRIUS, as well as the opportunity to work with both SIRIUS and Create to explore areas of her practice in an environment of rigorous discussion and critical feedback.
October saw us announce an International Residency opportunity for a collaborative artist based in Ireland at Planta Alta in Madrid, in partnership with hablarenarte, an independent platform based in Madrid, Spain. This residency is intended to be primarily inquiry based, offering a unique opportunity to delve into research, discourse, and engagement with the diverse publics situated within the area local to Planta Alta. As the Residency develops, hablarenarte is committed to organising access to a range of encounters, events or other public facing programming that add to the positive development of the artist’s ideas.
In November, we were delighted to welcome more than 100 attendees to Tuam as part of our Networking Event, offered by Creative Places and Create, and hosted by Creative Places Tuam. The Networking event was rich and impactful two days of exchange, sharing, song, honesty and learning. We hope that you were able to join us, to meet colleagues and peers, learn and engage with the town and people. We were honoured to welcome keynote speaker Pablo Helguera to Tuam, to deliver a talk entitled “The Social Practice Nightmare Before Christmas”. You can watch a recording of this talk here.
We also offered a workshop exploring the dynamics and potential of socially engaged practices in digital spaces, with Studio We & Us. The online session introduced artists to the core issues faced by creatives engaging with communities on the web, exploring the digital possibilities for collaborative arts practice. Studio We & Us shared a range of digital tools and collaborative activities for a variety of creative and community contexts, taking a critical look into the possibilities of digital platforms and their limitations.
In December, the Create team are delighted to share the news that we have been chosen to be part of the RAISE Up Fund for 2023. An Arts Council initiative delivered by O’Kennedy Consulting since 2018, RAISE focuses on building capacity to generate significant private and philanthropic investment for the arts and cultural sectors. Being part of the RAISE UP Fund will have a very positive impact on Create, allowing us to build on previous work with the RAISE Team in 2022. The opportunity to learn from and with other peer organisations in the programme and the support and encouragement from the RAISE team has been and will continue to be invaluable to us growing and developing our fundraising capacity. We look forward to learning and creating connections and networks through the programme. Congratulations to all of our peer organisations who have also been selected!
The Hugh Lane Gallery and Create are delighted to announce Jijo Sebastian as the recipient of our commission for collaborative/ socially engaged artists. Jijo Sebastian is a collaborative filmmaker with more than ten years of experience in participatory, collaborative and transcultural filmmaking in community-based contexts. Jijo intends to use this commission opportunity to engage with families from diverse backgrounds in Dublin city, working collaboratively to make a film sharing stories happening in the liminal space between cultures, and communities. Read more about Jijo’s work and the commission here.
Create and hablarenarte, an independent platform based in Madrid, Spain that supports the creation, dissemination and promotion of contemporary arts and culture, are pleased to announce Irish artist Tara Carroll as the recipient of a Residency at Planta Alta in Madrid. Supported through the Arts Council of Ireland’s International Residency Initiatives Scheme, this is a one month fully funded Residency. Tara is excited to participate in this residency for the unique opportunity to interact with hablarenarte’s international peers, expert team, non-art communities and programme to deepen collaborative methodologies. We look forward to supporting Tara and further strengthening our relationship with hablarenarte as an important international peer organisation
In 2022 we launched our online donations – We invite you to join us as we work to realise our vision of a society that values its artists and invests in the active participation of diverse publics in multiple forms of artistic and cultural expression. Through a donation, you could facilitate an artist and community member to access professional development / training opportunities, allow artists to advance social justice, equality, human rights and diversity through their collaborative work, or even help build a world class library and research centre for collaborative and culturally diverse arts practices.
Don’t forget to visit the Resources section of our website. It is packed full of useful and compelling videos, audio pieces, essays and publications. We are proud to host Colour of my Breath, a filmic exploration of the particular challenges of integration from the perspective of five leading collaborative/ community artists from minority ethnic/ migrant backgrounds, with thanks to lead artist Jijo Sebastian and collaborators Alessandra Azevedo, Hina Khan, Amir Abu Alrob, Mark Sebata and Tomasz Madajczak.
Our work would not be possible without the support of our funders, the Arts Council, Dublin City Council, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. We also wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all partners who have worked with us during the year and our dedicated board members, as well, of course, as the committed socially engaged and collaborative artists and community members, who we are proud to support and work with on a daily basis.