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Dublin City Cultural Map: Local Heroes

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At Dublin’s Culture Connects, everything we do is based on collaborative partnerships and an ongoing conversation with Dublin’s citizens and communities. We are out and about across the city connecting with people through culture and conversation. Over the years we have come across many people doing amazing work within their community, each contributing to the unique character of the city they call home.

We decided to ask some artists to do ‘portraits’ of some of the ‘Local Heroes’ we have met so far. Currently seven artists are visiting, sharing and learning with the local heroes and preparing to tell their ‘Local Heroes’ stories through dance, poetry, animation, collage, film and photography in order to capture and share the story of the lives, culture and community of these remarkable people.

More details on the ‘Local Heroes’ soon and the artworks that have been created – for now we would like to introduce you to the artists who have begun the conversation to capture the lives and stories of these remarkable people.

Neil O’Driscoll

‘I’ve worked as a multidisciplinary artist for the past ten years, with projects ranging from comic books to stage plays to music videos. I enjoy alternating between still and moving image, solo projects and large collaborative works. I’m thrilled to be a part of Local Heroes because it gives me a chance to portray the city I’ve lived in for many years, and draw attention to people who are a vital part of Dublin’s cultural identity.’

Geoff Finan

‘My art focuses on the minute beauty of life, as well as the darkness that enraptures the soul. I aim to show life in it’s most honest and vulnerable form and by doing this I hope to achieve a unique connection with the viewer/listener. I’m obsessed with art because it offers us a way to connect to the world around us that very little else in life does. It offers us hope, helps us navigate through the darkness and lets us understand what life and love and everything in between is all about. This project interested me because I get to work with people who walk through the city daily without many people taking notice, even though these people may have done amazing feats that have altered life in this wonderful city. I get the opportunity to illuminate their stories, to have people look at them through a different lens and to, hopefully, represent them in a way that is honest and true.’

Philip Arneill

‘Originally from Belfast, I am a long-term Tokyo-based documentary photographer and educator, now living in Dublin. I am interested in documenting urban spaces and musical subcultures, the empowerment of editing and instant publishing which social media sites offer, and iPhone photography.’

una dcc
Una Gildea

‘My name is Una and I work in collage and animation. I use traditional stop motion animation, working with cut-outs. This is a natural extension of my passion for collage, a moving collage, as it were. I also love my dog Patch! I am looking forward to the challenge of creating dynamic portraits of the ‘local heroes’ I meet; I am looking forward to hearing their stories and learning more about the city I live in; I am looking forward to discovering together what culture means to us and sharing that with the wider public.’

Kerrie O’Brien

‘I am a poet, photographer and painter from Dublin. My debut collection Illuminate was published my Salmon Poetry in 2016 and I am the editor of Looking at the Stars, an anthology of Irish writing which raised over €21,000 for the Dublin Simon Community. I am delighted to be working with Dublin Culture Connects I look forward to celebrating the local heroes of my city.’

The Pale

‘From naming early albums ‘Why Go Bald?’ and ‘Happy Ring House’ after iconic Dublin neon signs to the creation of a Musical Tour of Dublin iPhone App in 2011, Dublin city and its inhabitants have have been woven into our musical DNA. To do a focused work where we can create a portrait of the heroes of the capital is a dream project for us. We’ve already been inspired by our heroes and can’t wait to share our musical tributes to them.’

Emma O'Kane by Conor Horgan
(Photo credit: Conor Horgan)
Emma O’Kane

‘As a choreographer and dance artist I am an advocate of the positive physical, emotional and mental impact that dance can have and I am passionate about sharing my knowledge of this through teaching and facilitating workshops and creating work in communities. Working on Local Heroes reminds me that people’s stories are fascinating even down to the smallest detail.’

We are most excited to find out what ‘portraits’ will be drawn and what they will reveal – we invite you to stay in touch and watch this space as well as our social media for the Big Reveal!



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