‘Engage the City’ is a programme creating connections between artists and Dubliners through a variety of creative endeavours. With a team of artists, we are capturing the experiences of what Dublin is and what it could be; taking the temperature of how the city is feeling and connecting people and place through cultural ideas. There’s everything from knitting clubs weaving their stories in Walkinstown, to groups in Kilbarrack expressing experiences through drama;’walk and talk’ tours, to name-exploration and food printing. Engage the City is capturing the voices and animating the stories of Dubliners through a host of creative activities. Over the next few months; through 100 workshops, these 10 artists will continue to explore the stories of our city and support Dubliners to tell their tales. Here’s a little about each of them:
Evelyn D’Arcy is an architect and teacher who graduated from UCD School of Architecture in 2005 and later trained as an English language teacher. For the last four years, Evelyn has been facilitating student workshops on school and community design with primary and second level students. Focusing on collaborative learning and process over progress, Evelyn believes in the ethos that every aspect of a space, be it your home – your work space or your street – directly affects how you feel. She also believes that everyone has the ability to be a designer, and can learn to take control and make demands of these spaces in order to create a happier, healthier environment in which to work, live and relax.
Ines Metzner is a Dublin-based artist focusing on Textiles, Weaving and Jewellery. She likes to explore patterns, line and movement within her work. Her broad background of various crafts from Grennan Mill Craft School as well as an Msc in Digital Media give her a varied foundation that she likes to work from. She is drawn to abstract forms and shapes that are driven by memories from her childhood in Austria, encounters and natural elements especially wild flowers and blossoms. Ines has worked with various groups with and without special needs in creative workshops. She is driven to share her broad knowledge in Textile Art especially Weaving and her passion for social change.
Joan Somers Donnelly
Joan Somers Donnelly is a theatre maker and arts facilitator based in Dublin. She studied Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin and Freie Universität Berlin, and Youth Arts at Maynooth, University. Recently she directed a work-in-progress called ‘Tough Guys Don’t Dance’ based on interviews with three generations of Irish men about dancing, and created a solo performance called ‘The Deep’ for Moving Bodies Festival in Dance House. Joan currently collaborates with young people on a video work about urban spaces and personal geographies as part of a commission from axis Ballymun. Joan is co-founder of Discotheque Collective, a group who make collaborative performance in unexpected places.
John Conway is a visual artist based in Monster Truck Studios, Dublin, who works extensively in collaborative community art settings. Recent awards and projects include the Kildare Art Act Grant, the NYCI Artist in Residence programme, the DLR Curious Minds commission, and the Irish Arts Council Artist in the Community scheme, which sees him work with a group of breast cancer survivors to produce a series of handmade books exploring their collective and subjective experience of breast cancer. His visual art practice encompasses performance, video, sculpture, installation, drawing and painting.
Liz Nilsson is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Dublin. She studied art and textile design in Sweden, followed by an MA at Goldsmiths College in London. She also holds an MA in Social Engaged Practice from Limerick School of Art and Design. Using her experience as an artist, designer, facilitator and curator, she fabricates site-specific collaborative projects which investigate the connection between place, space and belonging, to create an experience that enriches and expands the mind. She incorporates print, tactile mark-making, photography and drawing in her projects, concluding in installations, printed compositions and socially-engaged projects. She is represented in national and international collections including The National Museum of Ireland and the Office of Public Works. As a keen collaborator, Liz is the founder of Print Block, Dublin’s collective textile print workshop.
Michelle is an actor and a theatre maker, experienced in performing and devising work made to immerse audiences; stories where people play an active part. She regularly collaborates with other artists and companies and is an associate artist with interactive theatre makers Coney. She was co-director and co-maker on productions including YOUR CONNECTION IS NOT PRIVATE; Inhabitance ; Fantasies and Nightmares and FuturePlay. On the 300th year anniversary of the first lonely heart advert, Michelle co-created Reply to PO Box 49, a promenade theatrical experience exploring how we’ve advertised for love through the decades. For the 2016 Bram Stoker Festival, she wrote, directed and performed in< em> Nightmare Plants, for the Victorian glasshouses at The National Botanic Gardens.
Niki Collier is a Dublin-based award-winning designer & visual artist who works in the area of slow fashion and wearable technology. Her preferred media are fibre art and e-crafting starting conversations about empowerment, resilience and balance. At present Niki is working on community-based project Celebrations which engages the Bulgarian community in Ireland in order to comment on identity, integration and heritage. As well as solo exhibition H is for Hope, Niki has also exhibited with various curated exhibitions including Sculpture in Context, DCCoI, Feltmakers Ireland, Cork Textile Network, RDS Arts & Craft Awards Exhibition. She has also had solo exhibitions in Design Festivals in Bulgaria, Hungary and Ireland.
Robbie Blake is a vocalist, composer and performer working in new music, theatre, dance and live art. Creating work in many contexts, Robbie’s practice explores how music is made and experienced. Robbie’s work has been seen and heard at PuSh Festival Vancouver, Dublin Fringe Festival, Live Collision, Dublin Live Art Festival and Dublin Dance Festival as well as venues RHA Gallery, Smock Alley Theatre and Project Arts Centre. In 2012, Robbie co-founded music company and vocal ensemble Tonnta, dedicated to the performance and interdisciplinary exploration of new music. Tonnta has commissioned, premiered and performed works by leading and emerging Irish composers including Jennifer Walshe, Linda Buckley, George Higgs, David Bremner as well as many by members of the Irish Composers’ Collective.
Shane Daniel Byrne
Shane Daniel Byrne is an actor, performance artist, producer and facilitator, living and working in Dublin. As a founding member of THEATREclub, Shane’s work often centres on his own personal experience. He is interested in using his own life to encourage an audience to think about theirs. He devised and directed look-see RUN with Doireann Coady (St Patrick’s Festival). His theatre work includes Group Therapy for One, In Fairness?, MOYROSS, HISTORY, Hungry Tender and The Family. He jointly curated and produced 4 volumes of THE THEATRE MACHINE TURNS YOU ON (THEATREclub at Project Arts Centre).
As an artist, facilitation, action and love are crucial to Veronica Dyas’ practice. She studied Drama & Theatre Studies with Sociology at Trinity College Dublin and completed a Masters at RADA & King’s College London. Between 2012-2015 her creative research project exploring housing, homelessness, and the practice of long distance walking HERE & NOW, was presented in stages while concurrently facilitating with Focus Ireland. As Artistic Director of Roundabout Youth Theatre, Ballymun Regional Youth Resource she also worked on collaborative Youth Arts Projects including Stand Up Awareness Week, Ballymun PRIDE, Otherworld & LIFT Youth Arts Festivals. Veronica works regularly in Community and Youth Organisations, The Seanachaí Project, Children’s Books Ireland; SAOL Project, Dublin Youth Theatre, National Association of Youth Drama, The Base Ballyfermot, Whitehall School Completions Programme. Veronica is a resident artist at Dublin Fringe Festival for 2016-17.
Dublin’s Culture Connects, an initiative of Dublin City Council, is a programme of activities and projects which seek to build engagement and connection / re-connection in the city through partnerships that are meaningful to Dubliners.
Our community engagement activities include Tea & Chats, where we visit and listen to citizen groups within their community; Culture Club, which sees us meeting groups at cultural places and talking about cultural impact; and through artist-led engagement in our numerous Engage the City projects.
All of Dublin’s Culture Connects projects evolve from these conversations and are harnessing the appetites of particular groups for cultural engagement.0