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The National Neighbourhood : Library Life

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Through the National Neighbourhood we’ve been helping to connect Dubliners in significant ways on cultural projects that are relevant to them. Each project has evolved from a series of conversations, harnessing the appetites of particular groups for cultural engagement.

Some of the artworks that have been created in these projects with the support of artists and the people locally involved in the projects, are now (or soon to be) on view at a number of public libraries in Dublin. Dublin City Public Libraries are one of the partners for Dublin’s Culture Connects : The National Neighbourhood.

Alight! Storytelling Workshop
Participants at Alight! Storytelling Workshop, Pembroke Library


#CentralLibrary #AroundTheTable

Keep an eye out in June 2017 for the special exhibition in the Central Library at the Ilac Centre on the ‘Around the Table’ project and it’s participants. ‘Around The Table’ is connecting with communities old and new across Dublin’s historic Central Area. Working with The National Library of Ireland, the City Arts Office, Central Area office and the Central Library (Ilac Centre Library), artists, communities and groups have collaborated to make their mark by weaving their own stories (mostly around the theme of food, present and past).


#CoolockLibrary #ItTakesaVillage

‘It Takes a Village’ is another of many projects where we have collaborated with artists Peter Kearns and Dorothy Smith, and people who live locally, investigating their surroundings and it’s impact. Past pupils from Coolock Public Library’s Communiversity Class have been using a combination of drawing, photography and creative writing to study the built environment that surrounds us. The resulting drawings and poem will be on show at Coolock Library in April 2017.

Communiversity; Workshop 4; 'It takes a village..'; 04-11-16; Photo by Kevin Handy 25
It Takes a Village workshop. Image: Kevin Handy

#PembrokeLibrary #ShipsPassingInTheNight

The beautiful video artwork ‘Ships Passing in the Night’ is currently on view in the Pembroke Library until March 2018.

Artist James O’hAodha worked with children from the Sikh community who have their Temple in Sandymount, and the Dodder Sea Scouts for over three months in Sandymount and Ringsend. The presence of nearby Poolbeg Lighthouse was used as a symbol and a starting point for the engagement with and between the two groups. If you’re passing by Pembroke Library, make sure to call in and have a peek!

#BallyfermotLibrary #The Passion Project

‘The Passion Project’ is a contemporary interpretation of The Passion to be performed in Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard on 8 and 9 April 2017. The Passion Project has been developed by theatre company Brokentalkers and the people of Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard in partnership with Dublin’s Culture Connects, Dublin City Council and Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre.  On Sunday 9 April at 2pm Ballyfermot Library will host a Spoken Word performance and audio installation highlighting personal stories of the housing crisis locally.

Over the two days, Ireland’s housing crisis will be at the centre of this modern-day rendition of The Passion of Christ, which will take place across the streets, parks and civic buildings of Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, Dublin 10. The two-day performance will see well-known actors Donal O’Kelly and Roxanna Nic Liam lead a cast of hundreds of local people performing as actors, musicians, dancers and singers. The audience will become participants as they engage with the story of a young homeless woman who challenges a property developer.


#PeaseStreetLibrary #ALIGHT!

There was lots of mischief and creativity at the ‘Tell Your Story’ workshop and reading with local children’s writer Rodney Devitt and children’s author and illustrator Niamh Sharkey on 29 March. In this session at Pearse Street Public Library with City Quay National School, Sandymount, Rodney gave a reading of two of his original children’s stories ‘Fergal Fox and the French Poodle’ and ‘Sam the Belching Sheltie’. The First Class children then illustrated some of the key characters from these stories, facilitated by Niamh, who talked to the children about considering the personality of the animals and how to illustrate their distinctive features. Together they did some pencil sketches before beginning work with colour pastels on a large roll of paper. Rodney was delighted to see his stories brought to life with these lively illustrations as a part of The National Neighbourhood: ALIGHT!

Niamh Sharkey Rodney Devitt workshop 29 March Pearse Library 2
Children drawing at Pearse Street Library Alight! workshop
Niamh Sharkey Rodney Devitt workshop 29 March Pearse Library 10
Children at Pearse Street Library Alight! workshop with Niamh Sharkey and Rodney Devitt

#BallymunLibrary #CabraLibrary #PressPlay

In March, groups and individuals from across the Ballymun, Cabra and Finglas area were invited to attend numerous visual arts workshops in their local Dublin City Public Library, as part of The National Neighbourhood: Press Play – Walk of Fame. Participants explored and shared stories about the well-known people, ‘celebs’, sports personalities and characters from each area. The ‘Walk of Fame’ will be developed at a later point and will highlight those ‘local celebs’ who are important to the people living in these communities.

#CentralLibrary #AroundTheTable

Storyteller Xanthe Gresham joined us in December at the Ilac Centre Public Library for a special storytelling session for families as part of The National Neighbourhood: Around the Table. Jeanette Lowe’s pictures below perfectly capture the fantastic interaction as the children played characters in each of the stories.

Xanthe Gresham Around the Table storytelling workshop in Ilac Public Library. Image by Jeanette Lowe
Children participating at the Around the Table storytelling workshop in Ilac Public Library. Image by Jeanette Lowe


As always, plenty more to come….



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