Ships Passing In The Night



… …. .. .–. … .–. .- … … .. .- –. .. -. – …. . -. .. –. …. –

Ships Passing in the Night is a community engagement project led by artist James Ó hAodha.

Over three months, James has spent time getting to know two community groups in the Sandymount/Ringsend area; children from the Sandymount Dodder Sea Scouts, and from the Dublin Sikh Community – who have their temple in Sandymount. Working separately, and together at key points, the groups have shared the creative process arriving at the collaborative making of a video work to be screened in early 2017.

Through a series of workshops, the presence of nearby Poolbeg Lighthouse was used as a symbol and a starting point for the engagement with and between the two groups. The idea of beaconing or beckoning with light, and maritime signalling tradition, have been a guiding focus.

Using International Morse code as a shared language, James worked with the children to learn the basics of Morse communication, progressing to a stage where they were able to send messages to each other. These were relayed by the artist in glass bottles, then decoded by the groups, who then responded in the same way. The children also worked with homemade Morse keys, becoming very proficient – tapping out ‘dots’ and ‘dashes’ in light and sound to each other.

In preparation for the final video outcome, later workshops explored group photography, and the creative staging of images. The children recreated scenes from iconic group photographs and paintings including ‘Lunch Atop A Skyscraper’, ‘The Last Supper’, and Robert Ballagh’s ‘After Goya’, which they had seen and discussed in a visit to The Hugh Lane Gallery. Playing with the roles of performer and director, the groups took varying levels of ownership over the compositions.

Their final collaborative artwork is a moving-image piece that ties together the varied strands of the project and uses light and darkness as a medium. The light of the lighthouse is mimicked in a way that momentarily illuminates the journey of the project – capturing portraits of all the participants, their community spaces, and the scenes they have created together.



Ships Passing in the Night



A group of children from the Dublin Sikh community, and Mums;
The Sandymount Dodder Cub Scouts, and Scout leaders;



James Ó hAodha, Artist

James Ó hAodha (O-Hay) (b. 1985, Wexford, Ireland) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Glasgow. Ó hAodha’s practice is socially engaged, working for the most part beyond the bounds of the exhibition space. Interested in the creation of encounters, his work often takes the form of intervention and performance, with a shared focus on how temporal encounters and site-specific work can inhabit and intersect with the space of the gallery. Video and film are recurring media and the moving image is a renewed interest in ongoing research. Ó hAodha has been involved in projects with The LAB, Dublin; Dublin City Council; Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray; The Joinery, Dublin; The Drawing Project, Dún Laoghaire; Dublin Fringe Festival; Resort, Donegal; Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff; Irish Museum of Contemporary Art; and Tulca, Galway; amongst others. Ó hAodha was awarded the Dublin City Council Visual Art Bursary in 2015, and is currently undertaking an MFA at the Glasgow School of Art.

Jenny Brady, Light Waves Project Videographer

Jennie Brady works with The LAB, Dublin City The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin City Council Public Art programme and IMMA to produce high quality documentation of art events as well as web video for organisations such as Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, UCD and DCU. Jenny Brady is also an artist who works with moving-image. She has exhibited recently in institutions such as The RHA, IMMA, Kunstmuseum Bonn and at EVA. She is co- founder and co-curator of PLASTIK Festival of Artists’ Moving Image and her work features in the Arts Council collection.



Project Advisory Group

Cleo Fagan, Project Manager, Light Waves
Iseult Byrne, Project Director, Dublin’s Culture Connects
Liz Turley, Senior Librarian, Pembroke Library
Jessica O’Donnell, Collections Curator, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Katy Fitzpatrick, Education Curator, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Logan Sisley, Exhibitions Curator, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Caoilte O’Mahony, Education Administrator, The National Gallery of Ireland
Brina Casey, Education Officer, The National Gallery of Ireland
Sheena Barrett, Assistant Arts Officer & Curator of The LAB, Dublin City Council
Declan Hayden, Community Development Manager for the South-East, Dublin City Council

Dublin City Libraries

Dublin City Libraries’ mission is to maximise opportunity for all – individuals and communities – through guided access to ideas, learning, literature, information and heritage resources supported by cultural programming.

Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is a public gallery of modern and contemporary art. A registered charity, it is part of Dublin City Council. The gallery’s original collection of modern art was presented by Sir Hugh Lane in 1908 and, in the ethos of its founder the gallery continues to collect and exhibit modern and contemporary art. The role of the gallery is to enhance public engagement, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts by way of temporary exhibitions, exhibitions of the collections, education programmes and projects and publications. As Dublin’s City Gallery The Hugh Lane has a responsibility to give value added to the cultural life of the city through its engagement with the people of Dublin and beyond.The purpose of the gallery is to promote understanding and public engagement with modern and contemporary art and to contribute to public discourse on the creative arts especially visual art. The Hugh Lane’s role as a leading museum of modern and contemporary art has been enhanced over the years by notable bequests and gifts, including most recently, Francis Bacon’s Studio and Archive and Sean Scully’s gift of paintings.The Hugh Lane Gallery Trust Limited is a company which was established in 1998 under the Companies Act 1963. It is a wholly owned company of Dublin City Council. The Company (Members), under its Memorandum and Articles of Association, elects Trustees, who are the Board of Directors and who are charged with the strategic development and management of the gallery. The gallery is located in Charlemont House on Parnell Square North and is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays.

 The National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland (NGI) was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1854 and opened to the public in 1864. It houses over 16,000 items: over 2,600 oil paintings, and some 13,000 works in different media including watercolours, drawings, prints and sculpture. The works range in date from the fourteenth century to the present day and broadly represent the development of the major European schools of painting: British, Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Netherlands, complemented by the world’s most comprehensive collection of Irish art. Since 1884, the NGI has been home to the National Portrait Collection. To accommodate these additions, the NGI has been extended over the years, in 1903, in 1968 and in 2002. As part of the Master Development Plan (MDP), a significant refurbishment project of the historic Dargan and Milltown Wings is underway and scheduled to be completed in 2017.The purpose of the NGI is to care for, interpret, develop and showcase art in a way that makes the National Gallery of Ireland an exciting place to encounter art. The NGI is dedicated to bringing people and their art together by providing an outstanding experience that inspires an interest in and an appreciation of art for all.Open 361 days of the year and located in the city centre, in the heart of Georgian Dublin, the NGI is easily accessible on foot, and by public transport. The Gallery is open 7 days a week, with late opening on Thursdays. Admission is free.

Dublin City Arts Office

The City Arts Office assists artists and communities to enhance their contributions to and experiences within the arts. The City Arts Office is part of Dublin City Council’s Culture Recreation Amenity and Community Department. The City Arts Office works in partnership with other Dublin City Council sections, and in particular with those concerned with arts and cultural programming and provision. It holds a specialised remit to practice the arts, participate in the arts, develop audiences for the arts, and work with other City Sections to maximise opportunity for the public to engage in the arts, and particularly to improve access to the arts.

It holds a specialised remit to:

    • Practice the arts – for example, by supporting artists and arts organisations.


    • Participate in the arts – support individuals and groups who want to develop an arts project, whether community-led or otherwise, or who want guidance in learning about the arts.


    • Develop audiences for the arts – whether in schools, communities or in business.


    • Work with other City Sections to maximise opportunity for the public to engage in the arts, and particularly to improve access to the arts.

Dublin South East Local Area Office

The South East Area is one of 5 administrative areas used by Dublin City Council to co-ordinate the delivery of services in the city. The Area stretches south from the River Liffey to Terenure and east along the Dodder over to the Merrion Gates on the coast. It is a very diverse district containing part of the medieval core of Dublin, the City’s premier shopping district, the cultural quarter of Temple Bar, Inner City commercial and residential districts and suburban villages such as Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount, Ranelagh, Rathmines, Terenure and Rathgar.  Pleasant canal walks, coastal facilities, parks and elegant squares and the many local sports clubs provide a host of recreational amenities.



Ships Passing in the Night is part of the Light Waves projects in South East Dublin and focuses on the Sandymount area, bringing together two communities. Our partner national cultural institutions are the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and The National Gallery of Ireland.

The vibrant neighbourhoods in the Light Waves projects each have strong communities and a distinct sense of place. The aim of Light Waves is to facilitate the people in the Pearse Street, Irishtown, Ringsend and Sandymount area to work with artists to creatively celebrate their own and each other’s communities.

With these projects the aim is provide a framework for the artists and people to work together, facilitating cultural and social exchange and sometimes providing the opportunity for building creative skills. This mixing of community and artistic expertise is an exciting one and intended results are necessarily open-ended – we want artists and local people to work together towards artistic outcomes.