SJ McArdle Reveals Solo@Home Video Podcast Series
Droichead Arts Centre is back open again after four months. Collette Farrell and her team have been busy working behind the scenes, and are opening the gallery in Stockwell Street initially, and then in September they’re hoping to host an intimate live gig, by local legends KERN, in their fully seated venue.
Droichead is also producing Solo@Home, a video podcast series curated by SJ McArdle between 6 August and 9 August, as part of #DroicheadConnects. Musicians featured include Nuala Kennedy, world-renowned for her creative re-imagining of Irish songs, and her distinctive flute playing; Libyan-Irish songwriter and singer Farah Elle, whose ethos is to use her extraordinary music to spread positivity and awareness; composer of beautiful and deeply affecting improvisational piano compositions, Úna Keane; and award-winning local composer, producer and guitarist, Breifne Holohan.
An arts centre is nothing without artists, so Droichead is bringing twenty-seven visual artists together for a new creative initiative called CONNECTION, which is part of an ongoing commitment to participate and engage in reinvigorating the community during a time of crisis. The CONNECTION project will have three elements – a live evolving gallery exhibition created by six local artists, posters created by the eleven Borrowed Ground visual artists, and an outdoor exhibition in and around Drogheda on Culture Night (18 September).
From now, six local artists including Adrian and Shane, Olga Duka, Declan Kelly, Caoimhe McCarthy, Dorothy Smith and Dee Walsh, will begin a dynamic drawing directly on the gallery walls. One artist per day, and over subsequent days, a different artist will continue with the drawing. Each artist will bring their own unique style, ways of working, manner of creating and preferred materials. As the drawing moves from artist to artist, each will in their turn take some inspiration from the previous artwork. From a line, a gesture, a mark, a colour, no matter what the connection it will undoubtedly evoke a spectacle of imaginative meanderings.
From now to 5 August, the artists will work on the drawing and the public will have the option to book a viewing and see the work as it progresses. On completion of the drawing phase, the gallery will be fully open to the public to view the work with new opening hours and by booking in advance, all information on
Borrowed Ground Commission
Back in March when Droichead Arts Centre closed, each of Droichead’s eleven Borrowed Ground visual artists were commissioned to create a piece of art for a poster. These beautiful bespoke posters will be the first thing you see when you enter Droichead Arts Centre on Stockwell Street and Barlow House when Droichead reopens and the art works will feature as part of a group exhibition in 2021. They will be accompanied by a billboard campaign on Georges Street and Mary Street.
Borrowed Ground artists include Vivienne Byrne, Nuala Early, Jillian Gott, Laura Gramzow, Brian Hegarty, Breda Marron, Kieran McNulty, Caoimhe Reynolds, Violet Shirran, Rodney Thornton, Dee Walsh.
Culture Night Exhibition
The final part of CONNECTION takes place on Culture Night 2020 (18 September) when Droichead Arts Centre, working with artist and curator Brian Hegarty, in association with Drogheda Business Improvement District (BIDs) and Create Louth will brings its gallery outside into the heart of Drogheda town when 10 artists will exhibit 10 responsive works in 10 disused buildings.
Artists opening up their process of creation in non-art spaces in the heart of the community creates a dialogue between art and audience and the ‘new’ world we live in. It responds not only to inner processes of the artist, but also manifests reactions to happenings in the outside world.
Droichead’s Director Collette Farrell is excited to be reopening Droichead Arts Centre:
“We’ve been dreaming and scheming behind the scenes, our buildings might have been closed, but the creativity has continued over the past couple of months. During Lockdown, Droichead Arts Centre brought #DroicheadConnects to audiences online but we are really looking forward to opening the arts centre again to our local artists and patrons.
“We are going to open slowly and take things in stages. We have implemented our covid response plan and our management team have completed Covid officer training. Part of our plan has included installing screens, wall hand sanitisers, and a lot of yellow has popped up in the centre. We also have new cleaning protocols and protocols for visitors in place.”
“To our regular patrons, Droichead Arts Centre will look a little different, but our values and our mission remains the same. Droichead will continue to support the work and development of artists in the North East Region, and engage with the community with a warm welcome for our loyal audiences and supporters,” commented Collette.
For further information, about CONNECTIONS , SOLO and upcoming programme visit www.droichead.com
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT DROICHEAD
Droichead has a Covid Response Plan in place, which takes into consideration all the appropriate guidelines. The health and safety of artists, staff and the public are their priority throughout any of the projects or initiatives.
Solo @ Home
Droichead Arts Centre’s Solo@Home is a video podcast series curated by SJ McArdle. The series is presented as part of #DroicheadConnects, a programme which supports art and creativity during the pandemic. The idea of the podcast is to give an insight into the lockdown experience of four disparate musicians and present a bespoke home-recorded performance by each. The interviews and performances are intimate, engaging and unique to this series.
The artists presented are: Nuala Kennedy, world-renowned for her creative reimagining of Irish songs and her distinctive flute playing; Libyan-Irish songwriter and singer Farah Elle, whose ethos is to use her extraordinary music to spread positivity and awareness; composer of beautiful and deeply affecting improvisational piano compositions Úna Keane; and award-winning composer, producer and guitarist Breifne Holohan.
Solo@Home will be available to view on Droichead’s YouTube Channel.
- Farah Elle – 6 Aug
- Úna Keane – 7 Aug
- Breifne Holohan – 8 Aug
- Nuala Kennedy – 9 Aug
Film Club / Theatre Club
Droichead hope to host a number of film club screenings and announce their theatre club programme soon for the Autumn. If you have a ticket for an event that was cancelled or postponed, their Box Office will be back in touch with you.
Droichead Youth Focus Film Project
Droichead’s Youth Focus Group is working away and will be ready to screen the next series of short films early August. The next closing date is the 31 July. Droichead’s Youth Focus Group Film Project is giving young film makers, between the ages of 12 – 22, the opportunity to showcase their talents. They may have something filmed and not finished or they might like to create a new film for the project (adhering to all social distancing guidelines of course. For more information to make your film and still adhere to all Covid 19 guidelines, please see www.Droichead.com
For July, they are looking for young people between the age of 12- 16, and they can create their films on their smart phones, using GoPros and whatever video camera they have, edit footage on their phones or fire up Windows Movie Maker. An animated film is also an option – there’s lots of free animation software available so film makers could try their hand at animating, or maybe stop-motion animation.
To enter, film makers just need to upload their work to Youtube or Vimeo and email the link to:
with their name, age, and title of film. Films can be up to 5 mins in length.
DROICHEAD DIARIES is an open invitation to describe a typical or random day from your lockdown experience in the form of a diary entry. They want to hear from all age groups and all walks of life. Everyone’s experience is equally relevant. This project is part of our #DroicheadConnects programme, and is a collaboration with Nicola Pierce, Artist in Association, and Dani Gill, Literature Audience Development Officer.
A selection of submissions will be published online and in The Drogheda Independent. However, next year, all submissions will be published in a book to be launched by the Arts Centre. Submission windows will be open for each month (June, July, August) and you can see full details on how to submit on the website:
”This project is a great opportunity for members of the community to share a moment from their lives in recent times. Everyone has a unique perspective and Droichead Diaries is about showing a window into someone’s life, during what has been a very significant and strange time.”-Dani Gill, Literary Audience Development Officer
For June submissions, the writers are Dawn Staudt, Eimear Cullen and Matthew Maloney.
Droichead’s theatre company in residence is busy planning new work for Leanbh Children’s Festival, and is working with Mosney Youth Theatre. More news to follow soon.
Grainne Rafferty on LMFM
In late August, storyteller, and artist in association, Grainne Rafferty, will bring her unique take on The Children of Lir to LMFM. More details to follow.