Where in this World – An intercultural, intergenerational feltmaking and storytelling project.

Where in this World has created an opportunity for people living in South Dublin County to learn new artmaking techniques and to share their stories and experiences.
A Tallaght Community Arts project in partnership with South Dublin County Council Arts Office.

The work will be exhibited at The Civic from Friday 01 December 2017 – Saturday 06th January 2018.

Where in this World was commissioned in partnership by Donegal County Council, Mayo County Council and South Dublin County Council. It was funded under the Arts Council – An Invitation to Collaboration Scheme 2017 which supported innovative and ambitious Local Authority collaborations.

About the project:

Since September 2017 every Wednesday evening our project artists and 15 participant artists met to share stories and create felt art.

Feltmaking is an ancient craft and a magical process and was mostly unknown for our participants. Their very first encounter with the process awakened their curiosity toward this natural technique using only sheep`s wool, soap and water. Our participants learnt basic felting techniques by creating individual pieces and they experienced how felt can be transparent, shaped into 3D or used in a painterly fashion. As wool is layered in felt, people`s personal life stories unfold.

Sometimes we began with our drawings or writings to help us discover the stories we wanted to tell. These stories gave colour, feelings, shapes and images to apply to our felt-making. In other moments, we begin with the felt and we shared our stories as we shaped our ideas with our hands. We shared our memories, our dreams, our travels and our hopes for the future.

During our weekly workshops we are also learnt about different cultures and traditions. Our project allowed us to get to know new people or people we already knew in new ways.

We saw our beautiful piece of collectively designed felt art come to life before our eyes and we are delighted to share our felt art work and recorded stories in our exhibition.

Why our project is important:

It highlights the great diversity of people and experiences living in this area and also shows what can be created and shared when different cultures and different generations work together.

In exhibiting the felt art and the stories at The Civic, we hope to allow our audiences to experience the wisdom and the beauty of what has been created by these participant artists from our community.

We feel great pride in the people whose journeys have brought them to this area and we want to highlight our appreciation for their contribution to our cultural life. We hope that seeing this work will inspire other projects and participants to share their gifts with us all.

Meet the artists:

Jenny Macdonald – Dramatist Where in this World

Jenny Macdonald is a writer, director, performer and drama facilitator. Recent credits include writing and performing ENTHRONED, a solo show that premiered at Dublin’s First Fortnight Festival 2016 and was subsequently programmed in the New York International Fringe Festival; performing in Deirdre Murphy’s Capitalism: The Musical! on its Italian tour and at Galway Theatre Festival, 2017; directing Can’t See the Wood for the Trees for the Doors to Elsewhere ensemble, a Tallaght Community Arts project for adults with intellectual disabilities, and Here, We Are, for WAVE, a youth dance company.

She was the recipient of an Artist in the Community Scheme grant, managed by CREATE for the Arts Council, for work at St. Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin. She has facilitated, written, directed and created projects, workshops and scripts for a range of arts and educational organisations including, in Ireland, the Abbey Theatre, Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation, Smashing Times Theatre Company, Corrymeela, and the National Youth Council; and internationally, Akanksha (Mumbai), Defensores del Chaco (Buenoes Aires), The Masters School (Dobb’s Ferry, NY) and O Teatro (Coimbra, Portugal). She is an Associate Artist with Tallaght Community Arts and Project Phakama UK, an international youth arts exchange. She was a delegate at the 2016 EU “Voices of Culture” consultation in Brussels on the role of arts and culture in the integration of refugees and migrants.

She is a member of the core team facilitating “Educating the Heart”, a Children in Crossfire research and teacher training project seeking to engage young peoples’ compassion in global education programmes. She is a regular guest lecturer in the Drama Department of Trinity College, Dublin and is a tutor on New York University’s Masters programme in Community-engaged Theatre. She was a participant on Dublin Theatre Festival’s professional development programme, The Next Stage, 2014.

Gabriella McGrath – Lead Felt Artist

Gabriella McGrath is an art educator and craft facilitator born in Hungary and living in Ireland since 2005. She holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in primary education and Visual Arts teaching. She has a Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management from UCD.

Gabriella has been on the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland’s Education Panel since 2011 delivering collaborative CRAFTed projects in primary schools, facilitating workshops and outreach programmes for all abilities and ages in museums, libraries and festivals. Since 2016 she has been the Regional Coordinator of the CRAFTed projects in the Dublin area. She has been also selected for the artist panel of the new Artist-teacher Partnership initiative.

Her secondary school work includes Creative Engagement projects, an initiative co-funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Education. McGrath designs and teaches Department of Education approved Continious Professional Development teachers’ courses on how to integrate crafts and visual arts into education. In 2014 she was awarded an Artist in Youth Work Residency by the National Youth Council taking place at Lucan Youth Service.

She enjoys working on inter-generational, inter-cultural and multidisciplinary art projects. Her projects working with Tallaght Community Arts include “If you were in my shoes”  and the “Roma Sewing Project”.

Gabriella is also on the artist panel of ReCreate and South Dublin Libraries. At her workshops and classes the emphasis is on learning manual, social and personal skills using creativity, innovation and experimentation with individual attention. In her community art projects she offers a wide variety of art and craft processes as tools to explore issues a group may experience.

As former committee member and chairperson for Feltmakers Ireland McGrath has been very active in promoting feltmaking in Ireland. In 2011 she was the project manager of a book publication about feltmaking in Ireland titled Profiles in Felt. She has also curated national and international exhibitions at the National Botanic Gardens and in Farmleigh, Phoenix Park. In the last number of years she has been organising international cultural and craft exchange programmes, joint projects, craft camps and events.

She has been delivering feltmaking courses and workshops at several venues in Ireland since 2011. Her 12-week feltmaking course has been running at People`s College in Dublin since 2015.

Where in this World will run at The Civic from Friday 01 December 2017– 06 January 2018

This is a FREE event