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Brave New World: Artists' Reflection and Discussion Event 12 Feb 2021

In our third in this series of online artists’ panel discussion events, we’ll reflect on and share more of what we’ve discovered in our continued adventures with new formats across art forms and how we are staying connected with our audiences of children.

The Ark continues to produce new programmes to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions on face-to-face gatherings in creative ways. In the last months of 2020, we delivered our first online Science Week programme; commissioned a new visual art exhibition on the theme of winter (which can now be seen in our Winter Light online gallery); commissioned a new play about children’s experiences of the lockdown and continued to engage with our Children’s Council online. None of these programmes have been without their difficulties, as well as their successes.

Join us to meet with three of the wonderful artists who were each involved in the creation and delivery of these programmes. Our panel artists are Jole Bortoli (visual artist), Shaun Dunne (theatre artist) and Aideen Barry (visual artist).

This free event will be of interest to artists as well as producers and programmers. Each artist will present their own challenges, pivots, surprise wins and overall reflections on grappling with new formats and approaches they’ve used to continue their practice and reach young audiences in this challenging time. You'll also hear some insights from The Ark team and there will be time for questions from the audience so we can have a hearty discussion.

As there is a limit to the number of places on a video call, we need you to register. We promise it is really quick and simple. Register here.

We will email you a link to a Zoom call prior to the meeting. Please be advised you will need to install the Zoom app in advance which can be downloaded here.

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About The Panel:

Jole Bortoli

Jole regularly works with The Ark as artist-facilitator in visual art programmes. In November 2020, she ran her first ever online workshops for children as part of The Ark’s Science Week and subsequently led two successful online CPD sessions for teachers.

Jole is also the founder of Art to Heart, an organisation that provides art courses for children and adults in educational, community and art settings. In the Burren, Co. Clare, Jole runs workshops every fortnight and every summer she holds several weeks of training in her workshop. In the last couple of years, Jole has started to illustrate and write her own stories, which she self-publishes. Her first book, Iria ,was launched in April 2010 and she’s now working on her second.

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Shaun Dunne

Shaun is a Dublin-based theatre and film artist who merges testimony and documentary material with new writing. He has been Artist-in-Residence at The Ark with responsibility to the Children's Council for the past five years. In 2020, The Ark commissioned Shaun to write a new play that explored and gave voice to children’s experience of the pandemic; What Did I Miss? has pivoted many times in response to the pandemic and is yet to be presented. Shaun also worked as part of a team of Ark artists on our recent collaboration with the RTÉ School Hub in December 2020.

A writer and director, Shaun is most interested in new work that speaks to the here and now. Community participation is a huge part of his work and he collaborates regularly with Talking Shop Ensemble. In 2019, his first short film, The First was a Boy, premiered at Dublin International Film Festival followed in 2020 with his second short film, Iarscoláire (Past Pupil). Both films garnered awards and were also screened in other film festivals including Cork Film Festival and Galway Film Fleadh. In 2020, Shaun also presented Restoration at Project Arts Centre, collaborated with the Abbey Theatre and with the Bush Theatre in London. Shaun is resident at the Ark and Project Arts Centre. He is the Arts Council’s Next Generation Film Artist for 2020.

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Aideen Barry

Aideen Barry was recently commissioned by The Ark for the first time to contribute a new work as part of our winter-themed visual art exhibition for children, Winter Light. Although sadly we weren’t able to open the exhibition to the public as planned, it is having an online life as part of our first Online Gallery. Aideen’s work, Underneath, can be seen as part of that here.

Aideen is an interdisciplinary artist, which means she works in lots of different ways; sculpture, performance art, film, lens based media, sound installations, and drawing. When Aideen was a child she saw films by Eastern European filmmakers on Irish TV, and that left a big impression on her as she discovered art could be used to express feelings that can be difficult to talk about. Aideen is a member of Aosdána and was recently elected to the RHA earlier this year.

This is the third in this series of artist-led panel discussion events. Each event focusses on recently delivered Ark programmes to reflect and share the learning, challenges and silver-linings of the new work we are creating to continue to deliver high quality arts experiences for children aged between 2 and 12. You can watch our September Brave New World event with artists Joanna Parkes, Duffy Mooney-Sheppard and Dave Rudden online here.