We are delighted to continue to offer support to artists annually as a host organisation as part of the wonderful Gap Day initiative.
Gap Day is a micro-residency that gives artists the opportunity to dive into creative thinking they have put on the long finger. Participants are hosted by arts centres and venues for one or two days and given a small bursary for their time, freeing them up to think, plan and dream. We were delighted to welcome Gráinne O’Carroll in late December 2023 and this week and next Alexandra Craicun and Brian Keegan will enjoy Gap Day at The Ark. Learn more about these interesting artists and their work below.
Gap Day is an initiative by Lian Bell, in collaboration with Mermaid Arts Centre, managed by Michelle Cahill and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. Thanks to everyone who makes Gap Day possible. We hope these artists find their time with us enjoyable and beneficial. Gap Day applications usually open in September each year and you can find more information here.
I am a physical-theatre artist, performer and director with a background in visual culture, textiles art and gymnastics. Often dealing with embodiment, through multimedia research I explore the fine details of gesture, uncanny characters, peripheral narratives and reinvented spaces.
My interest in textiles has catalysed works where the movement, characters and narrative came out of the costume. This interest, like a breath, oscillates to also include space. How spaces act on us and how we act upon them. My use of alternative space is also a question of sustainability. Do I need to fabricate an interesting space if I can find one?
I graduated from the National College of Art and Design with a BA in Textiles Art and Artefact and Visual Culture in 2016. I was awarded the Mainie Jellot Graduate Travel Award for a two week course in physical theatre at Centro Moveo, Barcelona where ended up staying and completing a 2 year diploma in 2019.
Support has comes from institutions including the Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, NRW Kultur und Wissenchaft, festivals including Dublin Fringe Festival, Festival Escena Pouble Nou, Mimesis Festival, Bealtaine Festival, LightMoves Festival, and last but not least a long list of people, centres and venues in Ireland and abroad who have supported my work enormously.
Alexandra Craciun is a Romanian theatre maker, creative producer, and writer currently based in Dublin. With a background in classical performance training, she holds a Bachelor's degree in Theatre and Performing Arts and recently completed a Cultural Management Postgraduate program at IADT. In Romania, Alexandra co-founded and led the Bibabo Independent Theatre Company, where she directed, managed, and performed in plays tailored for young audiences. Since relocating to Ireland, she has been dedicated to establishing herself as an artist, drawing upon her extensive knowledge and years of experience gained from living in Romania and Spain. Her artistic pursuits have encompassed various mediums, including writing and illustration. The journey might be long and perilous but her dream of creating multi-sensorial experiences where children can learn and discover themselves through play is heavily sustained by creative workshops and studies, hard work, wondrous TYAs festivals and long deep dives within the creative self with both fear and excitement.
Alexandra is an active member of the TYAI (Theatre for Young Audiences) association and has collaborated with organisations such as Draíocht in Dublin 15, recent projects and awards also include LEAP, a community-building project and artist development program by Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, and a 2023 mentorship with Baboró. She also collaborated on 'How to Begin, with Finegan', a Baboró Graffiti Theatre project, and designed a cover for Riverbank Arts Centre's 2024 Spring Cover. Alexandra was recently honoured with the Agility Award by the Arts Council.
I am a composer who works collaboratively to write music for theatre makers and dancers. It is always my preference to work collaboratively with performers and musicians to find the sound world for the piece in question. My work also conveys elements of storytelling through music. This happens in two ways. Firstly, in my performance pieces, I tell stories of my own invention that arise from sounds I hear or that suggest musical worlds to me (examples on www.evolvingsounds.com). Secondly, I interact with the stories that others have created. For these, my role can be to take the story to places that its creator never imagined, or it can be to reinforce those aspects of the story that need support or polish (examples on www.briankeeganmusic.com).