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An Experiment in Social Embroidery

Cafés Carte Blanche & the Common Thread Café five years of participative arts cafés


This publication by Clonmel Junction Festival has been made possible with funding from the South Tipperary Development Company.

Photography by: • • • • • •

Berit Alits John Kelly John Hannon Justyna Kielbowicz Ross Moylan Alan Tobin


An Experiment in Social Embroidery

Cafés Carte Blanche & the Common Thread Café five years of participative arts cafés Compiled and edited by

Theresia Guschlbauer


Acknowledgements The Clonmel Junction Festival wishes to thank the following for their continued support:

Clonmel Borough Council

We also acknowledge additional support over the years from Café sponsors:

Special thanks to: Larry O’Keeffe, Pat Doheny, Julian Smith, Jamie O’Keeffe, Labhaoise McKenna, Jimmy Cronin, Joe Leahy, and all the landlords who entrusted us with the use of their premises. Additional photography: Ian Mannion, Brigid Teehan, Erik Grindle, Ross Aylward-Tarten, Lili Teevan, Jonathan Ryan


Contents Chairperson’s welcome, by Claudia Woolgar ................................................................. 1 An experiment in social embroidery, by Theresia Guschlbauer ....................................... 2 Learning to fly in the Cafés Carte Blanche, by Paul Keating ........................................... 4 Cafés Carte Blanche Dancing with the people, by Mia Gallagher ...................................................... 7 2009 Cafés ....................................................................................................... 9 Junction Festival Trainee Programme ................................................................ 22

2010 Cafés ...................................................................................................... 24

The Common Thread Café ............................................................................... 38

The solidarity metaphor, by Jeffrey Gormly ....................................................... 46 2011 Cafés ...................................................................................................... 48

Being part of it – a trainee’s perspective, by Aoife Brannigan ............................ 60

2012 Cafés .......................................................................................................61

24 little hours, by Grace Wells .......................................................................... 70

2013 Cafés ...................................................................................................... 72 Taking leave, by Theresia Guschlbauer .......................................................................... 79 Artists’ biographies ....................................................................................................... 80



Welcome by Claudia Woolgar, Chair of the Board, 2011–2013 When I moved to Clonmel in 2003, it was a buzzing town with, I discovered to my joy, an annual international arts festival. Having worked in the arts all my life, I was thrilled! But things soon changed, and as the Celtic Tiger stumbled and fell, recession, unemployment and closed shops seemed to blight my new town. By this time, I had become involved with Clonmel Junction Festival’s Board of directors and did what I could to support the Festival I had grown to love. Festivals unite and excite communities. They enrich the quality of people’s lives. They make towns and cities places where people want and choose to live and work. They inspire people, prompt people to reflect on the past and look to the future. They reach out to young and old. Clonmel Junction Festival had to be supported because it offered so much. In 2009 positive creative thinking forged a new way forward, introducing the Cafés Carte Blanche (CCB) into the Festival programme, a unique, inventive and playful way of animating the empty shop units in town. And of doing much, much more. It was a programming thread that enriched the Festival programme with wildly different and unpredictable fringe-style mini-festivals in reclaimed locations around town, each achieved thanks to those funders who stuck with the Festival and generously supported this new programming thread. But it was more than a creative response to a tightened economic climate: it was a medium through which the Festival could engage more

effectively with two key constituencies: young people and the local community. The CCB programming thread gave young people a way to participate in the Festival, spending time with their peers but also offering an enriching and positive way to develop new skills, to train in marketing, technical support and artistic skills, and to find new paths inspired by their own creativity. Acutely aware that no festival exists without its local community, the CCB programme also reached out to this crucial group in a new way, putting the public who engaged with the Cafés at the heart of the creative process, positively encouraging community engagement with the Festival, offering opportunities for creative discovery, bringing people together in a rich and rewarding diversity of ways. The range of foci of the CCB cafés often stretched the definition of Clonmel Junction Festival as an ‘Arts’ festival, but as local engagement grew, what had to be celebrated was the breadth of local involvement with the Festival across a far greater age and socio-economic range than more traditional arts festival programmes might achieve. CCB were just that – a blank page on which everyone could make their mark. A blank page full of possibility, discovery and imagination. What more could an arts festival hope to offer its audience? You will open the door to each café as you turn the pages of this book. Step in. Look around. And celebrate with those who made each café happen.


An experiment in social embroidery

by Theresia Guschlbauer, Cafés Carte Blanche programme curator

Social: • denoting or relating to human society • relating or having the purpose to promote companionship, communal activities Embroidery: • stitching, decorating, embellishing a piece of cloth • elaborating, exaggerating the telling of an event or story Social embroidery: • bringing disparate societal strands together towards a common purpose • enabling a mix of people to come together towards a common goal A spider in spinning her web requires a doggedness to ensure that her fragile web can become whole. Until it is complete, the process is a delicate balancing act. And so it is with a piece of embroidery which in its process of elaboration and embellishment, requires the holding together of disparate elements, and much repetition, reinforcement and adding of layers. With embroidery, the wide range of elaboration, from the humble running stitch to the complex layering, can with the support of a fluid design - and an adept artist/ navigator- incorporate many levels of sophistication. It can also offer opportunities for playfulness and experimentation, allowing a place for the dabbler or the specialist, giving space to the beginner to cohabitate alongside the initiated or the virtuoso and perhaps even support and learn from each other. From early on, when I set out on the Cafés Carte Blanche journey, the textile imagery emerged, echoing the fluid and complex expectations that were intrinsic to the process. At the same time I was endeavouring to make sense of the tangle of hunches and aspirations: the desire to expand, bring


something new, bridge a gap, but also nourish – feed potential desires and appetites, reinforce the social fabric, add to the depleted townscape by taking over empty shops – and nurture – build up communities of interests, strengthen particular threads and people, support individual artists and their burgeoning talents. To identify artists, who would interested in this multilayered approach, artists who would be willing to respond to such a wide spectrum of participative needs while making the witness or spectator also feel welcome, was my first dilemma. Did such people even exist? To my surprise, they did; and indeed I am deeply indebted to the many artists who did engage in the experiment, contributing immensely to the process with their thoughtful and candid questions, and their willingness to take risks by entering the blank space of an empty shop, conjuring up a universe that combined imagination and conviviality. It is a credit to them that they attempted this feat, striving to be comfortable with the mediation work involved in running a drop-in café space, while at the same time listening, encouraging, giving feedback, engaging, guiding, mentoring and collaborating.

The Cafés Carte Blanche programme started life as a series of extended artists’ studios in 2009, with a commissioning grant from The Arts Council of Ireland. In time, they became laboratories: welcoming vessels where the artist and members of the public could try out something new, where curiosity was the main seasoning to a menu of multiple activities and artforms. If the visitor was unsure how to proceed or needed that little bit of reassurance, a cup of tea was always there to mediate between dream and reality, being and doing, hesitation and experimentation… slowly chipping away at those apprehensions, those messages that said ‘the Arts are not for me’ and turning them perhaps into: ‘what the heck, why not try it?’ In time, the cafés evolved increasingly into short-term incubation centres for a number of projects which have become integral to the Festival’s core programme: the Festival Choir started in 2010 in the Singing Café, the Trainee Programme was piloted in the Breakstation in 2009 and then rolled out in 2010 across all cafés and the Arts & Health strand developed in 2012 out of the Apple Arts Café. And so did the opening of the Common Thread Café, a year round community arts café, that emerged from the Cafés Carte Blanche programme. Inspired by the response to the 2009 Cafés – and particularly Priscilla Robinson’s space – I felt that here was something worth investigating on a longer-term basis. And indeed, the Common Thread Café has over the years, kickstarted and fostered many ventures such as Story Circle, the Junction Joes and the Singer Songwriters Club, as well as contributing to numerous community projects and artistic ventures. These independent

strands that discreetly grew up through the years in various guises have become threads that the Festival has picked up and started to collaborate with. Each year, these strands have become stronger weaving themselves into the larger canvas that is the annual Clonmel Junction Festival, strengthening one another, sustaining the individual participants/artists on their journeys through life and sustaining the Festival with stronger local and human connections. To all the artists/curators who took up the challenge of ‘stitching’ along with me, with their questions, ideas, concepts, reservations and remarks, I take my hat off to you, as I know how big an ask it was to embroider a canvas with so many unknowns… but wasn’t it that sense of adventure that brought us all along in the first place? And indeed these journeys and lessons were all the richer for having been shared with so many wonderful and artistic people. To the participants who crossed the threshold of the Cafés, and the talented and creative trainees, who helped transform the blank canvases into colourful, daring artistic spaces, I can only express my utmost admiration for jumping on the running train and staying the course. A big thank you also to the tech crew, carpenters, furniture movers, painters and innumerable helpers: it has been a rich journey that has left many memories and traces within the community. I hope that this book will go some way towards capturing the magic of the Cafés Carte Blanche and the Common Thread Café adventure.


Learning to fly in the Cafés Carte Blanche by Paul Keating, Lecturer, Social and Community Studies, School of Humanities, Limerick Institute of Technology.


In common with most countries, our education system was not designed to recognise and nurture creativity. There are many who would argue that it actively discourages creativity in both students and teachers. We teach French, Science, Music, Maths and Geography, according to their curricula, using the designated text books, in their allocated classrooms and guided towards exams by teachers, highly qualified in their own particular subjects. By and large, the system has served students and serviced the traditional work place well. We produce very good engineers, electricians, dentists, accountants and computer programmers. However, we live in a time of unprecedented change, increasingly creativity and innovation are being recognised as essential qualities to be encouraged and integrated into our education system. As an educator, it is both an exciting and a challenging time. It is like asking a train driver, as he speeds along the track, to fly the train the rest of the way to Dublin.

curiosity of local people. Increasingly the themes of the Cafés have emerged from, and resonated with, the community. The format reflects the personalities of the artists and the Festival itself. But perhaps the most endearing quality of the project is its accessibility and its lightness. You can become a poet, a dancer, a multi-media artist, a singer or a sculptor in those easy summer hours between the trip to the barber and the designated time for your lift home. There is a palpable sense, once you step in from the street that you can, if you wish, hitch yourself to that breath of fresh air and simply drift away.

Nurturing creativity in young people requires new ways of thinking on the part of educators. It requires collaboration with those in a creative space; it requires its own time and place; it requires gentle guidance and the flexibility to keep moving forward; it requires multiple themes and media; it requires active community engagement. From their inception in 2009, all of these things were central to the vision for the Cafés Carte Blanche. The use of familiar shop premises reduces inhibitions and encourages the

Similarly our Social and Community Studies Course has encouraged students to volunteer for the Festival’s Participation Programme and our staff have supported the Board in different ways over the years. However, the real potential for collaboration emerged as part of the Cafés Carte Blanche. Junction Festival has always had a volunteer programme, which attracted many young people to help out in various roles during the Festival. The Festival organisers sought to develop a more structured approach to

Limerick Institute of Technology in Clonmel has a well-established relationship with Junction Festival. Staff and students of the Limerick School of Art and Design (which is part of LIT and runs courses in Clonmel) have contributed to workshops, produced animations and provided multimedia equipment for the Festival.

encouraging the young volunteers build their skills and confidence within the creative environment of the Cafés. The Trainee Programme was born in 2010 and LIT has been supporting it ever since. Over the last couple of years we have seen the positive impact of the trainee programme on the participants. They have developed practical skills, teamwork, timekeeping and the discipline of deadlines. They have welcomed people into the Cafés and encouraged their first tentative steps in an unfamiliar art form. They have interacted with their peers, people younger than themselves and, often the most hesitant of all, ‘the oldies’. All of these are important things to learn, however the real gift of the Trainee Programme and the Cafés, is that the trainees learn these things from a creative and innovative space. They learn that serving tea enables creativity, and that there are creative ways to serve tea. Of course they are also exposed to the world of theatre and performance art and artists for the best part of two weeks, which must be fun and inspiring.

However it is not unreasonable to suggest that the experience they have gained, at such a formative time in their lives, will make them more creative and innovative engineers, electricians, dentists, accountants, computer programmers, parents and active members of their communities. Perhaps the lesson we in the education system can learn from collaborating with the Cafés Carte Blanche is that by rearranging the seats on the train and opening the windows, we can allow students time and space to catch a breeze and feel for a while that they can fly.

Stepping momentarily back onto the train, one might ask, what are the tangible educational outcomes from the Trainee Programme? How are the participants future prospects changed by their experience? Some of them will undoubtedly follow their dreams into the world of the creative arts, (perhaps even in LIT). It is likely that most will not. They will continue their journey towards the more conventional careers.


This book is dedicated to the artists who curated the CafĂŠs, and to all those who took part in the CafĂŠs projects.


Cafés Carte Blanche 2009 . Robinsons’ Sunday Roadshow with

Priscilla Robinson


Mia Gallagher


Austin McQuinn


Pat Looby

. The Writing Room . Canine Café . Shrine

. The Breakstation

with Upswing Aerial Dance Company


Dancing with the people by Mia

Gallagher, writer and curator of The Writing Room

How I heard about it


One evening in Dublin, Theresia told me about a ‘salon’ idea, which she was thinking of starting. What would it be like, she wondered, if Clonmel were to host a network of cafés during the Junction Festival, themed around various art forms and free to the public? With a question like that as an invitation, how could I refuse!

I’d had lovely memories of Angela’s Café from before the recession. I’d eaten there many times while working with Galloglass Theatre Company, and it was there I’d read a great review in the Guardian about my debut novel HellFire. But the Angela’s I landed in at the start of July 2009 had been disused for months. At this point the Café Carte Blanche ‘spirit’ kicked in. We all rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in. Theresia sourced carpet and furniture, I brought a vanful of books to line the shelves – David and Cathy helped fill the gaps from their own wonderful library – and my amazing team of trainees along with a friend or three helped hoover, scrub, mop, sweep and decorate. Within two days, Angela’s had been turned into a more bohemian version of its former lovely self. Our ‘menu’ of events was in the window, Beckett quotes adorned the walls, sofas and chairs huddled cosily around low tables, bookmaker artist Rachel Rudman had set up in her corner of the café… We were ready to go!

Planning As a writer I think in a storytelling way (beginningmiddle-end); but because of my theatre background, I’m also keen on spectacle – the bite you take with the eye, what a place looks or feels like. I enjoy flexibility but it’s important for me to have a structure around which I can be flexible – like having a strong skeleton around which the muscles can stretch in lots of different directions. So for me the first thing was to design a plan or schedule for my time in the café. This was event-oriented so it was like designing a mini-festival within a festival. I’d planned events before so that part didn’t feel that different. But this project was also about the SPACE these events would take place in, which was much more like a theatrical project. Combining the two in the context of a floating, informal audience felt very new indeed. I scheduled workshops, talks and readings and invited other writers and artists to fill those slots. Around those events I left open spaces – quiet time for people to come and write, chat time in the evenings. I also left time free in some afternoons so that if anyone had an event idea I could facilitate that. This worked very well: on the first Sunday storytellers who came in for an ‘open mic’ - and packed the place! And on the Tuesday, a fascinating Iraqi writer dropped in.


Use of disused space Coming from a theatre background and having done site-specific work in many different places, the idea of creating a space from scratch or ‘transforming’ an existing space into something else felt familiar to work I’d done with Ciaran Taylor (Carpet Theatre), Chrissie Poulter (Artslab) or on my own theatre projects. However, the use of space in the context of the recession was an enormously creative and positive way to engage with the reality of what was happening in Clonmel. As far as I know, nobody elsewhere had started dealing with the gaps in towns, as businesses

closed down and took energy with them. What was – and is – revolutionary about CCB is the idea of setting up not a ‘shop’ where people trade in consumer items, but a ‘café’ where people trade in that much more valuable resource – ideas.

Volunteers The trainees/volunteers were the most amazing part of the process: Ruadhán, Cahill, Finnán, Edel – I still salute your cheerfulness, initiative, dedication and commitment! There’s such generosity in the arts in Ireland in terms of people sharing resources and offering time, energy and ideas, often for free. However, the Writing Room trainees were young people who had not necessarily chosen a career in the arts; there was no ‘pay-off’ in terms of career path or reputation. One had graduated with a masters in marketing just as the recession started; the others were facing into their final years in school with none of the certainties that had been handed on a plate to the ‘Celtic Cub’ generation. Their commitment to their community and the Festival was awe-inspiring.

Informal audiences Unlike programmed festival events, our audience was free to come and go. I really loved this aspect of the project – that people could wander in, stick around as long as they wanted and then wander off again. There is a generosity to it, a sense that if people turned up at the café, they were meant to be there – and should be treated with respect. If they wanted to head off again, that should also be respected and not taken personally. This approach to audience engagement is quite a shift from the

traditional theatre show or workshop format where people are expected to stay with the whole experience from beginning to end. But in a way it’s very like the origins of theatre, when the population of Athens would turn up for three days of tragedy leavened by the occasional comedy. I don’t imagine the Athenians sitting obediently in rows for 72 hours. They would have wandered off, chatted, got something to eat or drink, had a kip, then headed back to where the spectacle was, maybe to see their favourite ‘bit’. So in a way CCB goes back to what I imagine the roots of theatre or collective art engagement might be. Having the audience come in informally meant it was possible for the visitors to influence what happened. For example, a group of young women (all around 14-15 years old) arrived one evening. It became clear that they were all reading Twilight and experimenting with horror writing. I rescheduled one workshop to be about horror writing and most of the young women turned up for that. I loved that element of response-ibility – that a workshop or other format can be flexible enough to respond to the needs and desires of the people who engage with it.

Where it led me That same year, I submitted a residency application with Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design, and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown CC. Based on the Clonmel experience, I suggested a ‘Writing Room’ in a local disused shop once a month. In the end, this happened in the not-disused Tea Rooms in the People’s Park. But there was a similar give and take, ebb and flow – almost a dance with the people who choose to engage with the space. Thanks, CCB!


Priscilla Robinson

Robinsons’ Sunday Roadshow

‘Priscilla’s was like being in the painting rather than the 10

The Robinsons were a Baptist family from the North who founded a church in Dublin. Sundays were the centre of their social week, with a cup of tea and homemade food for family and visitors. This café was an attempt at re-creating the Robinson Family’s Sundays for public viewing and participation! With members and memorabilia of the Robinson Family in situ, you could enjoy a sermon, hear a story or two, listen to their LP collection, try a game of ‘Teapot’, or argue your point in a discussion, as this Family loves talking! Hosted by performer and writer Priscilla Robinson, this café invited you to participate in her family’s ritual Sunday activities, while sampling some of her delicious baking!

‘I especially valued the chance to have a plan for something but also let it develop as people came in and got involved; I loved the process of watching the small idea I had for the café grow into an event, experience, and a location.’ — Priscilla Robinson

usual looking at the painting.’ ‘Very enjoyable, a great life experience.’


Mia Gallagher

The Writing Room

‘I was always doing something that made me feel useful!’ ‘I enjoyed the excitement, the 12

Writers, readers and booklovers of all age were invited to drop in for a selection of literature-related activities. On offer were workshops, presentations, reading opportunities, quiet Writing Time, one-to-one mentoring with a practising writer and a Morning Salon to share ideas on just about anything cultural! The focus was on writing in its broadest sense – from poetry to blogging. Based in the former Angela’s Café, the space got a temporary facelift to host this literary café, where writer Mia Gallagher curated a choc-a-block schedule of workshops with special guest writers, talks, open readings of work-in progress and much more. The informal open space also catered for people to wander in and read any books/plays/screenplays that had been gifted / lent to the café for the duration of the Festival. People could also leave samples of their own work to be read by others, and engage in informal chats with whoever happened to be around. The schedule also included a daily 90-minute ‘quiet time’ when people could come in and read or write in silence – a form of writer’s meditation. ‘The café has inspired both literary and musical compositions with three pieces produced. Mia was a wonderful host’ — Fintan

rush of the work.’ ‘Fun, educating and surprising.’

13 13

Austin McQuinn

Canine Café

‘Very often the dogs who made friends with other dogs to mix and 14

An urban social space for both species with canine and human cuisine, beds and chairs, water bowls, tea & coffee and a reading library. Through the medium of photography and film, this café looked at how, as species, we are linked personally and historically to each other on a social, biological and behavioural level. This café only allowed humans under dog supervision...otherwise you were allowed to glance at proceedings from a viewing area only. People arranged to meet at the café with their dogs. It was clear that people in the Dog Community learned of the project by word of mouth and were encouraged to visit by friends who had attended on previous days. Many people were return visitors and arranged to meet friends at the Café, with their dogs. New friendships were made, both human and dog, and this was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the café. ‘It was a completely new way of placing the artist at the centre of an idea without the formality of exhibition. It had the same demands as any exhibition but was very rewarding.’ — Austin McQuinn

encouraged people meet each other again.’ 15

Pat Looby


‘What engaged people most was seeing their 16

The central feature of the Shrine was a miniature memorial building of discarded and junk jewellery, a modern-day version of the Sisters of Mercy Tabernacle, which is on display at the Tipperary County Museum. Just like its predecessor, this Shrine was made of donated jewellery, except that here second-hand, novelty jewellery and beads were donated by members of the public. The public was also invited to contribute to a ’jewellery wall’ by bringing in a personal piece to be photographed and then to write a story about it. These stories and images were then displayed as part of a collage in the Café. ‘I suppose it became more of a “live” experience for people, and truly engaged them in a different kind of way; there was not too much going on, not too “busy”, more of a direct experience with a single piece.’ ‘Even if it was a silent response from most people, it was an appreciative one’ — Pat Looby

contribution as it were, being part of the overall piece.’ 17

Upswing Aerial Dance Company

The Breakstation

‘It’s been so good to actually take part in something I 18

A room full of dancers of different styles reeling with thumping sound, beat and moves from an assortment of professional and local talent. Krumping, House Dance and Old School Hip Hop by professionals and young dance enthusiasts. People could watch the action, join in, take a lesson or just hang out with friends. Special morning sessions for tweenies, open ‘mic’ programme, urban art exhibition and live dance events and performances: the Breakstation Hip Hop Café welcomed everyone. From the outset, the volunteers were consulted about the décor and format of the café and contributed to its timetable. A local Hip Hop DJ was roped in to help with sound coaching and supervise DJing sessions. Members of visiting Upswing Aerial Dance Company taught regular classes as well as doing some public rehearsal practice in the space.

and young local dancers. The enrolment of eight volunteer dancers to man the café was a very effective way to staff the venue and increased their buy-in into the project. Coaching that group also produced a short dance piece, which was presented at the finale concert to a large appreciative audience. ‘At first I didn’t want to work on a final performance with the young people because that wasn’t the focus of the project but by the end I felt that it was really important for them to have an experience of performing. The final performance felt like a great way to end the Café experience.’ — Leila McMillan ‘The cafés were a great outlet for the community to get involved with the Festival even if they weren’t able to experience any of the performances.’ — Vicky Amedune

In this way, an organic cross-fertilisation process developed between professional performers

love doing.’ ‘This is a chance to prove to myself I can do it.’

19 19


Cafés Carte Blanche 2010 . Café Chantant with

Caroline Moreau & Marie-Laure Frochot


Shane Dempsey & Hannah Burke


Will Nugent & Paul Kelly


Rossa Ó Snodaigh


Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company


Linda McCann & South Tipp Heritage Office


Lyn Mather

. Playroom

. Ciné Café

. Cupán Craic

. Fidget Feet Café

. The Place to Bee . Clonmel Futures

21 21

The Junction Festival Trainee ... getting to know new people babies meeting the artists tea, lots and lots of tea free shows interesting chit chat talking to new people getting a free tee shirt makes you feel older for work experience making a space yours talking to people that you don’t normally communicate with at all taking a space that’s basically blank and then watching it be transformed meeting people who are kind of like you new situations being proud of society for a while having your own workshop relaxation seeing the brighter part of your town trying new things making people happy the organic tea was nice learning how to make coffee ice tea ice tea was amazing connectedness kids that kept taking apple juice but didn’t leave donations sorry (laugh) having the need for donations depending on other people town feels happier for ten days it looks ‘colouredier’ as well it makes people come out helps people to express themselves through art all the new artists and performers that come in ... Clonmel Junction Festival Trainee Programme was set up in 2010 as a follow-up to the 2009 dance apprenticeship scheme in the Breakstation. The programme aims to engage 20 to 30 young adults from 14 to 23 years, offering the participants an intensive two-week work and life experience. During this time, the young people were assigned to a café team of their choice and worked as one of the team members to help realise the aims of the project. They also received one-to-one mentoring from their team leader and benefited from collaborating with likeminded individuals. The team leaders were either artists or arts professionals engaged by the Festival to create an installation or interactive arts project. The Trainee Programme offered a more focused and intensive learning experience than being a volunteer and was ideally suited for young people who wanted to explore a career option or develop a more in-depth knowledge of a specific area of interest.


Arts Trainees Each Café had a number of trainees who were involved in the setting up and running of the space and assisting the designated artist(s) in dealing with the public during the period of the Festival. Many of the Trainees from 2010 and 2011 have graduated to become volunteers or junior staff members; others have gone on to enrol in creative and arts-oriented third-level courses

Marketing and Production Trainees The Marketing Trainees get firsthand experience in arts marketing, assisting in hard copy and online dissemination of information, recording events and doing market research. The Production Trainees are introduced to the back stage world of the Festival, assisting the production team with the fit-up and stripping of theatres and performance venues and getting insight into the mechanics of theatre.

Programme Feedback from trainees:

I first started as a trainee in 2010 in the Playroom Drama Café. I was 13 and after that experience, I knew I would be hungry for art again. A year later, I was in Dream City, which was a completely new experience. I learned to explore drawing and dreaming in a new environment and I learned a lot from my time there. The following winter, Play and Plan was set up. From this I discovered a hidden talent and in April I was the “Niamh O’ Brien” part of an art event entitled “Niamh O’ Brien vs. The World”. In 2012 I went on to work in the Common Thread Café, where I learned about writing and storytelling as well as getting some new skills like crochet and sewing. My three-year experience with Clonmel Junction Festival has been overwhelmingly positive and I look forward to helping with the Festival in the years ahead.’ — Niamh, 15

My experience of Junction Festival was amazing and my placement was like nothing I’d ever done before. I think the Café programme is ingenious and unique to the Festival. As someone who was traditionally not ‘arty’, I found that working in the café encouraged me to get in touch with my artistic side, whereas I’d usually be reluctant to. My perception of what art is changed that week: I worked with trainees who were all differently creative and I really felt like my vision was appreciated. It was enlightening to be amongst artists who challenge you and open your mind. Jeffrey really promoted our creativity and inspired us, so that I no longer believe that I’m useless at art. I learnt a lot from everyone I came across during Junction Festival and got a flavour of all aspects of art. The Café programme gives you a sense of achievement at the end of the week when you see your hard work pay off and realise that it’s all you and your team’s creation! It’s very exciting.’ — Beibhinn, 16


Caroline Moreau & Marie-Laure Frochot

Café Chantant


‘Caroline and Marie-Laure’s commitment

The Café offered daily open lunchtime choir sessions for anyone from five years to 95 wishing to try out choir singing as well as drop-in sessions to learn a new song or sing along to a familiar tune from the French or world music repertoire. A daily morning children’s choir, one-to-one or group coaching and musical advice, as well as daily rehearsals for a special concert on the end of the week, were also on offer. Choir participants also turned up and offered their high spirits and songs at the finale Charivari. This Café inaugurated the annual choral project, which has become a regular fixture of the Festival programme ever since.

Choral Concert Programme Solos/duos/trios Za spo yan koo (Serbia) Everybody Sings Freedom (Gospel) A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong) A Hard Day’s Night (Beatles) Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel) Erdelezi (Trad. Gypsy) Children’s Choir: Old McDonald has a Farm (USA) Makotoode (Brazil) Zomina (Africa) The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Henri Salvador) Café Chantant Choir: When I’m 64 (McCartney/Lennon) Café Chantant Choir & Caroline Moreau: Accordéon (Gainsbourg) Nantes (Barbara) Mon Amant de St-Jean (Léon Agel/Emile Carrara) Sympathique (Pink Martini)

and passion were irresistible!’


Shane Dempsey & Hannah Burke


‘I learned that to act and write, you need to focus and 26

Over 10 days, young people immersed themselves in a vibrant theatre project, developing characters, devising situations, working with a professional writer and director to create short theatrical events that were performed over the Festival. The young people got first hand experience of all the joys and challenges of developing a theatre project and developed essential skills necessary for a young actor. There were opportunities for the participants to engage with and develop new approaches to acting and there was a series of ‘talk back’ sessions where the participants and the general public could ask advice on pathways to the entertainment industry.

‘It was a truly inspirational task to establish a working theatre space with young people in the centre of Clonmel.’ — Shane Dempsey ‘Young adults and children are amazing to work with because they are impulsive and have great ideas, ideas that are sometimes completely off the wall but totally relevant. Working in such an environment exercises my own brain and as a writer getting out of the ‘adult box’ is essential. I do a lot of writing for children too and it is extremely important to me not to underestimate what young people are capable of understanding, creating and appreciating.’ — Hannah Burke

listen to others, not just to yourself.’ 27

Will Nugent & Paul Burke

Ciné Café @ STAC


‘I appreciate now how it took fours years to make

The Ciné Café provided a comfortable social space where films could be viewed, discussed and made. A comprehensive variety of local, national and international movies were available café style and a daily forum for debate and practical advice on the key aspects of film and TV production were also available. Members of the public could avail of inhouse workshops on the basic techniques of editing, animation, camera usage, and storyboarding: a ‘Big Brother’ style booth for public feedback on the Festival or other specific themes and… lots of coffee. All were welcome to share, drop in, view, make, chat and network in this exciting, dynamic and interactive meeting place between professional filmmakers, passionate amateurs and the curious.

Wallace & Grommit.’

‘Being able to impart knowledge to others and seeing the positive effect and the creative ability of each individual come to fruition was wonderful.’ — Paul Kelly ‘I attended the Cine Café for ten days in July. During that time, I learned how to make animation films. It was great fun and I completed two animations with the help of Paul and Will. Ruby and the Blobs was my first animation piece; it is about a bear faced with a difficult babysitting job. My second piece was called Blame it on the Peas and it is about a headless man who dances to D.J. Earthworm’s ‘Blame it on the Pop’. I would like to thank the Junction Festival for this great opportunity. I hope to enjoy the experience again next summer.’ — Ciara Eichholz, trainee


Rossa Ó Snodaigh, with Donal Donovan

Cupán Craic


‘.... a very successful example of a community endeavour disparate elements with a

The main purpose of Cupán Craic was to make a social space where people could drop in and communicate through the Irish language. In addition to a coffee dock, the space offered a library of Irish language books, some of which were for sale. Games such as Scrabble were on offer as well as junior activities (quizzes, storytelling); other activities included Bohrán initiation classes using pizza takeaway boxes, speed dating, conversation sessions, a Clonmel historical tour ‘as Gaeilge’, as well as formal and impromptu singing and musical sessions. Host Rossa Ó Snodaigh, in conjunction with students from the local Gaelcholáiste, animated the space and attracted young and old to share the language.

Ba é príomhaidhm an chaifé ná spás sóisialta a chruthú ina bhféadfadh an Ghaeilge a úsáid mar theanga comónta. I dteannta le cuntar caife, bhí leabharlann bheag ar fáil agus bhí roinnt leabhair ar díol chomh maith. Bhí cluichí imeachtaí do leanaí ar fáil agus ar díol freisin. Tairgeadh ranganna bodhráin do thosaitheoirí, ‘luascleasaíocht’, in éineacht le siúlóid staire Chluain Meala.

Irish language business packs (‘Gnó Means Business’) were free to all interested visitors as well as information on the Irish Language Signage Scheme and language rights.

which brought together common interest under one roof.’


Chantal McCormack, Jim Daly & Lee Clayden

Fidget Feet Café

‘I’d like to see Fidget Feet come back as it was a brilliant 32

Ireland’s foremost Aerial Dance Company brought an exciting hang-out place for teenagers and young people interested in hip hop, music, aerial dance, pole dancing, morning smoothie, keep fit classes, yoga and stretching. Parents and children were invited to creative play classes, contact dance jams with live music, and there were many aerial cocoon sessions when devoted and patient children waited their turn for a one-to-one session with Lee, Chantal or one of several young adult trainees. Daily rehearsals for a “flash dance” to be performed at the finale Charivari event were also on the menu.

Daily Schedule (except Sunday): 10.30am: 11.45am: 12.45pm: 3.45pm: 5pm:

Sun 4th July: 2.30pm: 3.30/5pm:

Grab a smoothie and healthy workout Mums/Dads & toddlers’ creative play Flash mob rehearsal for Charivari Street dance; learn a routine for Charivari, Flash mob rehearsal for Charivari Pole dancing for fitness (over 16 years only) Lee & Chantal teach contact dance class Flash mob rehearsal

Sat 10th July: 9pm:

Flash mob and street dance performance for Finale Charivari: all who have learned the routine invited to take part.

experience.’ 33

Linda McCann & South Tipp Heritage Office

The Place to Bee

‘.... a hive alive with creativity!’ 34

A colourful painted wildlife garden was the backdrop to an array of family friendly activities and information sessions. Through wildlife workshops, with resident clay artist Linda McCann, this cafÊ shared tips, simple solutions and enterprising ideas on how to bring birds, bees, butterflies and biodiversity from the wild, into your own life, garden, village, town or city by learning how to reuse rubbish. Old bits n’ bobs were fashioned into bee hotels; old bottles became bird feeders or magnificent bat mobiles. Or if you just fancied a friendly face and a wee cup of tea, you could come in, sit down, relax and enjoy one of the Cluain Meala heritage videos in the lounge area, provided by the South Tipperary Heritage Office.

35 35

Lyn Mather

Clonmel Futures

this image needs to be replaced without logo

‘My name is Jonathan: I’m willing to teach you how to 36

In a changing world we need to explore what we will take with us into the future. The Clonmel Futures Café provided a space for creative expressions around this theme, sharing stories, visions, ideas and solutions to build community resilience and a healthy resource base. This was an interactive, connecting space with world café style events, art, games, demonstrations, resources and workshops on offer in a refreshing ambiance. The topics of conversation and expression revolved around a mix of sustainable future-proofing: environmental, social, economical, including ecology, recycling, innovation, energywisdom and resource-sharing. The public was invited to share, inspire and be inspired to make the future a welcome place for all.

‘Our space was particularly special because it was the only café created from a derelict space that had not been in use for 18 years and would probably again remain that way for the foreseeable future. People were quite curious about it and amazed that it could be transformed so quickly and simply.’ — Lyn Mather, curator ‘I loved the way, by calling it a café, people came in and we got to do henna or other art workshops with them. It was a smooth way to bring them into doing art without them even noticing it.’ — Eleanor Nicholas

draw in exchange for guitar lessons.’ - exchange notice board cc

37 37

2009-2013 .............................. The Common Thread Café The three main strands of the Common Thread Café were to: l

offer a smile and friendly chat to anyone who came in


stimulate creative interaction among like-minded people


support and enable activities of an artistic or community nature

‘The space evolved in harmony with the ongoing expressions



2010 - 2013

and visions of all those who visited and took part.’

39 39

Meet –


A café with a difference, the Common Thread was opened in April 2010 in an empty shop in Clonmel town centre. From the outset, the space offered rooms for social, educational and artistic use as well as for meetings and gatherings. Visitors were invited to partake in an experiment of a different kind of economy, where they were asked to price their experience and decide what the visit was worth to them. This experiment in participative community and alternative economics was the brainchild of Theresia Guschlbauer, who had been running participative arts programmes for Junction Festival since 2004. On the strength of curating the first ‘Cafés Carte Blanche’ project in 2009, Theresia got an Arts Council bursary to ‘reflect, research and experiment’ on the participative cafés format. After the first café series, there appeared to be an appetite for a year-round venture that would offer similar opportunities for encounters, arts activities and conversations. Having tested the ground by curating a day-long heritage café, Theresia researched the idea further in Barcelona, Paris, and around Ireland, eventually deciding to give it a try with a team of volunteers and setting up the Common Thread, an

‘What a surprise to find


Engage arts and social space where the arts, hospitality and conversations could cohabitate within a creative, cross-fertilising process. The Common Thread Café aimed to offer a new model of social interaction, based on an ethos of ideas exchange, value sharing and civic and community building. The café had a convivial front lounge with a selection of chairs, sofas and tables, books and magazines, wifi, games and activities for all ages. Two further rooms were available for meetings or workshops for a modest contribution. Visitors were asked to leave a donation. The café was aiming to remove barriers to access to the arts and other related fields such as education, health and community and lifestyle issues. A small group of volunteers and artists ran the café, energising and transforming the space with a selection of events and vibrant window displays. The space catered for all ages and social backgrounds. Regular visitors were young families, older men, artists and newcomers in town, including many non-nationals, as well as young people in search of something to do. The space was an example of a more innovative style of volunteering where volunteers were encouraged to contribute their own creativity, ideas

and skills. Volunteer hosts worked on average one 3-hour shift per week and had a good understanding of the café’s concept and key principles. They were mature, open-minded and congenial people who enjoyed the challenge of engaging with people of different backgrounds and with a variety of needs. These qualities were one of the café’s most valuable assets, which ensured that the space was vibrant and the conversation interesting. At the core of the café’s values was a belief that anyone given a chance could be creative: by fostering in others original and independent thinking and community engagement, the Common Thread aimed to strengthen the social and creative capital of the town of Clonmel and its hinterland, as well as respond to the fundamental human need for connectedness and belonging. For the café users, the Common Thread was a vessel for creative expression and personal and social development, a place for encounters and opportunities. Indeed, many visitors and volunteers used the café as a springboard for kickstarting ideas, try out something new, go back to further education, start a business or get a job! By putting the users and volunteers centre stage, as co-creators of the space, the café aimed to support

again this gem of creativity and coffee!’ ‘Great laid-back atmosphere and lovely helpful staff!’

continued overleaf


– continued from previous page

people’s resilience and ability to adapt and innovate. The approach was deliberately fluid and the café a work-in-progress that required a shift in people’s attitude towards a more pro-active kind of citizenship and participation. And because of this, there was a strong sense of ownership from the users. In October 2010, the café hosted its first Culture Night, celebrating the arts with a selection of activities ranging from an embroidery project, live music to a Japanese tearoom complete with sushi tasting and Origami workshop. For the 2011 Culture Night, a group of teenage storytellers from the Storyhouse Café were invited to host a storycircle, which eventually led to the setting up of a fortnightly story circle, supported by key café volunteers. The event gained a strong following over the next two years and was entirely self-regulated by young people. This led to other events such as teenage open mic sessions and participation in such ventures as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Hallowe’en Zombie Walk. This created a core groups of teenagers who became strong Junction followers.

Hallowe’en and heritage events and projects, women’s nights, family arts workshops and much else. Other more discreet ventures supported young and older individuals in their personal journeys, either by offering work experience or encouraging their educational or artistic aspirations. These and many other such small gestures epitomise what the café aimed to nurture and encourage through its fluid approach: self-generated conversations and initiatives that harnessed an individual’s creative capacity and their desire to realise their dreams or enhance their community. This vision of an evolving social tapestry through difference was implicit in the name, the Common Thread and in its motto: meetshare-engage — a ‘social embroidery’ which brought people together with the aim of making them and their community stronger.

Other initiatives included annual tree week events, regular singer/songwriters’ nights, Jazz evenings,


‘On a cold day, it was

“A new model of social interaction, based on commonality of values, exchange of ideas and community spirit.” The Guest House A handwritten copy of this poem by Rumi was pinned anonymously on the notice board one afternoon. This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, Some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, Who violently sweep your house Empty of its furniture, Still treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out For some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, Meet them at the door laughing, And invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, Because each has been sent As a guide from beyond.

the warmest of welcomes.’

43 43


Cafés Carte Blanche 2011 . Sound Lab with

Maurice Caplice & DJ Phyl


Art Hive artists’ collective

. Solar Space . Dream City with

Jeffrey Gormly


Lyn Mather & Landscape Interface Studio


Nina Tanis & Fiona Dowling


Banksy & Dirty Dave

. Suir River Café . Storyhouse

. Hip Hop Café


Solidarity metaphor: take form through by Jeffrey

Gormly, artist and curator of Dream City

“ Underlying this work is a belief that creative activity, initiative, enterprise, and leadership all exercise a common muscle, and that muscle is best exercised in a social setting. We could call that muscle personal authority, or better yet, authorship. It is a kind of intelligence, a particular way of ‘knowing’. We often focus on the signature on the painting, the name under the title of the work of art, but many artists will acknowledge that their ideas come not from them but through them, rising out of our flesh and blood like dreams: the humming of our organs, the murmuring of the world outside, the singing of the stars; emerging from the tangled forest of signs and signals we call culture, or nature, or neighbourhood, or social organism. Authorship is not about claiming the origin of an idea, but standing up for the progress of that idea into the world. It is a kind of leadership that manifests in an instant, a gesture committing us to


what we feel we know to be true or possible, in that moment shaping it and expressing our belief and passion about that possibility for truth and life. This courageous gesture we identify as leadership: giving voice or action to something-needing-tobe-said: intuition, call it. Or faith. Trust. Even ‘notknowing’. As a song needs a listener as much as a singer, a poem needs to be heard as well as spoken, and a painting wants to be seen, a café is incomplete without a clientele. Each Café Carte Blanche needs to receive the creative input of the public, in order for it to become a living work of art. This is a clear signal of participation, a message about the order of things created and the essential role of the nonartist in the creation of art. At the blackboard in Dream City, the dreamer gives authority to their dream, their ‘not-knowing’ knowing, just as the school master gives authority to


a maths formula or rule of grammar. In representing the dream or conveying it onto the board, the dreamer engages in a creative act, a gesture of expression that communicates through image or style or way of using the chalk. Working side by side, the dreamers (and the dreams) are drawn into solidarity with each other, applying themselves to a shared surface, in a physical metaphor for how we apply ourselves to the ‘social’ – creating town, community, culture, economy. This is the Cafés Carte Blanche programme at work: through shared creative activity, in solidarity, in spaces carefully designed and facilitated by artists who are experienced in negotiating creative process and forming meaningful interventions on and in the world around them.

form through its own process. Her own café, the Common Thread, doesn’t just appeal to the ‘common thread’ between us all as citizens, but also refers to the weaving processes that inform Theresia’s work (underneath it all, she is a textile artist). As Theresia reflects on the programme in this book, I understand the Common Thread to be the constant weave running through all the Cafés initiated over the last five years, a holding container ready to receive the creative social energy activated during that week and a half in July when Junction Festival jiggles the molecules of Clonmel, and proposes to its denizens that maybe, just maybe, everyone is an artist.

The Café initiative itself is the meta-metaphor, manifestation of Theresia’s art of intuiting: trusting her own ‘knowledge’ about creativity, community, economy and culture, and allowing it to take

47 47

Maurice Caplice & DJ Phyl

The Sound Lab

Maurice’s and DJ Phyl’s catchphrase for the festival: ‘Nice one Clonmel — you have been sound!’


Artist Maurice Caplice set up The Sound Lab where he was joined by guest sound artist DJ Phyl as well as local and visiting musicians. Maurice’s first contact with sound art came in college, where he made a sand castle that was being destroyed by the sound of a speaker from underneath (yes, it was Hendrix-inspired). Was this art, was this music? This was his first contact with the divide of art disciplines, which he found unnecessary. To him, sound was another tool in one’s bag of tricks, to be used towards an idea one is constructing and not the other way round. All musicians, DJs, sound engineers, artists in search of a new discipline, or just interested visitors, were invited to come and explore the exciting world of sound art in all its forms. Participants were invited to bring their own instruments, use their voices, an old tin can or a motorised fan. The limits to noise were endless.

‘To my surprise the tea and coffee worked well in this situation as the café blend (excuse the pun) of art space and chill out zones made people more willing to engage, than other projects that I have work on. It’s always the little things.’ ‘Every recording is a notable story. A snap sound in time, and each and every recording I was involved in brought its own fun, artistic angle and collaboration.’ — Maurice Caplice

49 49

Art Hive artists’ collective

Solar Space

‘.... Really enjoyed this space’s workshops!’ ‘Amazing atmosphere!’ 50

Art Hive created a hot art space that echoed the upbeat feeling generated by the heat of the summer sun on your face: Pure gold...
Yellow was strongly featured in the space with its association with laughter, happiness, self-knowledge, creativity and good times. 
 Art Hive’s Solar Space offered a range of drop-in and structured creative workshops for the public. It used a wide range of creative processes such as clay sculptures, theatrical installations, suspended multiple artworks, wall-based painting, print techniques, textiles and experiential art where the viewer was invited to become an active part of the artwork.

Art Hive artists: Bill Doyle Aishling Egan Ian Mannion Violeta Pserackaite Dennis Ryan Brigid Teehan

‘This experience has enriched us all on an individual and group level; it has inspired us to be open to future collaborations, partnerships with other organisations and to work creatively with various communities.’ — Art Hive artists


Jeffrey Gormly

Dream City

‘The focus is on the dream and not the dreamer.’ 52

The public was invited to draw their dreams on huge blackboard walls, using soft, non-scraping chalks. The basic activity of drawing offered a mode of personal engagement with one’s own dreams. It was not about personal ability to draw, but a willingness to work with the material of the private personal universe, where dreams, daydreams and intuition flow, where a creative machinery operates that each individual uses – whether they realise it or not – to make sense of their experience and perceptions. In short, it was less about what people drew; more about how they drew. The experience was enhanced by feeling bare feet on a deep bed of dry peat moss, carefully chosen music, and sleepy time tea. Snugly blankets in nooks and crannies offered people the chance to catch up on their own dreamtime.

Dreams are a trapdoor for the mind into a parallel universe of fantastic adventure and hidden knowledge. We may think of dreams as an escape from humdrum hard work and everyday living, but in fact our whole world is built on dreams: dream is a pure force of imagination that makes reality possible and pleasurable. ‘A social dreaming matrix can be understood to be a collectively imagined equivalent of the labyrinth of our experience or present situation, through which we bring ourselves to an expanded common sense. ‘ – Jeffrey Gormly [artist’s notes available to read at:]


Lyn Mather, Landscape Interface Studio & South Tipp County Heritage Office

Suir River Café

‘I remember watching the lovely young trout swimming summer’s day walking along the banks for 54

This Café welcomed the public to explore the watery world of the river Suir, and travel with it on its journeys past, present and future. The public was invited to navigate its way through the artistic installations, multimedia creations and community mapping, where ideas and thoughts on the river and how they can integrate the river into our communities and our lives would be explored. The curators hoped to rekindle a connection with the river that has shaped not only the landscape but also our town and our past livelihoods. By reconnecting with the river and joining the adventure, the public could share stories and experiences, wishes and dreams. The Café was a space to reflect and contemplate memories, create a shared vision of how we can help the river flow into the future and be inspired!

CATCH OF THE DAY AT THE SUIR RIVER CAFÉ 8 July 2011 The day to be remembered that Ralph O’Callaghan, Carrick boatman, fisherman and friend, took me upriver to Clonmel to deliver poem and story for kindred souls at the River Suir Café. Shades of our forebears sailed with us and within us by every weir and pool and current on that day that Ralph and I went to Clonmel by water to land a poem I’d made called Going By Water inscribed in time and in a book for both the living and departed.

Michael Coady

up the river on a warm miles until the sun went down.’ 55 55

Nina Tanis & Fiona Dowling


‘Life at its best – full of imagination, wonder and joy: two created a safe, inspiring and encouraging space for 56

In Storyhouse, the public was invited to practice and partake in creative storytelling, workshops, games, and activities with a twist, that would help the participants find a personal style and become more comfortable with their ability to tell stories. For those already comfortable telling stories, there was ample opportunity to share tales, practice new ones or sharpen old ones, as well as simply dropping by for a cuppa to watch and listen. Anybody with an interest in stories was welcome here. Stories are known to foster empathy and assist in understanding our own cultural heritage as well as that of others’. In our technological age, modern storytelling is an invaluable tool using the simple power of the human voice to teach, comfort, and entertain. Many of the participating trainees presented sessions and some went on to start their own storycircles.

‘We were keen to engage the trainees in as many aspects of the project as possible, to expose them to both our artistic approach and storytelling practice. To our surprise and delight, our enthusiastic trainees wanted to be there all the time which resulted in all six trainees running a story hour for children all by themselves.’ — Fiona Dowling ‘We were blown away by the level of commitment and talent we found in our trainees. This manifested through them bringing objects from their houses to decorate the space, them contributing with storybooks to the library, their courage in standing up in front of an audience and telling stories, their baking and bringing muffins, fairy cakes, or rice crispy buns, and even bringing their family members to the sessions (including Ania’s Polish grandmother!).’ — Nina Tanis

great facilitators everyone.’ 57 57

Banxy & Dirty Dave

Hip Hop Café

‘Learned loads of new moves — thank you Dirty Dave!’ 58

Hip-Hop/Breaking and B’boy & B’girl workshops formed part of this dance space, where the two curators worked with local dancers and the community in a crash course in the original foundation of breakin’. Workshops and classes offered participants the chance to learn new and challenging moves, explore their own creativity and engage positively with others whilst learning in a fun and safe environment. Workshops/classes from aged 5+ were individually tailored to meet the needs and experience levels of each group. 
The focus in the café was on youth, with opportunities for showcase performances for a wide range of groups and participants – from amateur to proficient. 
Guest slots by Matt Bailey and Joey D. of visiting company Rannel, included some special breaking and beatbox. The café culminated in a ‘dancing in the streets’ event in the Showgrounds Shopping Centre car park on the final Saturday.

Timetable 12.15pm 1.30pm 3.00pm 4.00pm

Ask and learn Break dance basic (10+) Kids session (7+) Performance project

What the parents said: ‘The boys loved it so much they wanted to come eeveryday.’ ‘Dave was so good and helpful with all the cchildren he came in contact with.’ ‘The Breakbox was the best café, both for the kkids and also for the parents to chill out.’

59 59

Being part of it – a trainee’s perspective Clonmel Junction Festival and the Cafés Carte Blanche projects I have been involved in have helped shape the person I have become. They have made me more confident and more open to new ideas, people and ways of thinking. I have participated in the trainee programme twice — both times have given me very different experiences.

In 2011, I was a trainee in the Storyhouse Café where we worked with Nina and Fiona, two storytellers from Dublin. We were given a very rundown building and had five days to set it up. With time, energy and hard work, we transformed it from damp, mouldy and brown to open, fresh and blue! We all felt so proud when it was finished; we had done something positive for the community. Some of the trainees from Storyhouse enjoyed storytelling so much that with the help of Theresia and the Common Thread volunteers, we began our own story circle for teenagers. Two years on and we’re still going strong! We meet for an hour every second week to tell stories, play games and just have fun! Running story circle has given me so much confidence and it’s something that I really enjoy. In 2012, I was a trainee in the Apple Arts Café. This café was centred around arts and wellbeing, and I took part in workshops and tried things I would have never done otherwise, like laughter yoga, where you spend the whole session looking like an idiot and still it is a lot of fun! I felt really good afterwards and managed to persuade my Dad to do it the next day. The 10 days working in the Apple Arts Café was like one big laughter yoga session: at times we weren’t quite sure what to do, but our café curators always led us in the right direction. It made me appreciate my own creativity even if I can’t draw! I love everything about the Clonmel Junction Festival, the Cafés project and the trainee scheme; I love that it lets me get involved in the community and learn new things about myself. I love that the Clonmel Junction Festival welcomes everyone: for those two weeks in July, it’s like I belong to a crazy, wacky, busy and amazingly unique big family. For those two weeks in July, when Clonmel comes together, I feel like I belong here.


— Aoife Brannigan, 16

Cafés Carte Blanche 2012 . Apple Arts & Wellbeing Café with

Brigid Teehan and Lyn Mather


Maisie Lee and Sarah-Jane Quigley

. Stage Door Performance Café

. Personal Mythologies and Community Narratives


Theresia Guschlbauer


Brigid Teehan & Lyn Mather

Apple Arts &Wellbeing Café

‘The café acted as a good example for the development of creating ongoing, year-round, 62

The Apple Café explored links between creative arts activity, healthy living and attitudes to wellbeing, as everyone has creative potential and when this is realised, it has a powerful role to play in peoples’ physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. The Apple Café was a fresh, evolving, interactive arts space where people could connect and share in wellbeing through various art forms and the exchange of ideas. It was also an opportunity for individual and collective artmaking, including drawing, painting and mixed media as well as working with music, sound and movement. The Café also acted as a showcase for local artists involved in arts and health, including members from the Tipperary Arts and Health Interest Group.

Daily Outline 11am–1pm: Active Arts: enliven your body, mind & spirit with personal and collective art-making activities to inspire and heal. 1pm–2pm: Happy Health Hour: health talks, demonstrations, clinics, sharing of tips and resources for wellbeing. 2pm–3pm: Time Well: time to relax, explore and regenerate with music, movement, spontaneous play and games. 3pm–5pm: Care to Share: a selection of round-table discussions & interactive workshops with guests on themes of wellbeing. 5pm–6pm: Reflection Hour: making space and time to unwind reflect and renew.

‘That café filled my life and summer for two weeks.’ an ethos and vision for shared, creative spaces.’ 63

Maisie Lee & Sarah-Jayne Quigley

Stage Door Performance Café

‘Working with Maisie & Sarah-Jayne has increased my 64

This participative space hosted a range of activities, events and workshops to complement the Festival’s main performance programme. The café day was divided into various slots to accommodate different activities and interests. The ethos of the café was inclusive, and all events were open to all levels and ages. While the content of every day was different, the basic outline was as below:

Visiting artists workshops and talks included:

11am–12pm: ‘wake up and warm up’ 12pm– 1pm: performance clinic 1pm–2pm: critics circle/ meet the makers 2–4pm: visiting artist workshops 4– 5pm: ‘pic ‘n’ mix’ 5– 6pm: open mic session

Wed 11th Thursday 12th Friday 13th Saturday 14th

Saturday 7th Sunday 8th Monday 9th Tuesday 10th

Workshop by Ramin Gray and Actors Theatre Company Improvisation workshop ‘Meet the Makers’: Joe Bone from ‘Bane’ Workshop by Jeff Atchem, aka ‘Mr Bunk’ Workshop by Sonya Kelly: gathering material for stand-up ‘Meet the Makers’: Nicole and Martin Public speaking workshop Creative puppetry workshop by Wrong Crowd’ ‘The ‘Meet the Makers’: Julie Sharkey – Racoon

‘All brilliant, but if I had to pick a favourite Visiting Artist Workshop, it would probably be the ATCs (Golden Dragon) workshop; it was both hilarious and thought-provoking.’ – trainee

confidence and faith in myself.’ – trainee 65

Theresia Guschlbauer with Violeta Pserackaite

Personal Mythologies & Community Narratives

‘The tablecloth was such a lovely and simple idea‌ it got 66

We are all made of stories. Life comes and goes but what remains are the stories and myths we ‘make’ out of the raw material of our experiences. Throughout our journey, we encounter mythical figures that catch our imagination and become our heroes. For the Festival, the Common Thread transformed into a hive of activities and events exploring the relationship between stories, myths and narratives that help us find meaning in our life.

Free daily events:

The Yarning Tablecloth: bring your ribbons, threads and chat or use ours to ‘yarn’ a few stitches into our community tablecloth. The ‘Moody’ Storywall: based on the seven sins, add your personal touch to the collective tale and watch the narrative unfold through the week. The Fact, Fiction & Fantasy Tree: reflect on an old story or event, unpack its many layers by making a flower to add to our tree. Scheherazade’s Dressing up Den: explore different identities and personas, or while away the present & ‘spin’ the future. Creative Writing Workshops: with Derbhile Dromney

Personal quests and mythical journeys talks: Storytelling with The Storycircle Robert Little: Reading Rudolf Steiner, Windows into a Labyrinth. Donal Clancy: Music in the Family, Sunday 9th Past and Present Tuesday 10th. Michael Coady: The Use of Memory - Poetry as Pathfinder. Wednesday 11th Matthew Mather: Encountering Carl Jung – My Story Thursday 12th Peg Rossiter: Heritage Friendships Natty Wailer: Living with Bob Friday 13th Friday 7th Saturday 8th

perfect strangers talking to each other!’ 67


Cafés Carte Blanche 2013 . The Media Cave with

Maurice Caplice and Néill O’Dwyer


Nina Tanis and Fiona Dowling


Theresia Guschlbauer

. The Garden Menagerie

. The Journeys We Make


24 little hours by Grace Wells, author and poet

Midnight–6am, Inspiration: the Creative Dark The container of Junction Festival and the creative structure of the Common Thread gave David Teevan and I the space to dream, a space to ask questions. What kind of home did poetry need? How can writers best be served by arts facilitators? What is needed to give a town its voice? We fused knowledge; our ideas cross-fertilised. We dreamed up a participatory project that through a series of readings and workshops would give emerging writers access to four different writerfacilitators. Our focus and source of inspiration would be the town itself as it moved through the moods of one whole day. 6am–12noon: Creative Action We invited four very different writers to facilitate the project. We asked Mark Roper because his poetry often settles on wildlife and nature. We felt he would be drawn and would draw participants to the river and its herons and to the swallows inhabiting the summer sky. We called on Dave Lordan for his astringent eye, his political hunger, his courage to speak out and name the undercurrents and underbelly of community life. And we wanted short-story writer and novelist Mia Gallagher because we felt she would see the grand vision, the whole story, the town’s effect upon people and characters. For myself, I wanted to explore ideas of spirit of place, to see how history and geology, nature and culture all co-exist to define Clonmel as the town that it is.


12 noon–2pm: Rest and Succour The Common Thread sheltered us. It became the interior space that writers need to inhabit when putting pen to paper. And it became a social hub where participants could share and explore, discuss and co-create. It was a venue of dynamic shelter, our stillpoint, and also a place for dynamic succour: tea and coffee, packed lunches, conversation. 2–4pm: Call to Adventure; Participation versus Isolation Out we went into the sun-struck streets, the town a sweltering July Saturday; it was marketplace and river and public park. And quickly our writer-participants offered up Clonmel stories, Clonmel facts, Clonmel observation. One man retold oral history, another knew the town was built of sandstone laid down in the Namibian desert 250 million years ago, long before continental drift brought Ireland’s landmass north. Someone drew our attention to the symbol of the salmon and how it was reappeared throughout the town. The project drew us all from disparate spheres of isolation and created a small community of writers. We were participants together, and as we charted the town, mapping it with words, there was a special kind of sharing; a way of being within and at the heart of society which writers never usually have. We had full permission to walk together down the main street, notebooks and pens in hand. We were not furtive, not

shy. The group presence, the project’s process, took the art of writing over a threshold that it rarely crosses. Isolation and solitude were deconstructed. We were not hidden in a workshop room, but rather fully externalised, fully seen. Our private practice became public. 6–9pm: Art Space, the Creative Event Set into the 24 hours were two readings. We flowed from our ambulant workshops into artistic event. The reading poets moved from their role as facilitators to performers. The boundaries between the project’s participants had been softened by the intimacy of our experiences on the town streets. The pens and notebooks were still in the room but so too were the connections we had made with one another and with the town. Clonmel came into the poetry reading in the dust on our shoes, and in the images behind our eyes. Our heads were on fire with Namibian sand, herons winging over the river, the ghost of a weathervane salmon turning in the air above the West gate. And into that fire came finished work, the precision of craft, the art of poetry. 9pm–midnight: In a Different Mood As dusk fell a different tide rose through the town. Gone entirely were the shoppers and their marketplace, gone entirely were the energies of day. Evening brought rose light to the fading sky, women walked onto the streets in high heels and short skirts. The town was full of transition and expectation, altered purpose. We

moved among these new energies annotating, getting it all down as the town lurched into night and alcohol. And in the morning the Common Thread was full of stories, three drunk hurling fans who had made vomiting into a sport. And how the town had looked from the hills the evening before, and what music had drifted up there. We divided into our last workshop groups. Mark Roper and I took participants to St Patrick’s Well. It was another scorchingly hot day, a Sunday morning. Families came and filled plastic bottles with drinking water for the week ahead. And Mark sat with his back against the old stones of the church and spoke privately with each participant, helping them craft poems that had come into being over the 24 hours. 24 Hours Later, Harvest Regrouped, we closed the project with our ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’ open-mic. Facilitators and participants offered up poems that had been born out of the project. Our initial questions were answered. The Common Thread became home to poetry. Junction Festival facilitated writers and new writing. The elements of the town were given voice and many things spoken.


Maurice Caplice & Néill O’Dwyer

The Media Cave

‘A cool place to be, great sounds and light effects!’ 72

The Media Cave immersed the public in a combination of content forms — audio, still images, performance, video — all trying to collaborate and interact with each, exploring the dynamics of biometric motion data, multimedia and performance. For this space, artist Maurice Caplice, of Sound Lab fame (2011), was joined by Néill O’Dwyer, a multimedia artist whose work focuses on the exploration of interactive public spaces. The Media Cave included an assortment of recorded, played and displayed equipment and processing devices as well as video and collaborative graph exhibits. Members of the public were invited to witness and interact with the exhibits, as well as bring their own projects and performances. Trainees were involved in taking footage of the Festival and its people,

giving them a unique opportunity to process and understand many aspects of multimedia. Performance artist Regan O’Brien launched the Festival in the café space with a vocal performance and DJ MiSk returned to conclude the week with another great audio mix.

‘An intense 15 days of artistic engagement with the Clonmel public and a dazzling array of talented local and visiting artists.’ — Maurice Caplice


Nina Tanis & Fiona Dowling

The Garden Menagerie

‘It was striking given the times we live in to look around and children actively engaged in creative play 74

The Garden Menagerie was Junction Festival‘s most recent family friendly space in which artistic accomplices Nina Tanis and Fiona Dowling and a crew of eight trainees hosted a variety of activities for children and their parents to be inspired, take a deep breath and enjoy themselves. The space was divided into several zones: The reading station, a visually attractive space with a giant blanket and lots of pillows to step onto with shoes off to encourage reading out loud to others and making up stories. The animal pet station, a menagerie of mosaic animals that evolved during the course of the festival week, made up of tiles, buttons and diverse materials.

the space and see both adults and not a digital device in sight.’

The garden station, a growing flower installation made of plastic bottles, paper and mixed materials, real trees and plants, and a multi- sensory corner complete with lights, mobiles, chimes and small fountain. The drawing corner with games for two or more, using drawing for exploring and covering the Garden Menagerie wall with beautiful blooms. And finally a dress and make-up corner with lifesized mannequins. ‘It was quite common to see whole families engaged together in an activity – a unexpected delight.’

75 75

Theresia Guschlbauer

The Journeys We Make

‘A gem of creativity, discovery and good conversation.’ 76

Journeys of world travel and soul searching talks and exhibition To mark its fourth year in business, the café hosted an art exhibition and a series of talks on the theme of ‘The Journeys We Make’ to coincide with the Festival’s theme in 2013. The recently revamped space offered hour-long talks with special guests whose ‘journey’ had taken them physically, emotionally and spiritually on a voyage of discovery to distant regions and unexpected places. The guests included a wide spectrum of interests and professions and all had a fascinating story to tell. Café Talks speakers: Page Allen, artist, author of Madison’s Descent David Donohue, children’s author Maggie Crosse, yoga instructor Galia Benali, Tunisian singer Michael Hickey, organic farmer, writer Chris Bull, tightrope walker

24 Little Hours prose & poetry project The café also played host to the 24 Little Hours, a participatory poetry and prose project that brought together four leading writers and a group of eager students with workshops, walks, readings, conversations and time to write. Grace Wells, Mark Roper, Dave Lordan and Mia Gallagher shared their skills and experience, read from their work, and explored the streets of Clonmel with workshop participants, giving insights into how writers go about developing their skills of observation and composition. Workshop sessions took place throughout the town and participants saw the urban landscape as it changed colour from busy shopping streets through the hubbub of Saturday night into the quiet of Sunday morning. The event culminated with an open-mic session with participants reading from their work.



Taking leave by Theresia Guschlbauer, Cafés Carte Blanche programme curator

After five years of exploration and adventure, the Cafés Carte Blanche and the Common Thread Café have come to an end. In compiling and editing this book, I have had the opportunity to take stock and reflect upon a process, which has been such a large part of my work over the last five years as Clonmel Junction Festival’s Participation Programme Director. Since we started the Cafés programme, many pop-up shops, galleries, cafés, restaurants (and even parks!) have sprung up locally and around the country and this is a testament to a format that works well in a variety of contexts and circumstances. The proliferation of pop-up ventures has encouraged a more experimental and collaborative approach between diverse partners, who see in the temporary format an opportunity for exploration, resource sharing, regeneration, adding vibrancy and a touch of colour to neglected sites and offering a less formal and more immediate channel for reaching out to the public. For the Festival, valuable lessons have been gleaned and many traces have been left behind: the Arts & Health strand seems set to grow as the support and interest in collaborative partnerships from the health sector increases. The Junction Choir is going from

strength to strength as its ambition grows and broadens and more members become involved. And out of the Trainee Programme, there is the ongoing engagement with a group of creative teenagers who participated in the Arts Cafés, set up the Story Circle, joined Jeffrey Gormly’s Play and Plan sessions and energised the Common Thread Café. In 2014, this group, who have dubbed themselves the Junction Joes, will embark on their biggest challenge yet - creating a new performance work for the Festival’s performance programme, writing, devising, managing, and making alongside a team of professional artists. But the strongest legacy of those five years is the emergence of a new generation of young people committed to the Arts and the Festival and who by their contribution as workers, artists and volunteers ensure the ongoing vitality of the organisation and by extension of the town they live in.


Artists’ biographies Art Hive Artists’ Collective is a Clonmel-based arts organisation in operation since July 2009. It began as a group of professional artists coming together to establish a suitable studio space in Clonmel or in the surrounding areas. In September 2010, Art Hive secured a temporary studio in an old Schoolhouse, near New Inn, Co Tipperary the loan of which has been extended to 2013. Within the studio Art Hive aims to create a space for interaction and collaboration amongst artists and media such as Sculpture, Painting, Ceramics and Mixed Media. Art Hive also aims to raise the profile of art-making and artists via exhibitions, events, performances, projects, workshops and educational talks. To date Art Hive has had five Pop-Up exhibitions in various locations in the Clonmel town centre. In June 2010 Art Hive had a group show in the South Tipperary Arts Centre, Clonmel and organised an artists’ talk and open discussion. Banxy is a veteran in UK hip hop dance. Having trained at Swindon Dance, the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and the London Studio Centre, he has spent the last 15 years teaching and performing across the UK and abroad. High-profile projects include dancing and choreographing Jonzi D’s Me vs the City and Aeroplane Man tours, choreographing breakdance sequences for the BBC TV series Travels with my Tutu and teaching and rehearsing the ground performance dancers at the Millennium Dome celebrations. He has appeared as a dancer in many TV shows, live events and music videos, including George Michael’s Spinning the Wheel. Banxy toured his production Busk: Kings of the Sidewalk extensively throughout the UK in 2007 and, when not touring, delivers extensive education and outreach to a wide variety of ages and abilities. Maurice Caplis is a Clonmel native and a Fine Arts graduate from NCAD. After two years of travel in Europe, he achieved a postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from the Cyprus College of Art, in Lempa. To date he has exhibited throughout Ireland and abroad in Spain, Norway, England, Cyprus and Slovenia. Caplice works as an arts facilitator with Developing Alternative Values, a community group aimed at adults with learning difficulties. In 2010, he was awarded a Create Artist in the Community award for a collaborative project with Developing Alternative Values and in 2012 for a collaboration with Upstart arts collective, Depaul Ireland and the general Dublin public. His work involves painting, sculpture and sound. Not restricting himself to a medium by letting the ethos of the idea reflect the medium of the making has always been a key element to Caplice’s practice. His work has always been politically charged with interactivity and traditional practices existing in harmony within the same space. Recent work has included communal drawings and interactive installations. Shane Dempsey and Hannah Burke. Shane Dempsey studied directing at E15 Acting School, London and acting at DIT, Dublin. He is Artistic Director of Stagecraft, Clonmel as well as Fragments, London. Shane has run workshops in Bejing, New York and Moscow. Recent projects include, LOL by Lee Mattinson, The Girl In The Box by Alex Jones, The Master and Margarita (Te Pooka, Edinburgh); The Bay by Hannah Burke (The Space, Edinburgh Fringe and Olivier Award winning Theatre 503) and Mothers of Modern Ireland – a monumental documentary charting the changes in Ireland over the last century, as seen through the eyes of its oldest women. He has worked as an assistant director at both Soho Theatre and the Tricycle Theatre London. Shane is guest director at E15 Acting School, London where he teaches both acting and directing.


Hannah Burke is a London-based playwright. Graduating from East 15 Acting School in 2007, her stories have played across the UK and Ireland. Hannah’s work includes ‘Seafood’, ‘The Duke of What’s It’ and many other plays for children produced by Stagecraft Ireland. These are accompanied by numerous other productions ranging from full length plays, ‘Berlin’ (Tour 2011) and ‘No Dogs’ (2010) to snappy shorts such as ‘Erris’ (Theatre 503 London & Black Box Theatre Belfast, 2011) and ‘Holy Ghosts’ (Poetry Café, Covent Garden). Fiona Dowling and Nina Tanis share a passion for art and storytelling as well as a love of fun and people and have been working together since they first met in art college in 2000. In their work, they like to create unexpected situations for strangers to meet one another and engage playfully and creatively. Both artists share a deep respect for our beautiful planet and are enthusiastic about growing food, recycling, reusing and celebrating the beauty of our environment. Past projects include the residency and exhibition 15 days in Finland (Joensuu 2005), Personality Café (Dublin Fringe Festival 2005 & 2006), Story Nap (Five Lamps Arts Festival, Dublin, 2011), “Why?” “Cause that’s the way it is!” (ESOF Dublin City of Science 2012), as well as regular performances with the Story-O collective. Fidget Feet Arial Dance Company is a pint-sized aerial circus from Ireland. It means we’re a small company with big ideas. We hang and fly from theatres, cranes, ship masts, castle walls, and pretty much anything else we can think of. We’re happy performing inside or outdoors. We challenge you to find new places for us to bring our trademark playfulness. We like mixing theatre, music, aerial circus, dance and video art. And before you ask, we don’t have any animals, we’re not that kind of circus. Some of our shows have played to over 80,000 people worldwide including performances at the likes of Glastonbury, the National Arts Festival of South Africa, Fleadh Cheoil, Rose of Tralee, and the World’s Festival of Western Australia to name a few. Mia Gallagher’s publications include fiction chapbooks You First (2005) and Quasimodo (Spolia, New York, forthcoming). Her acclaimed debut novel HellFire (Penguin, 2006) received the Irish Tatler Literature Award (2007) and her translations of Catullus appeared in The Irish Catullus (Farmar, 2010). Her fiction has been anthologised by Fish, Stinging Fly, Carve (US), Oxford University Press and Spolia (US). She won the START Short Fiction award (2005), was shortlisted for Hennessy (1991), Fish (2004) and Trevor/Bowen (2011) Awards and has received several Bursaries for Literature (Arts Council of Ireland). Mia was writer-in-residence with IADT/ dlr Arts Office (2009-2010). Jeffrey Gormly has worked in theatre, dance and participatory art projects for over 20 years. Literary editor for nervousystem theatre laboratory, creative director of Soul Gun Warriors, commissioned by The Abbey Theatre and Dance Ireland; worked with Siamsa Tire, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Solstice|Cork Midsummer, Roscommon County Council Art@ Work and KCAT in Callan. He was assistant Director to Garry Hynes in The Abbey Theatre, Associate Artist with Daghdha Dance Company 2004-11, and a founder member of the Institute for Social Choreography, Frankfurt.

– continued overleaf


Artists’ biographies - continued Jeffrey has worked with the Junction Festival on the 2008 Da Fair Deadly Youth Project, and developed the Play and Plan Programme in 2011-2012 to cultivate the creative capacity of young people. He is the 2013 Artist-in-Residence at Waterford Healing Arts Trust, Waterford Regional Hospital and His writings are widely available on the web. Theresia Guschlbauer has been involved in the Arts since moving to Ireland in 1989, initially as a founding member of Galloglass Theatre Company for which she designed sets and costumes, and directed plays. In 2002, she initiated a flag project for Junction Festival, which became the first of many. In 2004, she started the Festival’s Participation Programme, devising, co-ordinating and sometimes facilitating visual arts projects for schools and community groups before expanding into music, dance and street arts, with a wide range of projects. In 2008, she founded the Arts Collective 2canDo, focusing mainly on civic and urban projects often with a participative aspect. Following an Arts Council bursary award, she opened the Common Thread Café in April 2010, which became a vessel for numerous community, civic and street arts projects. More recently, Theresia has rekindled her fine Arts practice, focussing on textiles and embroidery. Paul Kelly has over 20 years’ experience in film and TV production. His main fields of interest include directing, camera work, producing, writing, and his passion editing. In 2009 he produced, wrote and directed his own award winning short film SNAP (a commentary on the media). Award-winning filmmaker Will Nugent is a founder member of Stemble Films, South Tipperary’s Community Film Project, and has worked as an actor, director, producer and collaborator on a variety of film projects including ‘Race the Drop’, ‘forty shillin shame’, ‘a little piece of us’ and numerous shorts. Maisie Lee and Sarah-Jayne Quiqley are MIRARI Productions, a Dublin-based theatre company focusing on new and contemporary narrative plays. They presented ‘In Dog Years I’m Dead’ by Kate Heffernan for the Dublin Fringe Festival 2013. MIRARI Productions will also be Artists-in-Residence at Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise for 2013-14. Previous productions include ‘THRESHOLD’ (Project Arts Centre), ‘When Irish Hearts are Praying’ (ABSOLUT Fringe), ‘Here Comes Love’ (Bewleys Café Theatre), ‘The Infant’, (ABSOLUT Fringe) ‘Seven Jewish Children’ (Bewleys Café Theatre) and ‘How to be Loved‘ (Dublin Fringe Festival). Maisie is also a freelance director, public speaking coach and teacher. Sarah-Jayne is an actress who trained at Trinity College, Dublin and LAMDA. She is also a drama teacher and runs her own drama school, ‘Curtains Up’. She works as a Clown Doctor in Crumlin and Temple Street Children’s Hospitals. They very much enjoyed running the ‘Stage Door’ Performance Café at Clonmel Junction Festival 2012. Patricia Looby’s most recent solo exhibition was held at Triskel, Christchurch, Cork in 2012. She presented multiples of intensively hand-beaded fragments of silk incorporating rust, ribbon, iron, glass and gold, in her continual investigation and treatment of the material and symbolic nature of medieval reliquaries. Further recent exhibitions also include Field Systems at David Cunningham Projects San Francisco – a body of paintings based on the artist’s home place in Tipperary and its cartographical history.


Patricia graduated from the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork. Her work features in both private and public collections including Crawford Municipal Gallery and University College Cork. Patricia lives and teaches in Fethard, County Tipperary. Lyn Mather has a background in Art, Architecture and Town Planning. In 2010 she completed a MA in Art Therapy at Crawford College, Cork, pursuing her interest in Arts and Psyche. In 2007, she received the Create Artist in Community Award for the Space-Time-Machine youth project, Clonmel. She is an associate artist of the Junction Festival. Lyn has her own Art Therapy practice where she engages the active imagination as agent of creative transformation: personal, cultural and environmental. She runs various groups and has experience in many settings with emphasis on youth and mental health. With her husband, she has pioneered a certificate in Jungian Psychology with Art Therapy (LIT-Clonmel). Linda McCann formed Canndhu Productions in 1999. She has had the privilege of being Artist-in-Residence at the world famous Celtic Connections Music Festival in Glasgow, where she was inspired and subsequently commissioned to recreate some of the best known traditional musicians in 3D. Many of her models have since featured on CD covers, festival brochures, fliers, slide shows, a TV documentary and, in 2004, on a highly acclaimed traditional music calendar. Her art workshops have taken her to book, music and arts festivals across the UK and Ireland. She has had the enjoyment of working collaboratively with many artists and heritage officers, graphic designers, photographers, scientists and teachers, and as a result her work has diversified more and more as the years go by. Austin McQuinn is a visual artist working with performance, video, photography and installation. He has produced specially commissioned solo installations for Cork European Capital of Culture, Dublin International Dance Festival, Salamanca Arts Tasmania, David Cunningham Projects San Francisco and Project Arts Centre Dublin. His most recent solo show at Butler Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kilkenny Castle staged an interpretation of the Donizetti opera Lucia di Lammermoor where his human/ape personae dramatised a multimedia meditation on the nature of human and nonhuman cultures and conflicts of power, love, madness and murder. Caroline Moreau has been wowing Irish audiences since 2002 with her distinctive brand of Gallic charm, comic banter and heart-stopping vocal talent. Taking over Bewley’s Cabaret Theatre in a haze of heavily accented patter and superb showmanship, her debut show and CD, Crime Passionnel, was delivered with passionate conviction and became a sell-out. Since then, she has performed as a solo artist, in a double-act with acclaimed gypsy violin virtuoso Oleg Ponomarev, and with a range of internationally respected musicians in venues all across Ireland and in the UK, France & Spain. Since the release of her debut album, Caroline has continued to evolve as a compelling, alluring vocalist. She released her second album Amours toujours, etc… in 2013, and will be touring Ireland with her new show. Néill O’Dwyer is a visual artist, PhD candidate and practice-based researcher at the Arts Technology Research Lab (ATRL), in the Department of Film and Drama, at Trinity College Dublin. He is a part-time member of staff in the Department of Visual Culture at the National College Of Art and Design (NCAD) where he lectures and supervises undergraduate theses. He is an associate fellow of Gradcam (Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media). His ongoing research at the ATRL – continued overleaf


Artists’ biographies - continued investigates contingent possibilities offered by indeterminacy during the symbiosis of computation and live performance, how one can inform the other and why this is useful in broader socio-political contexts. Rossa Ó Snodaigh was brought up speaking Irish in Sandymount, Dublin. He attended Scoil Lorcáin and Coláiste Eoin where he set up the now internationally renowned group Kíla who have issued 15 CDs and a book of their melodies. Rossa is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger of music for theatre, dance and films. He set up the Speakers’ Square and the Dublin Drum Circle. Through his organisation Puball, Rossa organises and directs several Irish festivals and events. He interviews artists for the TG4 arts show Imeall and was a Panel Judge on the TG4 Show An Gteam. He has written and published three books ‘as Gaeilge’: Our Fada, Making Out in Irish and The Joy of Pissing and is currently working on his fourth, which will be titled Ag Focáil le Focail Priscilla Robinson is a writer and performer from Dublin. She performed her first one-woman show KuddelMuddel, in her cluttered flat for the 2007 Dublin Fringe. In 2008, she made The Show about The Show which starred her mother, and was compared to a “non-conformist church service with an original and offbeat preacher”. She has made several installations including: The Robinsons’ Sunday Roadshow Café, Help Me! Help Me! - a charity shop where she swopped 600 of her things for help and advice, and Your Place, My Home for Pazz Festival, Germany. She received an Arts Council bursary in 2012. Brigid Teehan is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art MFA. She regularly exhibits work, curates shows, and works as an arts facilitator in a variety of community, health, and education settings. In 2009 Brigid set up Art Hive, an artists’ collective, to develop a studio space for artists in Clonmel and raise the profile of art-making. To date Art Hive has had a number of exhibitions. In 2009 and 2010, Brigid designed and facilitated art workshops for Clonmel Junction Festival to create The Playlounge Family Space. In 2010 she set up Beehouse Arts as a dedicated Arts and Health service to develop, co-ordinate and deliver innovative arts projects in community and healthcare settings. Upswing Aerial Dance was founded in 2004 by Artistic Director Vicki Amedume. The inception of Upswing was driven by a desire to create cross artform work that uses circus skills as an expressive vehicle. Upswing challenges assumptions of identity, place and our relationships with each other by literally turning the world upside down. Upswing works with the human body to tell stories of people, their culture and the world we all share using high quality circus blended with theatrical performance, memorable music and the imaginative use of visual imagery. The combination of physical skills and cultural contexts to tell stories is what has helped them garner a formidable reputation both in the UK and overseas. The company produces a mix of indoor touring productions, educational projects and bespoke, site specific performance for touring, festivals, events and the commercial sector.


Design and layout by: •

Eimear Gallagher

Printed in Cashel, Ireland, by: •

Lion Print



An Experiment in Social Embroidery  

A history of the 5 years of participative arts cafes.

An Experiment in Social Embroidery  

A history of the 5 years of participative arts cafes.