For the past eight months Voluntary Arts Ireland in collaboration with Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Councils Arts Office has had a presence in Ballyogan an area in South County Dublin, Exit 15 on the M50. We have been researching the community arts participation in the area and supporting local people to initiate their own creativity.

In march we hosted a community conversation called #BALLYOGANcreatives. The aim of the conversation was to gain an understanding of the cultural interest, activities and needs of the local community so that together we could look at how we might develop and sustain cultural infrastructure in Ballyogan. While also looking at what already existed in the area and building on that.

On foot of this it became apparent that there were people in the community who wanted to come together to initiate their own creative projects. Each Monday between 11-1pm a groups meet in the Samuel Beckett Civic Centre in Ballyogan to share their skills and develop new ideas. This group has grown from strength to strength and is always looking for new members to join. 

In April the members who identify themselves as #BALLYOGANcreative started work towards creating an installation piece called Flourish. Flourish is a collaborative project between Artist Jane Groves and local people from Ballyogan and surrounding areas. Jane has been hosting a series of creative workshops, introducing new skills and new materials with a view to create a site-specific installation piece in the Exit 15 area. Flourish is a celebration of the groups inner strengths and a creative collaboration with a sense of place. The group would like to invite the public to get involved, on Saturday 15th July 12-3pm they will be hosting a free workshop for local people to get involved, come join them and be part of this exciting creation.

Flourish will be launched on Tuesday 15th August at the Ballyogan Festival outside the Samuel Beckett Civic Campus as part of the Creative Celebration Day. This is the first year that the Ballyogan Festival that will have a day dedicated to the creative activity that has been happening in the area. 

Other projects that will be celebrated on the day will be the launch of ‘Folding / Unfolding Landscapes’ by Doreen Kennedy which is a temporary outdoor art installation piece that is inspired by the work of the local estate management’s gardening. The local Youth Services will highlight and showcase some the musically talented young people who use their service. Also a showcasing of "Telling Tales" which was a collaborative project with local people and Storyteller Fiona Dowling who created and performed a show for the children in the Ballyogan Family Resource centre crèche. This was a initiative of the Ballyogan Family Resource Centre supported by dlr Council Council.

We are also excited to announce that the Pubic Age Commission: Meeting House, will be part of the day. This year the Public Age commission invited London-based design agency The Decorators and Irish Artist Joe Coveney to research how the older residents of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown experience public space and how this has changed as they age.

The Public Age Meeting House is a prototype for a new social space. It is a mobile structure and space that will bring together people who use the space daily, young and old, professionals and citizens, in a shared public conversation about that space. 

On the day there will be interactive creative session for all to enjoy hosted by the #BALLYOGANcreatives and other artists.

More details on the Festival Schedule are to follow.  For more details contact aine@vaireland.org or find us on Facebook #BALLYOGANcreatives

Blog by Áine Crowley