For the second time the Centre for Creative Practices has selected and commissioned works from 15 migrant and local artists to reflect on the changes that have happened in Ireland in recent years. A swift, and for many unexpected shift, from a mono-cultural to a culturally diverse country has changed the face and character of Ireland forever. This change which we all experience every day, when we meet foreign nationals who made Ireland their home, has also changed the artistic landscape of the country.
With its focus on integrating, promoting, supporting and mentoring migrant, experimental and emerging artists in a dedicated, multidisciplinary venue, the Centre for Creative Practices stands at the forefront of these processes. For many artists we are the first contact point, the bridge between their talents and their new audiences. For many migrant artists CFCP is the first hands-on experience where they showcase their works and have a place to meet other local and international artists. Many long term collaborations have started in our quirky basement.
We are simply honoured to be involved in these artistic and social developments and are thrilled that we contribute to the fact that more outstanding work gets both produced and seen.
These are the reasons for the second edition of the New Voices of Ireland Series. With the Migrants Artists on Ireland Series last year we wanted to stress the fact that there are so many highly skilled and talented migrant artists who live in Ireland who are still unknown to the wider audiences.
With the continuation of the New Voices of Ireland Series and its title “Hybridisation and Blending of Social Identities” we bring together migrant and local artists to showcase and share their experiences of having to redefine themselves and their work due to a change in their lives – be it migration from one country to a new one, be it migration from a rural area to a big city, be it coming back to Ireland after many years of living abroad. It is fascinating to see the Eastern European animation techniques applied to illustrate and animate an Irish legend “The Voyage of Saint Brendan”. It is deeply moving to talk to a Persian artist reflecting on the role and the position of women in society but not being able to showcase her work in her home country. It is inspiring to see how the line between the familiar and unfamiliar gets blurred in a series of sculptural works as a response to a move from a rural area to city life. A highly ephemeral musical performance and a philosophical dinner with each course combined with a topic for discussion are also included in the programme for 2014-15 New Voices of Ireland Series.
The Series will further be accompanied by a number of debates and discussions related to the topic of migration, hybridisation and new blends in contemporary society and the arts. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD and his newly reconstituted Cross Departmental Group on Integration are putting a special effort to the aim “that Ireland continues to be a place of welcome and inclusion”. We hope that our programme will be a worthy contribution to this process.
"As an Irish migrant artist living in Australia, for the past ten years, I have sought to localize my sense of Irishness and sense of belonging through a series of material conversations. At the point of returning home, the politics of identity are re-negotiated through the act of drawing where thoughts and memories elapse and emerge as both line and form, where lines of inquiry become borders of identity and demarcation. From an intuitive process of mark making, intersecting lines manifest in grid-like structures that extend beyond the surface, alluding to my migrant experience of dislocation. Inbetween the line, the mark and the surface exists a space where potential meanings and new knowledge exist. It is in this space, inbetween control and chance where my identity is explored." - Kiera O'Toole