We love collaboration. We also love experiments. From the very beginning these have been the things we’ve enjoyed most about making theatre and art: Those moments when the sum is greater than the individual parts, or the times when you test out an artistic hunch and discover a new way of doing things. Of course collaboration and experimentation are the things that drive all great theatrical endeavours, but we had a feeling that they were too often rushed or cut short in order to meet the deadline of opening night. We wanted to see what would happen if collaboration and experimentation were given more space.
In the spring of 2008 we hosted our inaugural SPACE Programme. The mission was simple: To allow artists of all disciplines the time and space to collaborate and explore new artistic possibilities. After two intensive and energising weeks at our base in Castletown House, the participants from Ireland, UK, Russia, Canada and Denmark certainly accomplished that mission and more. Freed from the pressure of achieving set targets, or an expectation of producing an “end product”, the group was able to explore their own practice while interacting with artists and artforms they would never normally encounter… Dancers worked with architects, designers worked with singers, and in the process found exciting new perspectives and renewed confidence in their own work. The whole process was expertly guided and facilitated by Jo Mangan (The Performance Corporation) and Hanna Slattne (Dramaturg). And of course, having been told they were under no pressure to produce a marvellous end product, the artists did exactly that. Better still, the collaborations that began during SPACE continue to thrive, and ideas tested out during the programme have gone on to become fully-fledged projects, exhibitions, shows etc.
Since 2008, we’ve held The SPACE Programme several times involving artists and creative people who work in fields as diverse as theatre, science, video art, comedy, dance and contemporary music. On each occasion it’s been a privilege to experience what happens when artists come together to create something brand new.
The SPACE Programme is funded by The Arts Council and supported by OPW.
Here’s what previous participants on The SPACE Programme are saying…
“Intense, shattering and totally immersive: The SPACE Programme is a stimulating and practice-changing two weeks of collaboration.” Oisín Byrne, Visual Artist
“The support network that SPACE provides for artists are in my experience unparalleled. I feel extremely lucky to have been part of this programme and will cherish the experience, the learning and the friendships.” Paul Curley,Actor/Theatre Maker
“I knew this process would be extremely important for my development as an artist. It has been one of the most important experiences of my career.” Ciaran Bagnall, Designer
“The SPACE Programme is a totally unique opportunity to look at ourselves as social beings in the context of artistic collaboration.” Valeria Primost, Dance Maker
“The diversity and quality of participating artists and the structure of the program made for a very special experience, one that will continue to inform who I am as an artist and how I go about creating work.” Justin Yang, Composer
“It was a hugely enriching experience and the timing of it was perfect. It has given me great confidence in my working process going forward and introduced me to new ways of creative expression.” Niamh Shaw, Performer
“SPACE has given me time to reflect on what I want to focus on in the long term, and consider the journey or pathway ahead rather than only appraising what I‘ve done from project to project.” Michelle Cahill (Community Dance Artist, Teacher, Performer)
“The support and freedom – as well as rigour and contemplation – that the programme allowed us meant that we could play and let the imagination go mad. I know that this experience will have a profound effect on my future work. A joy!” Conor Hanratty (Director)