Already it’s almost a month in Ormond Art Studios, and my first studio event - Culture Night 2019.
Culture Night is a moment of mild mayhem on an often damp September evening. All of Dublin’s creative centres (and many not-usually creative ones too) open their doors to the public for the one night, and one night only! And while I’m focusing on Dublin (because that’s where I am), it’s not a Dublin exclusive event, but a country wide night of fun, free events. This year is the first year I had the chance of being in the festivities, and as I laid out notebooks and prints in the small space that was slowly becoming mine, I wondered who would come, what would they expect, and would it just be an awkward evening of staring at the floor?
As anyone who has worked in a customer-facing job will have experienced, you often create and your own little spiel, and as I welcomed people into the studio I found myself excited to share the space and what I knew about it with each visitor that came through the door, settling on a simple list to go through each time:
We are Ormond Art Studios, an artist run collective currently home to 8 artists - although at that very moment we were 9 as Alex Keatinge, the winner of the studio’s Graduate Residency Award, is with us for the month of September. The studios is our creative space - so we each have our own desk to work at. Because we are an artist-led group we each also have our own admin-style tasks to take care of in the running of the space. We’re split between two rooms, with three artists in one and six in the other. Because this is where we all work we don’t open our doors to the public all that often, but for culture night we decided it would be great to open the door and let people see what we’re each working on. Next week we’ll be clearing out that room to make an exhibition space for Alex (or Graduate Resident), who will have an exhibition opening in there towards the end of next week. The week after we’ll have an evening of artist talks, featuring Alex and two of the runners up of the Graduate Resident Award.
This year also marks the 10th Birthday of Ormond Art Studios, so we will be having a group exhibition a few doors down (No. 18) in the Dublin Civic Trust Building. It will feature work from all the artists who are currently members of the studio, as well as a publication featuring many of our previous members. The exhibition is opening on the 28th of November!
The studio had a record number of people visit over the evening, and as I walked out the door at 21:45 my head was tired but my heart happy. Thank you to anyone who I met there that night, I’ve had lots to think about since then! It’s interesting to explain your work again and again; it’s like a quick crash course in learning how to talk about that specific work, as well as getting to gauge reactions and interest from people. Lots of ideas going forwards. Below is the text I put on my wall to introduce people to my space whenever I wasn’t there, and the other is the poster of the upcoming studio events!