Craft Artist in Residence | Felt Dance

Are you curious to see your brain, play with one of your neurons or open your heart to us?

A Participary Engagement at Richmond Barracks Cultural Centre
facilitated by Niki Collier, Philippa Donnellan and Mia DiChiaro

This sensory experience was open to adults who enjoy creating dancing & sculpting fabric.

We played with swish silk fibres, wrapped our limbs in cuddly wool fleece, and untangled funky chunky yarn.

 And then we danced with them!

These engagements were devised as workshops led by Visual Artist Niki Collier and Dance Artist Philippa Donnellan.

Together, we playfully explored an array of fibres and textiles. Then we sculpted body parts using the ancient craft of felt making – and using movement created our own fibre-inspired dances! 

Week 1 – 11 January

We explored curiosity – saw what the brain looks like, played with a sculpture of neurons and opened our hearts through stories and movements.

We played with beautiful silk fibres, wrapped our limbs in warm wool fleece. We discussed the ancient hack of using fleece to heal open wounds.  Then we untangled funky chunky yarn. And then we danced!

Week 2 – 18 January

We explored the texture of fabric, yarn and clothing.

Then we had a go at making simple textile art. 

Used the bundle of fabric and yarn to connect to our body by sculpting an organ and finding our groove and easing into dancing. 

Explored the shapes of the fabric and yarn body sculptures.

Now make your organ into a sculpture in the ancient craft of felt making using fibres which embody it best.

Week 3 – 25 January

Inspired by the movement of silk, we found our body grooves. 

Discover your ‘body sculpture’ dance. 

Week 4 – 1 February

We celebrated St Bridget’s Day together. 

We made a showcase of the sculptures that we created.

We then used them in a dance to heal that organ that they are embodying.

Our showcase was visited by H.E. Ms. Andreeva- Malakova, the Bulgarian Ambassador to Ireland who reflected on the value of collaborative participatory practices. She was really impressed with the projects that Richmond Barracks facilitates and discussed the value of cultural exchange with the countries to improve the engagement in their cultural centres by learning from these.

The participants expressed interests in further developing this idea.

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