Dublin: the home of School Azbuka

This is Niki Collier’s directorial debut. This project took place during and as part of Dr Collier’s Art Residency at Richmond Barracks Dublin – the cultural centre supporting the integration and development of different cultures and diversity in our identity.

The film celebrates 15 years of School Azbuka (Alphabet School) by recognizing the role of parents in the life of the school. Our gratitude is for the energy, hope, and warmth that went into conceiving every seed of knowledge that could germinate through the firepower of the family, the city, and its people. The film was developed with the generous support of its creators, the Bulgarian community, Creative Ireland and Arts Office Dublin. The materials have been collected over the past 2 years and reflect the rich cultural life of the School Azbuka and Boktsi.

The creators want to thank all the parents for their support and especially the Principal Radost Stefanova and of course all the students. You are all legends!

@Arnoldhensman @nikicollierfelt @creativeireland @dunlincityartsoffice @richmondbarracksdublin

Producer, Director and Editor
Dr Niki Collier

A Dublin-based award-winning visual artist & designer working in fibre art and performance. Her work uses scale to spark empathy & empowerment. She disrupts science, art and performance to elevate people to a protagonist. Her practice blends contrasting strands.

Warped as an academic makes her relentlessly curious. Grown as a disabled person & a woman reinforces rendering resilience in her shows. Her practice is nurtured by meaningful connections with people with various abilities & from diverse backgrounds. All is done by storytelling and wool.

Niki Collier has been ambassador for fibre art to people from all walks of life from the onset of her creative practice over a decade ago.

Her first solo show took place in the Irish Cultural Centre in Shanghai in 2011 with Dragons and Divas supported by the Irish Consulate there. She has convinced that wool is sculpture worth medium in her collaboration with Bulgarian Design Studio Interioro in the exhibition Farmer’s Corner in 2015 and her Outside in Inside Out exhibition in 2016 both presented at Design Week in Bulgaria.

Her work on microorganisms brought her the recognition amongst her peers when her work was curated in World Crafts Council Exhibition Fragility and Monumentality in 2018 which launched in Mons, Belgium and then travelled back to Kilkenny.

One of the biggest achievements of her practice was to recognise the impact the work of a female disabled artist could have on a small rural community when she had a show in a small town in Bulgaria challenging our understanding of what community is and what is our role in making its fabric resilient to change and open to diversity in my Celebration Exhibition in 2018 in Popovo Bulgaria . Funded by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Her first museum exhibition Viruses was in Belfast in 2021 , the UK in the University of Atypical a museum supporting disabled and neurodiverse artists.

To date one of the most pivotal events in her practice is a set of 5 videos commissioned by DCC Arts Office and Culture Ireland for Cruinniu na nOg which brought her online event to over 10,000 participants.

Her work has been featured in many national and international publications. Her practice has been covered on RTE radio RTE TV and through various collaborations.

The current director/producer film debut was developed during her art residence at Richmond Barracks as her love song to those who grow stronger together.

Director of Photography, Post Production and Sound
Arnold Hensman

Arnold Hensman is a lecturer in Creative Digital Media and Informatics at Technological University Dublin. An interest in film and technology led him to explore the integration of highdefinition drone cinematography within narrative and prose.

Inspired by the ancient and contemporary Irish landscapes, in 2020 he created a year long series of four cinematic explorations of ancient Irish culture and language based around the Celtic seasonal markers of Bealtaine, Lughnasa, Samhain, and Imbolc. Chapter 1, “The Song of Amergin” has been featured on national radio, and in the Cinematic Poetry section of two film festivals. See: Different Seasons – Ancient Ireland

Arnold’s educational background spans the humanities and technology. He holds post graduate degrees in both computing and theology, and continues to be inspired by the natural locations, mythology, and spirituality of Ireland.

YouTube: @ArnieHensman
Instagram: @arnoldhensman
LinkedIn: http://ie.linkedin.com/in/arnoldhensman

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