Tuesday, 25th February 2020
Axis Ballymun are delighted to announce Lorraine Maher as an Artist in Residence for 2020. Through her residency, Maher aims to develop creative approaches that provoke thoughts around identity, heritage and belonging. She will use her skills as a theatre maker to broaden the scope of representations of culture and ethnicity in Ireland and to celebrate them. Identity “Other” is an experimental Live Arts Theatre project that intends to interrogate the limitations of the 'Other' option on the 'ethnic or cultural background' question on the Irish Census Form. Throughout this residency Maher will work with groups and individuals in Dublin and beyond. She will research, workshop /talkshop/ record /video / improvise and devise, using Axis as a base to develop more varied and nuanced representations of ethnicity and diversity in Ireland.
Identity “Other” fuses research, arts and culture it aims to make visible the importance of these stories and experiences. This residency is central to Axis’ mission to be a centre for creative and community excellence with inclusion at its heart. It is one of several residencies and artist associations being announced for 2020. Funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the residency includes an artist bursary, travel and accommodation contribution, artist support, development, workshop, recording and presentation space and importantly, artist and community support and liaison. It will culminate in a work in progress showing in October 2020 during Black History Month (Europe).
Speaking about the residency, Axis Programme Manager Niamh Ní Chonchubhair said; “I’m so pleased to see Lorraine Maher return to Axis as artist in residence to develop her practice and ideas, and to interrogate the othering of many people that occurs both subtly and blatantly day in, day out, online and in person. Lorraine is an excellent artist and collaborator, using creativity as vehicle to highlight and challenge injustice and inequality. I’m looking forward to being challenged and inspired by her work as it progresses.”
Speaking about the residency Maher said; “Since my first visit to Axis in 2016 with #IamIrish I jump at the chance of having an opportunity to return. Over the last few years when I have visited I have noticed a difference in the local area, the views out the window, the people but what hasn't changed is the heart of Axis. Axis is in the heart of Ballymun and it is also fondly in my heart. I am so excited to be back in my creative home in Dublin.
Last year was the very first time in my life that I stood in a room of Irish people and was in a majority, it was the first time that I wasn't an “Other”. The smiles on the faces of the other people in that room that night fueled my pride in being Irish but also fueled my curiosity and the seed was sown to do more. Over that time I also had conversations with Dr. Sindy Joyce who told me many stories of exclusion of the Mincéir people those conversations left me with many frustrations, many questions and drawing many references to the similarities of those who I have met over the years who are identified as “other” in Ireland and beyond. My work is experimental with the stories of real people at its heart. I search for solutions in the many challenges that we encounter daily. I seek to create high quality experiences that place equality firmly in the hearts and minds of those that I interact with. I am excited about this next chapter with Axis and looking forward to shaping and sharing this distinct opportunity to explore Identity “Other”
Lorraine Maher: Artist Biography
Lorraine is an experienced Theatre Maker, Arts Producer and Trainer who works alongside some of the most vulnerable and hidden voices to empower inspirational collaborations and experiences. She has worked internationally to develop pioneering creative programmes that place participants at the heart. Lorraine is currently Director of #IAmirish a movement that challenges perceptions of Irishness and Theatre Education Manager for Clean Break, working with women affected by the criminal justice system. Lorraine is a Trauma informed practitioner who has a special interest in work around identity, belonging and representation, mental well-being and social justice.
T: @iamblirish / @axisballymun
F: facebook.com/Iamblirish / facebook.com/axisballymun
I: Instagram.com/iamblirish / Instagram.com/axis_ballymun