founding this skills exchange
I’ve been working towards the mutantspace skills exchange for a long, long time – it’s an idea that has been in gestation for many years. I’ve gone through many guises, doing lots of different things and here is the abbreviated history.
I always wanted to be an artist and in 1989 went to Limerick College of Art and Design and studied Sculpture. While there I found I wasn’t much good with my hands so concentrated on performance art and installation work instead.
By 1992 I was working alot in public spaces, on the street and had started getting involved in Carnival parades and street spectacles in Limerick and with Macnas in Galway. After I left college in 1993 myself and a few friends from Art College set up a street theatre company called Bui Bolg in Wexford, Ireland. Being young and utterly penniless we robbed skips and begged shops for old paint, wire, wood, glue and money to make large puppets, costumes and floats. By 2000 we had a large workshop, truck, van, 14 staff and were continuously travelling the length and breadth of Ireland and Europe performing at arts and music festivals, facilitating community workshops and doing alot of prop making for multinational companies. It was time to move on.
In 2002 I was asked to be production designer on a theatre show at The Arches theatre in Glasgow, Scotland. It was wonderful. Later that year I started a project with an incredible dance theatre company in Potsdam, Germany called Fabrik. We worked on theatre and contact improvisation techniques, movement and played with paper and cardboard boxes for about a year in Berlin, Wexford and Cork. In 2003, we created a collaborative piece of work called ‘Torn’ under the direction of Steve Batts from Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company in Derry, Wolfgang Hoffman from Fabrik and the performers of the show. The show premiered in Cork and then went to Scotland.
Later that same year I co-produced a music exchange with 10 musicians in Cork and St.Johns, Newfoundland – a place everyone should go and visit.
In 2004 I was appointed Artistic Director of the St.Patricks Festival for The European Capital of Culture 2005, in Cork.
In 2006 I left to start my own events company, Goldiefish Events, with Roseanne Kidney. Since then we have worked in the production, management and programming of numerous festivals as well as running a full time gig venue and local artisan food markets.
In 2007 I started to look for ways in which I could create an open space where people could freely share knowledge, information and skills with each other. A space that would give everyone access to the resources they needed to produce their own work. Out of this thought process came the mutantspace art skills exchange and in 2008 I went online with it. And there we have it. That’s all about me. Except for the fact that I love ice cream, pints of beer, playing with my 3 year old daughter and spending long hours in the kitchen cooking and listening to the radio…