Artist in the Community : Fatima Groups United & Veronica Dyas
Figures of Eight – ABOUT THE PROJECT
‘Intergenerational micro-histories gathered from the local community will form the basis of an ambitious new work, to be delivered as a series of performative protests. As a working-class community in the heart of Dublin city – a demographic that is increasingly under threat of extinction – we want to give a voice to those who are fighting to remain in the City Centre. On a daily basis we see our cultural life and green spaces decimated, housing replaced by hotels and student accommodation that our Young People can’t afford to live in, our Young People are leaving, again. We want to galvanize our community and empower audiences to think creatively about how we can collectively reclaim our place and physically occupy public space.’
FATIMA GROUPS UNITED | BIOG
Supporting community wellbeing, children & families, education and employment.
Fatima Groups United Family Resource Centre is the representative body of residents and projects in Fatima/Herberton, Dublin 8. Established in 1995 Fatima Groups United has been the driving force behind the successful regeneration of Fatima that has seen the physical and social transformation of the old flats complex. The project operates from community development principles providing key services in the areas of health & wellbeing, education, employment, arts, childcare, counselling support, information & advice, family support and advocacy. WWW.FGU.IE
VERONICA DYAS | BIOG
Veronica Dyas is an Artist working primarily through new text, installation and Performance. Facilitation, Action & LOVE are crucial to her practice. She works regularly with communities of identity, purpose, and/or place. She makes work to investigate contemporary living, acknowledging the visceral reality of past trauma while always focused towards healing. Rooted in her own lived experience, her work extends from the feminist declaration: the personal is the political. While studying Drama & Theatre Studies with Sociology at Trinity College Dublin, she began to fuse sociological tools within her arts practice; Reflexive Practice informs her methodologies. The intention to be authentic, allowing what’s there to be present in the space, and self-identifying as female, white, Irish, queer, and working-class, extending to more nuanced lived experiences when pertinent. This practice informs the process, enabling the potential for real relationships to develop within. Her underlying assumption is that we are beings of infinite potential, each and every one. She begins from a place of Equality, with the attempt to balance I Am free/I Am responsible continuously moving from the conceptual principle towards sustainable practices. She doesn’t always manage to hold that liminal ideological space, it’s an ongoing practice to try, starting with her own reparations, towards manifesting an equitable society. We are not there yet. That’s usually her initial motivation: to create work, to artistically interrogate the sociopolitical landscape, tracing root causes and wounds across time carved on the body politic. www.veronicadyas.com
- Weekly Workshop Exploratory Sessions with members of Fatima Groups United and artist Veronica Dyas.
From January to June 2023, Fatima Groups United worked with artist Veronica Dyas on a weekly basis to devise material for a new project, ‘Figures of Eight’. This site-specific work builds on a number of collaborative projects and initiatives with Fatima Groups United (FGU) that explore the local area and its rich cultural history.
- Walking and Talking in the D8
In April 2023, Veronica began to incorporate her practice of walking within this process. She went walking with over twenty-five individuals who are from/live in/work in/hang out in the Dublin 8 area as part of her research, to gain a deeper understanding beyond her own lived experiences as a working class artist from the area.
- COMMUNITY FILM SCREENING AND TOWN HALL GATHERING
On June 1st 2023, Dublin 8 residents came out to see the community screening of ‘The Pruitt-Igoe Myth’ (2011) a documentary film directed by Chad Freidrichs detailing the history of the Pruitt–Igoe public housing complex in St. Louis, Missouri, and the eventual decision to raze the entire complex in 1976.
Following the screening a ‘town hall’ discussion around public housing, regeneration and gentrification was facilitated by Clare O’Connor.
The film was screened by Veronica Dyas in the F2 building, as part of her residency with Fatima Groups United.
COMMUNITY FILM SCREENING AND TOWN HALL GATHERING
4. CUBE RESIDENCY
Part of Project Arts Centre’s collaboration with Fatima Groups United on this process, was to provide a Studio Week in Project Cube. In June 2023, this phase of the project was realised when the community worked towards their performance through a week-long residency in the CUBE. This marked the community’s first residency off-site and marks a significant step in their development as artistic collaborators.
5. ‘Figures of Eight – A Moving Performance’
On Friday 16th June 2023, eight people from the group performed in a moving performance for an invited performance and the general public. It began at the F2 Centre where FGU is based. Photos by Jacek Snochowski (FruitFrame)
This is a partnership project between Project Arts Centre and Fatima Groups United, funded by the Arts Council of Ireland Artist in the Community Project Realisation Award, managed by CREATE, the national development agency for collaborative arts, Ireland.