Meet the female artists taking part in the Rebound Arts Festival

As the Rebound Arts Festival gets underway this Friday, PAM RYAN talks to some of the women taking part
Meet the female artists taking part in the Rebound Arts Festival

Isabella Dogliani.

FROM April 8 to April 10, Corkonians will have access to an eclectic programme of arts and cultural events.

The Rebound Arts Festival will include sound and visual arts events, dance, music producing and arts/crafts workshops, backstage tours, public discussion and podcast, music, storytelling, and an extensive visual arts programme.

The festival is being organised by students from UCC’s MA in Arts Management and Creative Producing students (15 out of 18 students are women.) We spoke to some of the producers taking part.

Ismahane Meliani.
Ismahane Meliani.

Ismahane Meliani - Crafter/Knitter

Ismahane is a French-Tunisian student with global experience in cultural project management spanning from France to South Africa.

“Throughout my MA, my main study has been around the value of crafts as artistic practices, but also as healing and mindful practice,” she said.

“I thought that it could be interesting to look at the place of craft events and activities in the context of festivals, as we are emerging from the pandemic, during which there was an upsurge of interest in crafts.”

Ismahane has organised the (Re)creation Market, which is a craft fair that is committed to “contributing to respect for the environment and diversity of cultural craft-making expertise that exists in Cork city. It offers a platform for showcasing local produce and sharing artisanal and artistic know-how through craft stalls based on the core principle of repurposing.

Finding out about the diversity of craft making in Cork city, meeting different crafters, and discovering Cork’s arts landscape has certainly been enjoyable. I want crafters that are based in Cork to shine and show their work.”

The (Re)creation Market, runs at the Theatre Lab, Connolly Complex, UCC, on Sunday, April 10, 12pm to 4pm

Isabella Dogliani - Visual Artist

Isabella, in partnership with Danielle Sheehy, has produced a celebratory arts exhibition entitled Alphabet Soup, highlighting the achievements of neurodiverse and dyslexic people.

Alphabet Soup will be a very honest display of dyslexia and the people that have it. I’ve been meeting, photographing, and speaking with dyslexic individuals across the city. Everybody is very different, so you’ll be able to learn about dyslexia through dyslexic people’s voices, images, and illustrations.

“I’m dyslexic myself and I found during the pandemic I had to adapt techniques I would use to fit online learning, which came with a lot of new challenges.

“My main goal with Alphabet Soup is to remove the negative stigma around dyslexia and celebrate it in an honest way. I want to show that while dyslexics struggle in certain areas, rather than being a learning disability, dyslexia is a learning difference. No two dyslexics are the same, but once you find what works for you, there is no stopping you!”

Alphabet Soup runs at Cork City Library, Grand Parade, from Monday, April 4 to Saturday, April 9, 10am to 5,30pm.

Katie Witkowski. 	 Picture: Andrew Crowley
Katie Witkowski. Picture: Andrew Crowley

Katie Witkowski - Theatre Director/Producer

Katie hails from Chicago and has 13 years of experience in the theatre and film industry in LA.

Her collaborative contribution to the Rebound Arts Festival is the research and production of local, historical storytelling events and tours that centre around cultural tradition and identity.

Pathways + Pitstops is a collaboration with fellow MA student, Nicola Carroll.

“I love creative collaboration. I think that some of the most inventive and imaginative projects come when there are multiple artists and creatives involved. You never know what brilliant ideas and plots come up just from a brainstorm session or chance conversation between two people. In fact, the idea of Pathways + Pitstops came about from one of those such collaborative conversations!”

Pathways + Pitstops is a series of self-navigated, socially immersive arts and culture tours - with the aim of connecting and inspiring participants to reclaim their diverse urban cultural landscape.

This is a ‘choose your own adventure’ tour of Cork’s arts exhibitions, events, workshops, and more.

“Pathways + Pitstops is a series of storytelling historical tours with the aim of connecting together people, places, and stories again and bringing new life to the local community and to the city of Cork.”

Highlights include a Rebel Cork walking tour with performances by The Cork Singers’ Club (April 9 at 11.30am) and Fitzgerald’s Park Sculpture Walking Tour with Cllr Kieran McCarthy (April 10 at 2pm).

Aysegul Yuzel - Researcher/ Curator

As a Turkish student residing in Cork, Aysegul’s focus has been cross-cultural communication.

“It is a new multi-disciplinary academic field and, in today’s globalising world, the perfect key to empathising with each other,” she said.

Aysegul’s exhibit, entitled Dreams Blown into Water, is a performative-based photography and video art exhibitions, aiming for cross-cultural communications between Ireland and Turkey, using womanhood as a common language.

“Amazing women all over the world inspire me every day as a feminist. 

"The feminist movement is the reason for who I am today, and somehow, I want to find my voice in it. I was trying to find a way to bring all my passions and a bit of my personality together, and Dreams Blown into Water was born.

“Our main goal is to highlight the role of women in society, but we’re doing it in a different way this time by focusing on our similarities and differences in a cross-cultural communication context between two countries.

“By presenting alienation and recovery together, we hope that boundaries will melt away, inspiring our social behaviours and raising awareness.”

Dreams Blown into Water, Granary Theatre, Friday, April 8, 4pm to 9pm.

Casey Walsh. Picture: Andrew Crowley
Casey Walsh. Picture: Andrew Crowley

Casey Walsh - Curator/Producer

Casey’s contribution to Rebound Arts Festival is a remarkable walk down Cork’s many memory lanes.

Suspended aims to bring life to lost stories and give a voice to those forgotten in the fog of time, through a collection of postcards and photographs, which has been found in the heart of Cork.

The exhibition is made complete with a sound piece created by accomplished sound designer Ruairí De Búrca in St Peter’s.

“I’ve always had a keen interest in photography, and walking through a flee market one day, I noticed a box of old photographs. I lost all track of time as I went through this fascinating box of treasures and I found postcards, family photos, landscapes, childhood memories and many more.

“I was flooded with a mixture of emotions but ultimately, I was sad that such personal and meaningful items had ended up being sold in a market. These were snapshots of the most important moments in people’s lives and it felt wrong that they weren’t being appreciated. They felt out of place. These items deserved more.

“They deserved better and I wanted them to be cherished and seen, this is what lead to the creation of Suspended.

“I’d like for people to reflect on their own stories and lives. If you only had a postcard or a picture to give someone a quick snapshot into your life, what would you choose?”

Suspended runs at St Peter’s Cork, North Main Street, Thursday, April 7 to Saturday, April 9, 10amto 4:30pm

For more information on the Rebound Arts Festival 2022, visit www.ucc.ie/en/fmt/theatre/reboundartsfestival/programme

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