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Artist's Statement: Orla O'Flanagan
Doing this work I have experienced extraordinary moments of group laughter, intense discussion, quietude, concentration, frustration and sadness as the people we worked with shared their ideas, expectations, experiences and grappled to communicate them visually.
My favourite moment in every project is when gently people stop talking and get on the work of making in silent companionship. Eyes down, hands busy any conversation that breaks the silence becomes a sharing of something more, something deeper and somehow a balancing happens where there is enough space and attention in the group to go around.
I have a BAInt in History of Art and Philosophy and an MSc in Equality Studies from University College Dublin. I have a theoretical interest is in the uses of textile art for social change and community building. I have worked internationally as a textile and digital art facilitator for the last 12 years.
Artist's Statement: Tarot Couzyn
It has been an immense privilege working with and learning from so many people with such a wide range of life experiences. Each project has brought new challenges, and has been a learning curve for all of us. I love the process of using collaborative arts techniques to draw together the varied experiences and expertise of participants, and together creating something that is beyond the reach of any one of us. For me our work is about making a space in which individual voices that have been silenced can come together and be heard, and the conversations and interactions that may happen as a result.
I have an Honours degree in History of Art degree from the University of Edinburgh, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Community Arts Education. I am co-founder of the First People Centre in South Africa, and have been working with communities since 1999.