Red Bird Youth Collective, Galway Arts Centre

Waking Playthings: A collaboration between Red Bird Youth Collective, Dominic Thorpe (Performance Artist) and Vicky Langan (Sound Artist).

Red Bird Youth Collective’s experimental performance ‘Waking Playthings’ took place on the 7th of December 2013 in Nun’s Island Theatre. This live, improvised, experimental, durational performance was the end result of a collaboration between Red Bird, performance artist Dominic Thorpe and sound artist Vicky Langan. This project was supported by The Arts Council under The Youth Ensemble Scheme.

This collaboration began in September 2013 and took the form of weekly workshops in Galway Arts Centre where Thorpe and Langan shared ideas around performance and introduced various approaches to working with sound and live art. The workshops ranged from interaction with materials to vocal improvisation, with a strong emphasis on experimentation and exploration.

Dominic Thorpe works mainly in performance and sometimes in video, photography, drawing and installation. Through his art practice he engages with subject matter that has significant social importance, often related to issues of trauma and injustice. For example: the suicide of young people, the declining numbers of small farms in Ireland, asylum systems and the official response in Ireland to revelations about the abuse of thousands of children over decades at institutions run by the Catholic Church on behalf of the Irish state. He often engages with people who have direct experience of the subjects he deals with.

He has shown widely around Ireland and internationally, including in Norway, China, Italy, Sweden, France, Finland and the UK. He has completed a number of public art commissions in Ireland and has received numerous awards and bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Kildare County Council, Culture Ireland and CREATE (The national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland).

Red Bird Youth Collective is an arts organisation for youths by youths that encourages and supports the art practices of young people in Galway. Established in 2011 by the Galway Arts Centre, Red Bird is a collective created for people between the ages of 15-24 to experiment with the many facets of art. Programmed projects in collaboration with professional artists facilitate the concepts and the artistic ambitions of Red Bird members. Working with talented professional Irish and international artists, members have access to unrivalled artistic training and experience.