Each month a member of the crew behind the Bloomsday Survival Kit will provide an insight into the motivation and method behind their work. This month Jessica Peel-Yates tells us about their love of the creative spirit in Dublin.
In Penelope, the last chapter of Ulysses (the one where Molly Bloom is in bed, pondering on life, the universe and everything), I love the line “I wouldn’t give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning why don’t they go and create something….”
It’s as if Joyce is speaking directly to me – create! It’s so satisfying and such fun! Just like the theme tune from “Why Don’t You,” Joyce is urging us to get out there and make things happen. If you don’t know the theme, sing along at – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRMIM1ygKpg
In Dublin, there is so much happening! Inspiring individuals and communities getting their hands dirty, building things.
A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to present our little brown book, “Romping through Dublin – Ulysses the Manual,” at the Dublin Zine Fair.
This celebration of independent publications and zines was held in the Exchange in Temple Bar (a hot bed of colourful happenings). The variety and quality of work displayed was amazing. Seeing other people’s work helps us to develop our own ideas. The At it Again! crew were doodling in our notebooks all weekend, ideas and possibilities oozing out of every pore.
And then there’s Andy Flaherty and Tom Rowley over at Storymap.
Back from working abroad, unemployed and in between film projects, they were annoyed with all the negative press Dublin was receiving. The bleak tales of recession, unemployment and emigration were completely at odds with what they were experiencing in their hometown. They came up with Storymap, a web based multimedia project that revives Ireland’s age-old tradition of storytelling and tries to capture the personality of Dublin city through its stories and storytellers. These stories are filmed being told where they happened and integrated into a live map to create a charming and layered collective vision of Dublin city made by the people of the city. A modern day Ulysses!
Last week we spent a delicious afternoon with the guys, filming our short version of “Penelope.” The prospect of putting Dirty Penelope on film really excited us. We worked with our script to develop its visual possibilities. With our typical sense of fun, we were looking for powerful images to bring Molly’s thoughts to life. We had great fun gathering props – a big red balloon, a juicy pear, a bowl of porridge – and acting out key scenes from the story. We’re really looking forward to seeing the final film that Andy and Tom put together.
We’ve also sought inspiration from the Arthur Guinness Projects, which aims to finance and give practical assistance to extraordinary people with innovative ideas. Over 700 projects were put forward, representing a massive range of creative talent across Ireland. Submitting our project, Blowing up Bloomsday, made us feel very much part of an energised and dynamic community.
Here’s our call to arms for Blowing up Bloomsday –
Imagine giant cyclops, huge bowler hats, floating kisses and Edwardian zombies. Imagine massive puppets, artists, musicians and dancers romping through Joyce’s Dublin. Bloomsday is the only unofficial literary holiday that celebrates an author, a book and a city. We believe Bloomsday has the potential to become even bigger, giving Dubliners the opportunity to celebrate their city and culture as well as attracting visitors. We appeal to all creative spirits to join us in our vision.
Autumn in Dublin is about settling down in front of a peat fire and letting dreams fly, ideas incubate, and watching things grow. We’re looking forward to being at it again!
You can find out more about Blowing up Bloomsday at https://www.arthurguinnessprojects.com/arts/at-it-again-1
For more details on the Dublin Zine Fair check out www.babybeefartpress.com