2021 was a unique year for all. For The Complex, it was about devising an original approach, and coming up with innovative ways to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Despite these roadblocks, The Complex produced a Live Arts & Filming Programme, featuring a range of diverse events. A Gallery Programme titled “Nature Echoes Reality, Artifice Echoes Fiction,” and ‘Art Factory’, an interdisciplinary platform providing a supportive environment for creative experiments to take place.
The Complex are commissioning and collaborating on many projects in 2022 and look forward to welcoming you.
For now, lets take a look a back at some of The Complex's 2021 highlights.
LIVE ARTS AND FILMING PROGRAMME
THE COBBLESTONE SESSIONS The Cobblestone Sessions produced by The Complex was broadcast each evening from 12-17th of March on St Patrick's Festival TV. The Cobblestone and The Complex have had a strong relationship since they became neighbours on Smithfield Square in 2009. In the times of closure in 2021, it was only right that The Complex offered its new home and its extended skills in Arran Street East, to facilitate the streaming of some of the magic that makes this pub a national treasure. BOILER ROOM SERIES X JAMESON CONNECTS 2021 Filmed and streamed from The Complex, Boiler Room and Jameson Connects brought you the best of Irish Hip Hop and Indie during the month of March, featuring performances from 'Gemma Dunleavy, Denise Chaila, Monjola and many more. SOULÉ Live streamed from The Complex for St Patrick's Festival, electronic pop artist Soulé treated viewers to an incredible performance. A THING I CANNOT NAME IRISH NATIONAL OPERA 'A Thing I Cannot Name' by Amanda Feery Opera was filmed in The Complex Main Space in June, and screened as part of West Cork Literary Festival in July. This event will included an introduction to the work by Amanda Feery and Megan Nolan in conversation with Julie Kelleher followed by a screening of the opera. ELEMENT PICTURES SHOOT 'THE DRY' In September, Element Pictures spent two weeks shooting for 'The Dry', an upcoming comedy-drama series starring Ciarán Hinds and Roisin Gallagher. TRAVELLER PRIDE To celebrate Traveller Pride in September, The Complex filmed an event in association with Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group. Catherine Joyce, Helen Hutchinson and Michael Collins spent the day in The Ground Floor Gallery shooting plays and poems, culminating in an informative panel discussion chaired by Vanessa Fielding, Artistic Director of The Complex. DEAD CENTRE Technical rehearsals and project development of 'Beckett's Room' took place in The Complex Main Space in November.
THE GROUND FLOOR GALLERY PROGRAMME
In May, The Complex presented 'Portico', new work by Tanad Aaron and Mark Swords. The artists created work that directly altered the architecture of the gallery space. To accompany the exhibition, there was an online programme of scheduled events, featuring a conversation between the artists, a video walk through, musical performances and audio essays.
FEELING OF KNOWING
In October, 'FOK' launched at The Complex. The exhibition featured newly commissioned, site-specific work by Aine McBride, Dennis McNulty, Aleana Egan and Conor O'Sullivan. The artists were selected based on their use of familiar materials, which can awaken deeply submerged memories or repressed feelings.
The Complex proudly announced six artists as the successful recipients of the Art Factory 2021. An open call award, The Art Factory aims to provide selected applicants with supports in the form of tailor-made packages designed for each project, devised from a combination of the artists and The Complex's resources. Options include free access to space for rehearsals, casting, script consultations, workshops, shoots and performances, use of equipment and technical support, mentoring and/or collaborations with professionals in the appropriate fields, and/or writer's commissions and artist fees.
M/S is a high concept drama exploring the representation of illness and the radical possibilities of love, care and dying on your own terms. A feature film development project directed by Eoin Heaney.
A theatre writing comission by Thommas Kane Byrne (TKB) for a new play about Alexander McQueen.
A play by Laoise Murray and Sam Killian, 'Oh Elle' is about "tea making and storytelling and falling in love". A musical theatre development project.
THE RED THREAD
A live performative installation of sewing machines in Ireland, which are operated in real time by textile workers in the Global South. Exhibition in The Ground Floor Gallery in May.
NEW SIGNAGE FOR THE COMPLEX
In September, The Complex revealed new signage, the first of three pieces celebrating the artistic endeavors that take place here. Each installation features The Complex logo, a design by Richard Seabrooke of The Tenth Man.
The first sign stands proudly at the Mary’s Abbey entrance, expertly hand painted onto the red wall by Cormac and his team at Mack Signs.
The second sign at Mary’s Abbey, an acrylic lightbox reading ‘The Complex Art Lives Here’ was crafted by Simon Kingston and hung by his team at Reverb.
The final piece of new signage sits above the Arran Street East entrance, another installation by Simon Kingston and Reverb, a cube lightbox proudly showcasing The Complex logo.
The project was supported by The Arts Council of Ireland as part of a Capacity Building Grant.
The Complex would like to say thank you to its staff, the Board of directors, the resident studio artists, all the artists and crews that worked in the building over 2021, the Art Factory panel and participants, Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group, the Cobblestone Bar, St Patrick's Festival, Dublin City Council, The Department of Media, Culture, Arts, Tourism the Gaeltacht and Sport, The Arts Council of Ireland, Begleys Fruit and Vegetables and Jameson.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Complex!