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'Oh Elle', Art Factory 2021

Earlier in 2021, The Complex put out a call for submissions for this year’s iteration of Art Factory.

Art Factory is a contemporary, performative, and interdisciplinary platform, providing a supportive environment for creative experiments to take place.

Applicants were selected by a panel made up of Phil Kingston, Davey Moor, Ruth McGowan, Mark O’Gorman, and Vanessa Fielding. They were chosen based on the strength of their concept and offered a bespoke support package that would help progress their project into realisation.

One of the Art Factory 2021 projects is ‘Oh Elle’, a play by Laoise Murray and Sam Killian. Laoise and Sam are a collaborative duo of emerging artists from Dublin. Laoise is the director and performer, whilst Sam is the writer and composer. They strive to make work that is warm, magical, a little sexy and a lot of fun.

As part of their Art Factory support package, the pair have had some time in The Ground Floor Gallery at The Complex to develop ‘Oh Elle’.

‘Oh Elle’ is a play about “tea making and storytelling and falling in love”. The play centres on Elle, a woman who works in an office and spends her day making tea for her male co-workers, quietly collecting their secrets.

We spoke with Laoise, who told us that the title is derived from the Japanese term ‘OL’ – an abbreviation of ‘Office Lady’. The term refers to women who work in offices and bide their time carrying out menial tasks, including making tea for the male employees. The assumption is that they are simply ‘filling time’ until marriage. Oh Elle explores the static position that women occupy in romantic comedies: waiting for someone to give them purpose. It’s a show about breaking out of the mould and carving a place in a world that ignores you.

We’re excited to see the fruits of Laoise and Sam’s time in The Complex.

Art Factory is supported by Dublin City Council.


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