A message from our Artistic Director

Hello and Season’s Greetings from our Guest Artistic Director, Deborah Mullins

It’s winter in South Dublin and time for the annual Unwrapped Winter Festival of Lights that has brought artists and communities together since 2009 through original outdoor performances, processions, film and music. Last year I was delighted to take on the role of Guest Artistic Director for Unwrapped and looked forward to working in South Dublin. Covid forced us to change our plans for a live event but throughout the Unwrapped 2020, Shining a Light online festival I had the pleasure of collaborating with dedicated associate artists of the Unwrapped partner organisations, as well as emerging young creatives. Please take a look again at the three wonderful films and splendid artworks produced for Shining a Light

Unwrapped 2021 – Finding the Wild, is informed by last year’s story, when the winter goddess, the Cailleach, shone her light on South Dublin County to reveal what was extraordinary about the people and the place. This year is our first foray into a two-year exploration (2021 & 2022) of our relationship with the natural world.

Experimentation and art form development have been key to this year’s Unwrapped. The festival team invited me and resident and commissioned artists to respond to the theme through an R&D process exploring how an engagement with Nature during the emergency of the last 19 months has impacted on us all.

While we are still navigating our return to live events we have decided to present the work as a dynamic online presence over several weeks of the Christmas and New Year period. The short episodes of our winter story capture elements of our live performance in a secret location with bespoke digital animation, puppetry and original soundtrack.

Our story starts when the Winter Goddess, the Cailleach, sees what has changed over time through her ears and eyes on the ground, the Fox, and her eyes in the sky, the Raven. The Cailleach has seen huge changes to the environment over the years and the effect humans have had on the diminishing countryside. The Fox and the Raven tell her about the challenging times that people have endured People have been out walking, uplifted by their natural surroundings. And yet many species of flora and fauna remain under threat of extinction due to climate change and destruction of natural habitats. We invite you to join us as we explore a future where we value and care for our planet and all the creatures and plants that share it with us. See Finding the Wild online over the next few weeks to enjoy the different elements of our story. The soundtrack and full story are available here

Thank you to all the artists and technicians involved in this project, the Unwrapped partner organisations, community stakeholders and funders.

Deb Mullin

Guest Artistic Director