Ollphéist: Open Call

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Ollphéist (transl. Fabulous Beasts) is a project exploring folkloric heritage through creative workshops and a city-wide exhibition. Bringing the tradition of storytelling into the digital world, Ollphéist will facilitate re-tellings and new interpretations of our folklore through the medium of GIFs. Easily created and shared, GIFs are short, looped, animated videos used online and for instant messaging. They are an important part of our everyday communication and contemporary visual culture. Ormston House invites artists and creative participants to contribute to Ollphéist through two paid opportunities.

Opportunity #1: call for creative participants (local)

Ormston House seeks participants for a series of creative workshops led by folklorist Billy Mag Fhloinn and graphic designer Hugh Heffernan. Over the course of four workshops, participants will learn how to create visual responses to folklore from the Limerick region. The workshops are open to both artists and non-artists over 16 years of age with access to a smartphone. No previous experience is required. 

In a full-day workshop with Billy Mag Fhloinn, participants will learn about Irish folklore and the archives and collections available for their own research. In the following three workshops with Hugh Heffernan, participants will learn theories and skills used in the production of visual communications, and how to produce short animations and videos. The GIFs produced during the workshops will be included in a night-time, city-wide exhibition from 30 October to 6 November 2020. 

The workshops are free of charge and each participant will receive an exhibition fee of €100. As places are limited due to COVID-19 public safety guidelines, please email a short paragraph explaining why you would like to take part and confirm you are available to attend all four workshops at Ormston House by Wednesday 23 September, 12pm to with the subject heading ‘Ollphéist’.

Workshops schedule

  • Saturday 3 October, 11.30–4.30pm
  • Tuesday 6 October, 6–7pm
  • Thursday 8 October, 6–7.30pm
  • Tuesday 13 October, 6–7.30pm

Opportunity #2: call for artists’ submissions (local and international)

Ormston House invites Irish and international artists to submit GIFs in response to their own local folklore and storytelling traditions. We are interested in the potential of everyday formats and technologies to tell stories, and how oral cultures might be imagined in visual form. Selected artists will receive an exhibition fee of €100 and be included in a night-time, city-wide exhibition in local shop fronts from 30 October to 6 November 2020.

To submit, please join the free Ormston House Membership Scheme for artists here and email by Friday 2 October, 12pm with the subject heading ‘Ollphéist’ including: 

  •   Up to 3 video files (max. 8 seconds each) in GIF or MP4 format and 1:1 aspect ratio
  •   A short description of your chosen story/stories (1 paragraph per video)

Ollphéist is curated by Caimin Walsh, Projects Curator at Ormston House. This project is funded by Creative Ireland and Limerick City & County Council through Creative Ireland: Made in Limerick 2020.


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