purple background with pictures of 8 headshots of smiling people around the sides with "WEFT Studio" in the middle.

British Council Ireland were delighted to support Weft, a Dublin Fringe Festival initiative, which focuses on talent development and network building for emerging and early career Black artists and artists of the global majority. In weaving, the ‘weft’ are the horizontal threads that create the woven foundation that holds a tapestry together in a loom. Dublin Fringe believe there is a lack of support and holistic understanding for Black artists and artists of the global majority early in their careers in Ireland to learn more about their own creative habits, develop their artistic skills and take the lead in creating their own work on their own terms.

Weft Studio, first launched in 2022, addresses this gap, by interweaving individual artist support with practical project development opportunities within a community of peers who have experiences of what it is like to live and work in Ireland as a Black artist or artist of the global majority.

The 2023/24 programme was led by the acclaimed writer and creative producer Shannon Yee, with interventions from international mentors, the Weft Studio programme ran from August 2023 to February 2024. 

Much more to come with this project in 2024/45.

10 people smiling and posing for a camera
The 2024 Weft participants pose for a photo after meeting with British Council to discuss their projects and how the programme has helped them develop their craft.

2023/24 Weft Artists

Clodagh Boyce is a Trini-Irish multidisciplinary artist and organizer. Inspired by the legends of the Harlem Renaissance, Afro-futurism, and Irish landscapes, Clodagh is dedicated to creating community spaces for Irish POC through initiatives like the Black Queer Book Club. Their upcoming project explores Jazz and the cosmos, and they are excited to collaborate and exchange ideas with fellow participants in Weft.

Georgie Lynch, who identifies as they/she/he, is a London-based Irish-Jamaican theatre maker with experience working in the USA and South Africa. Their work centres on the intersections of marginalized identities, highlighting both the compounding oppression and unique joy experienced by individuals within these communities. With a poetic and humorous approach rooted in spoken word, Georgie's work is set to captivate audiences. Catch them onstage in Sundown Kiki at the Young Vic this August.

Debora Adachi is a children's illustrator and author with a background in Architecture and Urbanism. Of Brazilian-Japanese heritage and residing in Dublin, Ireland, Debora uses art as a tool to foster connections, belonging, and self-worth. Having received recognition for her illustrations, including being a Highly Commended Illustration Winner for the FAB Prize, she is currently undergoing training and mentorship in children's publishing. Debora's participation in Harper Collins' Author Academy for children's writing further showcases her dedication to her craft.

Daranijoh Sanni (E The Artist), a Nigerian-Irish sound and visual artist from Coolock, North Dublin, uses his work to challenge and document borders of race, culture, identity, and expression. With notable performances at prestigious venues like the National Concert Hall, Trinity's Douglas Hyde Gallery, and The Racket Space, Daranijoh's art reflects the diversity of contemporary Irish society.

Shauna Harris, a Dublin-based biracial Irish actress and multidisciplinary artist, appeared in the award-winning production Hot Brown Honey: Hive City Legacy Dublin Chapter at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2022. Passionate about art that communicates important social justice issues and fosters connectivity, Shauna recently completed her studies in Politics, International Relations, and Social Justice. Her aim is to reach diverse audiences through art and offer easily accessible and expressive insights into complex societal matters.

Karen Aguiar is a socially engaged artist, producer, and performer who believes in the transformative power of dance to unite people and nurture collective spaces. As the founder and creative director of Go Dance For Change, a platform for cross-cultural collaboration, Karen envisions dance as a means of meaningful integration, individual growth, and collective action. With a postgraduate study in Art & Ecology at NCAD and a residency at Rua Red Arts Centre, Karen's movement practice incorporates embodied ecologies, knowledge, culture, and play.

Mai Ishikawa, a Japanese theatre translator and bilingual writer, has a diverse background as a tap dancer and performer in various theatre festivals and productions. Her translations of plays into Japanese, including works by renowned playwrights like Eve Ensler and David Ireland, have gained recognition. Currently, Mai is writing her own play with the support of bursaries and grants, showcasing her commitment to fostering international exchange and cultural understanding through the arts.

Matthew Sharpe is an actor and writer who has showcased his talent in theatres across Northern Ireland, National Theatre London, and Europe. He has also appeared in films and TV shows in Ireland, including "Soft Bored Patrol," "Ordinary Love," and "Bloodlands." With his podcast "The Thought Floor" and participation in Incubate with Tinderbox Theatre Company, Matthew explores the intersection between virtual reality and the creative process, seeking to leverage evolving technologies in his work.