Project Description

In February 2024 the first p(art)y Here and Now event took place in Ennis, Co Clare. Since then these have occurred on a monthly basis.

These events are a result of my instigating a conversation with 3 other artists about starting a live performance art meet up event. As a member of BBeyond, Belfast, I felt frustrated by my inability to travel to their monthly group members performance events, given the 4.5 hour car journey to get there.

Those of these BBeyond meetings which I have been able to access have been a source of inspiration and connection for me. I decided to start something of a similar nature to these performance meets here in Co Clare, so as to have more opportunities to perform locally and to raise awareness and understanding of performance art as a creative medium.

The artists I joined up with to host the events are Slavek Kwi, sound artist and educator, John Lillis, musician curator and educator, and Laura- Jane Allis, contemporary dancer. So far L-J has hosted the events in her dance studio, Breakthrough Dance. One of the nicest aspect of this endeavour so far I may add, is having other people to work with and discuss ideas with. I am so used to doing things by myself that to have this network of support is wonderful.

Name: p(art)y Here and Now. A merging of Here and Now- the title I used for my workshops and performance night in 2023, combined with Slavek’s suggested p(art)y.

Description: a participatory live one hour performance art event. Open for the moment to anyone who wishes to participate and books a space.

Intention: To provide a space in Co Clare for live performance to happen, on a regular monthly basis. To allow all forms of expression to exist in one space, and to see what ensues. To welcome all artists in and to make space for all forms of art.

Framework: As updated and read by participants yesterday: 

Start time: Please be there 15 minutes before the start time. We will start promptly at 4 and finish at 5. Doors will close at 4.15 sharp and reopen at 5pm.

Audience: Please arrive at the start and stay till the end! It’s distracting for performers if people are coming in and out while we are performing.

Clean Up: Please allow for 15 minutes after we finish to help clean up

Props: Props and costumes are fine to bring and use but no liquids, soil or materials that will be hard to clean up. And obviously please make sure you take away any items you bring along.

Photography: No photography to be taken before or during the performance. We will take a group shot at the end of the performance. This is to protect the artists.

Interacting: Please check with other artists before making physical contact during the performance. Please don’t touch the props or musical equipment of any other artist present unless also agreed beforehand.

Issues/questions: If anyone has an issue/problem or a question before, during or after the performance please check in with Rachel. Even during the performance.

The first February event was amazing- we had 19 artists in total- plus a group of audience. See the photo taken at the end below:

p(art)y Here and Now participants February 2024

After this inaugural event we worked out what was successful and what was less so and tweaked some things a little. What was of paramount importance was that all participants understood that to participate meant to be creating within a group- alongside others and potentially with other people during the hour- and therefore to be open to their usual modality of creating being influenced and changed by this experience. Potentially this could be different from ones usual methodology of creating and experiencing creativity. And for participants to be receptive to that.

Another element of great importance to me is the democracy of this project. All artists are welcome here, regardless of their medium. So far we do not need membership of any nature. We are still very much at the developmental stage and in order to grow must keep the framework flexible.

Our second event had less participants, which we had anticipated due to other significant art events being on that day locally. We were looking forward to seeing what these different circumstances would be like. Words I used to describe yesterday’s experience. energy- stretch- lines- colour- clothes pegs- shiny- base- connection- twist- light. The hour went by very fast for me.

p(art)y Here and Now participants March 2024- Left to right- Ana, Slavek, Jans, Rachel, Laura-Jane, Caitriona and Evelyn.

At this point I feel very happy to have gotten p(art)y Here and Now off the ground. I feel satisfied at having a performance outlet and the luxury of this event being local to me (for the time being) is hard to believe. We plan to continue to run the event out of Laura-Janes space for the time being, and coming into summer to potentially move it around to other venues in Clare. Starting this off has sparked something in me and reminded me of what is possible if you materialise your ideas. To have anyone at all, never mind so many, interested in being involved in this initiative feels very rewarding to me. I do not take it for granted. It is not possible to ‘buy’ this.

Noting at this point elements I’d like to address within the performance process so far- documentation. The only evidence of the event is the ‘after photo’ a strange thing in itself as it shows the participants, mostly looking positive, gathered together after performing. And obviously the memory of the event. Right now, only revealing an after shot, with happy looking people standing in a group, doesn’t reveal much of what actually took place within the hour. I would prefer if we had visual evidence of the ‘during’, the happening part, as opposed to just the after.

But this is not a simple process- first requiring a photographer who is available, and then who can move and work around and between the artists. Then we need permissions from one and all attendees. Then we need a sharing and distributing system and a guarantee that participants wishing to share images will tag them correctly. I do think this would be worth it as the ensuing visuals would allow us  to furnish other people’s perception of what the event entails more fully. And hopefully interest more people and further build an audience and community.

I also feel that it is timely to have started this now, what with where I feel my practise sits at present. I realised that if I look objectively back over the last year of working that there are clear indicators of what has been successful and what has been less successful. It can be hard to see this, when ones head is always down, trying to swim against the current of limited time/obligations/tiredness/other detrius.


It is now May and two more p(art)y events have taken place. We were successful in engaging a photographer for each of these events- see below April event photos by Paul Corey

And May event photos by Gerald Dunne

Our group has grown and diversified, with visual artists, musicians, sound artists, dancers, performers, image makers, vocal artists attending. It continues to inspire and be a friendly non judgemental space for artists and creatives to come and intentionally be in a performative space together.

June Photos below by Avia Gurman