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26/10/2021

Waterford couple to showcase lockdown work at Theatre Royal

Waterford couple to showcase lockdown work at Theatre Royal

Waterford couple to showcase lockdown work at Theatre Royal

If there was ever to be a saying tailor-made for life post-COVID, it would probably be something along the lines of: "a worldwide pandemic makes works for idle hands."

For one young Waterford couple, home was very much where the art has been for the past eighteen months.

Now, artist / musician couple Katy Flynn and Chris Falconer (who plays under the musical alias Waiting Space) will finally get to see the fruits of their joint labour in lockdown pay off, as they are set to debut their works to the public in the Theatre Royal Waterford.

The pair spent successive Covid-19 lockdowns working from their kitchen table on their individual creative projects while also "unofficially collaborating" to help each other out on projects, at a time when they were effectively cut off from the rest of their artistic community.  

The two Waterford natives first met in GOMA Gallery in 2016 at a ‘meet other local creatives’ night, and in 2020, took the time and change of circumstances brought about by COVID-19 lockdowns to develop their work in two very domestic DIY ‘studios’ in their home.

During the pandemic, Katy started her own cottage industry design practice ‘HABOO’, inspired by the Waterford phrase ‘go haboo’, used to encourage children to go to sleep.

All HABOO pieces are handmade in Katy’s kitchen-studio and her main products are handmade, colourful terrazzo-style homeware pieces - including vases, dishes, candleholders, bowls, ornaments, and more that adopt the fun, kid-friendly patterns she had previously been working with in fashion studios in Ireland, Spain and Australia.  

Additionally, Katy makes her pieces using ‘Jesmonite’ - a design material that is non-toxic, water-based, and is an eco-friendly, environmentally-conscious alternative to traditional resin or ceramic based products.

Katy also has ambitions to open up a shop and studio in Waterford in the near future.  

Meanwhile, Chris, during lockdown, he began focusing more heavily on his audio-visual project, Waiting Space, creating more musical pieces and accompanying visuals.

He was also commissioned by galleries to produce musical scores to ‘virtual walkthrough’ videos for when movement was limited during restrictions.

Chris explained: "The two of us taking these steps forward together in our individual projects, saw us both begin to submit for artistic and design opportunities, which included the Theatre Royal Creative Shoots scheme."

"These few months later, it is very exciting - especially as the country emerges from the months of lockdown in early 2021 – that both of us have been welcomed by the Theatre Royal to feature in two very different projects being hosted at the theatre," he added.

He will be performing at the theatre on Culture Night, Friday, 17th September, and as part of the theatre’s ‘Live at the Royal’ series of gigs while a modular vase from Katy’s environmentally-conscious, handcrafted homeware range ‘HABOO’ will be displayed in the theatre’s vestibule for exhibition ‘Into the Spotlight – a celebration of new Waterford art’, which features art produced in Waterford by eleven visual artists during lockdown. 

Both ‘Into the Spotlight’ and ‘Live at the Royal’ originate from Theatre Royal’s artist bursary Creative Shoots, which was launched last January at the height of lockdown.

Speaking on its origins, Manager Mary Boland explained: "The Creative Shoots bursary was, during a very dark time for artists in Waterford, our attempt to provide some support to people trying to sustain their creative practice at home."

"What we discovered during that process was the sheer volume of talented Waterford creatives who were literally crying out for a way to reconnect with audiences and other artists and so we created these separate opportunities – ‘Into the Spotlight’ for visual artists and ‘Live at the Royal’ for musicians to shine a light on their work, post-lockdown."

‘Into the Spotlight – a celebration of new Waterford art’ runs at Theatre Royal until 10th September.

Admission is free and the vestibule is open Tuesday-Friday, 10am-4pm.

The ‘Live at the Royal’ series of live, inhouse gigs featuring some of Waterford’s best-known and up-and-coming artists runs at Theatre Royal throughout September in partnership with IrishBeats on Beat 102 103.

For booking information, viist www.theatreroyal.ie or call the box office on 051 874402.  

Katy’s HABOO pieces are currently available online on www.haboo.ie.

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