Recent success of CCAD Fine Art graduate Kevin O’Sullivan

Recent success of CCAD Fine Art graduate Kevin O’Sullivan

Published on: Friday, 05 June 2015


Kevin O'Sullivan was one of three nominees entered by the CIT Crawford College of Art & Design into The European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) 7th ELIA NEU/NOW Festival.
The ELIA NEU/NOW Festival is open to arts students in their final year of study and recent graduates (within one year of graduation) of Higher Arts Education Institutions across Europe and beyond, chosen from the categories of Design/Architecture, Film/Animation, Music/Sound, Theatre/Dance and Visual Art.
Approximately 150 projects were chosen from hundreds of applications to form this annual online event, CCAD was successful with two projects this year, however Kevin garnered further honour to be deemed one of the most innovative of 35 – 40 projects which will be presented at ELIA NEU/NOW LIVE 9 – 13 September in Amsterdam at the cultural hotspot Westergasfabriek.
Kevin’s successful piece ‘A POEM DEDICATED TO THE PAST, SPOKEN FOR THE FUTURE’, is a solo performance given live by the artist Billy Dante, Kevin’s professional pseudonym.
The project, which was deemed to engage in leading edge practice in the international field in this category and was the only project to be selected from any Irish college in the Visual Art category.
The ELIA NEU/NOW Online Festival is planned to be launched in mid-August 2015 on the website

Project Description

A POEM DEDICATED TO THE PAST, SPOKEN FOR THE FUTURE is a solo performance piece by the artist Billy Dante. The piece consists of a live reading, directed to one viewer at a time, in an otherwise empty lecture theatre. The theatre is entirely dark except for a single light shining above a podium. Billy Dante delivers the poems in a haunting, emotionless state. He is simply a vessel from which the words pour, present yet masked in white face paint. Billy Dante’s poems were entirely composed from the Phone Book, using a method of cutting up names and addresses. Each poem follows a strict structure of syllables, words, lines and paragraphs. The poems are read in a specific timing and rhythm. The symbolic use of the phone book is intended to highlight the universal quality of the work, it is made from everyone, for anyone. However given that the poems are nonsensical, their power can only be fully achieved through the artists own reading of the works. These poems refer to dying forms of expression and forgotten languages. The poems sound like some forgotten language whose understanding has been lost. The poems are not understood, they are experienced. Each piece is based on the classical poetic form i.e. O VIN JOE GORTNA JULIE PAT SILVERHEIGHT, follows the structure of a Villanelle. It is in these forms that the poems gain power, taking influence from such literary artists as Dylan Thomas, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, these works are steeped in Celtic history. The poems have no meaning, yet they carry a power. Like a Mantra, or a pagan chant, or some Christian prayer delivered in Latin, these poems avoid definition and they hover over the viewer like a profound gift. The sound and image are disjointed as the words are not spoken by the performer but they mediate through him. Symbolically referring to notions that art is a connection to a higher being.

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