Speed dating in dublin city centre
“A lot of the things I know to be very successful, they’re actually not generating a huge amount of cash for the people running it,” says Agnew.“What you end up doing is having to juggle a couple of things because one thing keeps you going financially and the other thing spiritually.” There is a respectable buzz in the room as the conversations begin.
When the first 10 minutes is up and tables are switched, there’s an audible “awww” from those who were just getting into it. For Hunt & Gather, the most frequent question people ask them is about venues. Previously disused buildings that were temporarily turned into studios and creative spaces are being snapped up. A quote from Cllr Andrew Montague, who was lord mayor of Dublin from 2011 to 2012, about the council’s Vacant Space Scheme, now rings hollow: “It is in everybody’s interest to have vacant spaces in the city utilised.
Leaving them empty leaves a negative impression, while artistic and cultural activities can enhance individual streets, which is something the entire surrounding community can benefit from too.” DIY creative projects require passion, commitment, help and long hours, but space is essential.
She also runs the Dublin Flea Market and has a company called Scarfskin, which sells undyed sheepskin pelts. You can’t swing an Aeropress or plate of pulled pork without hitting a new coffee shop or chirpy new restaurant.
Many people, freed from their nine to fives, decided to take the plunge into creative endeavours. New visual representations of Dublin smile from prints in small art and design stores, and the festival aesthetic is bleeding into weddings and club nights. Ad and marketing agencies are looking to street artists.
There’s always a fascination with those who make their passion their work, especially in times of economic uncertainty, and these women have managed to excel at event production, party-throwing, publishing and printing.
Although they work in different disciplines, they are all multifaceted.
We’re open to new ideas and collaborations with people all the time.” For now, Hunt & Gather is focusing on its Nuit Blanche night market.
“It’s about bringing shoppers to trade markets, because I know the last while there’s been a decline in people purchasing at them, so it’s trying to make it more an event,” says Young says. “We are a creative collective and we focus on event design, creative consultation, we do a lot of festival work; we do large-scale art installations,” says Greene.
“When we set up, it was right in the recession: 2010.
I don’t know if we would have set up had there not been a recession, because we were very much subconsciously driven by a DIY attitude, which was the spirit in Ireland at the time, without realising it. We had nothing to lose.” Agnew is newer to this game.
I could be earning money way easier somewhere else,’ ” says Willoughby, “So you have to stay true to yourself .