Last August Bank Holiday weekend, with immense pleasure we brought DELVE back once again to  Spraoi Festival, Waterford with artists Ashton and Oran Leong.

The DELVE (Discover, Explore, Learn, Visualise and Engage) programme – aims to support artists to experience and be inspired by art through a range of festivals and programmes throughout Ireland. We go, we see, we watch, we listen, we learn, we connect with art and art makers and we get inspired.

Ashton and Oran joined ISACS Director, Lucy Medlycott in attending the following:

Here’s what our artists had to say about their DELVE experience:

Attending Spraoi as a DELVE artist was a brilliant experience! It gave me the opportunity to see shows, chat with other artists and industry professionals, and have insight into aspects of the sector I haven’t directly worked in.

Watching shows was inspirational, and will be very helpful as I develop new work – I was able to observe not only the beautiful performances, but also the audience response to different approaches. It was a rare chance to really “watch”; to see how artists gather crowds, build momentum, drive narrative and use circus skills to make street theatre.

I have made connections with artists, programmers and industry professionals that I will continue to develop over the next months and years; it feels like a springboard to future happenings! I’m particularly grateful to have spent time with Lucy and the other members of the ISACS team who came to the festival. Being a freelancer can feel pretty isolated at times, but the support from these fantastic humans is incredible; their work to enable and encourage artists is transformative.

Thank you ISACS, and the powerhouse that is Lucy, for supporting me to attend Spraoi – it’s a very special festival, and it was my pleasure and privilege to attend it as part of DELVE.

– Ashton

DELVE at Spraoi was a tighten-your-laces show-and-network marathon! Despite having worked in aerial arts these last couple of years, my knowledge of circus and street arts has been lacking compared to that in dance. The busyness of a performer’s life can land them with, ironically, a lack of diverse artistic perspective and charge; that has certainly been the case with me. Because of DELVE, I’ve had the time to witness and appreciate a variety of disciplines within these sectors which have in turn informed my own multidisciplinary practice. A good shake up was needed and a Spraoi explosion is what I got! Many notes have been jotted down about what acts appealed and what didn’t, what evoked audience reaction, worked as site-specific, made me say mmhmm or ugh-ugh and what shone out as master craftsmanship which transpires all disciplines and artforms. I store these thoughts and gems in my artist’s trove for future creativity, inspiration and guidance.

I think the most enjoyable aspect of the programme was being able to wholly immerse myself with informed company. Having post-show conversations with the other ISACS delegates about what we all saw further stimulated my brain in that real nerdy artist sense that makes you challenge your own practice and approach to art. I am particularly grateful to Lucy and the other ISACS members who made me feel most welcome and seem genuinely invested in all of the ISACS members. I am so grateful for this opportunity and support. Thank you ISACS!

– Oran Leong

Gallery of images