Not just the home of die-hard music fans, there’s always been a place for daydreamers, deep thinkers and deviceful artists alike at Electric Picnic, a bastion of creativity with an incredible art programme running over the festival weekend, 2nd – 4th September. Prepare to have your senses uplifted and your perspectives changed by some of the leading lights of the art world, as the festival plays host to the aesthetically inclined and those who champion all things unique and undefined.
Electric Picnic Art Trail
From eye-catching sculptures to immersive interactive pieces, there are hundreds of installments stitched into the patchwork quilt of green fields and big top tents at Electric Picnic, just waiting to be found. You really never know what you might spy along the Art Trail, which presents the work of 30 artists in what can only be described as a stimulating smorgasbord of talent – and the best way to experience it? Unexpectedly, as you meander through the majestic tree trunks of Stradbally Estate. Remember, at Electric Picnic, not all those who wander are lost…
This year, Electric Picnic is delighted to support up-and-coming artists and will welcome a cohort of second year students from the Institute of Art, Design + Technology, Dún Laoghaire who, as part of their course, have designed and created a menagerie of fantastical wild animals and curious things that will sit alongside the forest section of the Art Trail. Constructed using recyclable and sustainable materials, the art will be lit up at night adding a particular kind of Electric Picnic magic. This year’s theme captures the concept of “reawakening” and “rediscovery” with participating artists taking inspiration from nature and contemporary culture to jolt you from your slumber and show you life in a new light!
Place of the Picnic Art (POPA)
The Place of the Picnic Art (POPA) returns this year with five artists selected to take residency on-site at Stradbally Estate during the festival build, spending their days painting large scale murals for display across the grounds over the weekend of Electric Picnic itself. The project has once again been curated by renowned local artist Clare Hartigan, who has been at the heart of Electric Picnic’s art scene for many years.
Clare has invited five artists to join her on POPA this year, following the theme of “Speak to Me” with an emphasis on positive body image and mental health. The artists selected are Debbie Chapman, a contemporary artist based in West Dublin, Myra O’Reilly, an Irish artist, living and working in Limerick city, Des McMahon, a printmaker also based in Limerick, contemporary abstract artist Adrienne M Finnerty, who has a background in hypno-psychotherapy, sound movement and colour therapy, and Michelle Pando-Kelly, an artist and educator from Lima, Peru.
Take a wrong turn down the forest path and you may find yourself at a place called ArtLot. Once upon a time on a little corner of Dublin city, ArtLot held its own as an open-air public exhibition space inspiring and amusing passers-by with its monthly programme of visual art and performance. When the hotel developers moved in, ArtLot was rescued by Electric Picnic and the artists were given a permanent home deep in the woods of Stradbally Estate as the festival’s alternative arts and music stage.
This year, Dublin mural painter Kevin Bohan will be presenting a large-scale solo exhibition of his new series of “Rat” paintings. Master printmaker Terrie O’Neill of Tonink Studios will be presenting an exhibition of her work and providing visitors with the opportunity to create their own limited-edition prints. The Art Doctors will be giving festival patrons a free consultation and prescribing them an art class to soothe their festival ailments. Illuminating the area, you’ll spot hanging mobile installations by Limerick based textile artist Rachel Molone, while graffiti artists will be painting throughout the weekend, accompanied by pop-up performances – think madmen dressed like grannies, freaks and funky fire eaters.
ArtLot will be programmed over the weekend by Fluttertone. Dedicated to supporting diverse and emerging artists, ArtLot is the place to see spoken word performers, bongo drummers, independent singer-song writers, queer electric pop performers and the stuff you won’t hear on the radio. After dark, ArtLot’s resident DJ Donal Sharpson will be banging out the tunes from Tomango Nightclub classics to contemporary techno. ArtLot is curated by John Kenny and Alan Mulhall of Dublin based arts collective The Glow Depot, proudly supported by Electric Picnic.