The Dragon of Shandon is another street parade celebration of Samhain and comprises a creative partnership between artists and communities that takes place on the night of Monday 31 October in the heart of Shandon, Cork. Each year hundreds take to the streets of Shandon to walk with the Dragon as it travels between worlds in a celebration of the living and the dead accompanied by an assortment of modelled creatures.
The evening parade is the result of an extensive outreach and participatory programme that spans several months of workshops with youth groups, the community and voluntary sector, schools and voluntary participants. The centrepiece of each parade is the Dragon, 12 meters of sellotape and animated by twelve puppeteers on the night who walk it through the streets of Shandon along with an array of illuminated props, lanterns and characters. The show opens at the Shandon Craft Center/Butter Exchange building at 6.30pm. Visit http://www.corkcommunityartlink.com/ for more details.
A Word from Artlink:
“In 2006 and with over 10 years experience of street based projects Artlink considered the option of creating a new stand alone street event in Cork City. We were clear from the outset that we wanted to celebrate and build upon existing local traditions and culture rather than imposing an event purely from an artistic standpoint. We were equally clear that a strong artistic vision would permeate the layers of collaborative engagement. We were clear that we wanted to create an event that could be appropriated by communities and groups, a model that could be replicated by others elsewhere. We were also clear that the event should follow a natural growth curve, starting small and deliberately low profile and if it was to be successful its growth would occur naturally. We were also more than clear that we had a tiny operational budget to make it happen and rather be hampered by this obvious fact and it should become a strength rather than a weakness and influence a strong ethos of voluntary participation and a spirit of can do rather than can’t.
The decision to celebrate Samhain was straightforward. Out and about on the streets of Cork on the night of the 31st the night is celebrated by both young and the not so young. A tradition celebrated in the home, on the streets, in the countryside and exported worldwide.
In Shandon the Dragon has found a rich and varied landscape making it a natural home for an outdoor evening event. From the narrow lanes, the rich architectuure, the presence of the Lee at the foot of the area, the residential community and the large number of community and voluntary organisations that operate in and around the area.
Artlink’s role in the story of the Dragon has been simply to enable, bring people together and ultimately inspire so that for one night people take to the streets in a creative celebration of Samhain- a time between times.”