‘New Chronica Dublin’
The ‘New Chronica Dublin’ book and CD project is the product of a unique collaboration between Paul O’Brien as a songwriter from the Dublin docklands area and two London based graphic artists Oliver Flexman and Steven Dickie. This book and CD came about with support from the Fire Station Artists’ Studio in Dublin and the Arts Council of Ireland.
As laureates of the Fire Station Artists in the Community Award 2006-7 Oliver and Steven spent periods of time in Dublin encountering people and groups throughout the North East Inner City area. Their research focused around East Wall, the Monto and Sheriff Street. During this period the artists explored the boundaries between myth, rumour, history and truth, by gathering many stories and folklores, as remembered by people from their own experience of passed down through the generations.
These stories have been edited and translated into the graphic work in this book. The style reinvigorates the stories, showing them in a homogenized and enforced way.
The final element of this work is the collaboration between the artists and Paul. Paul has responded to the graphic stories, producing new songs for each story. The idea of interpretation and re-interpretation has gripped the artists, and can be seen as the central factor for understanding and living with social history.
Just like the inhabitants of the area the stories range from the mundane to the extraordinary, however they are all firmly located in the rich milieu, which is this undoubtedly unique environment. The project animates the community, and asks the questions about how the community sees itself, its diversity and its development over the last one hundred years. Folklore is treated as public and private ideas, collected together to express the overview of a culturally complicated community.