Staff Reporter, Gulf Today
Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Ireland has unveiled its pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which draws inspiration from both classical western and Islamic architectural traditions and which will host a range of activities during the six-month long event.
Designed by Irish Architect, Ciarn O’ Connor, the Ireland Pavilion presents Ireland as an unrivalled place of inspiration, with a long and deeply rooted heritage of ingenuity, imagination and innovation.
The Ireland Pavilion in the Mobility District at Expo 2020 will feature daily performances by musicians at The Courtyard and workshops with Coder Dojo as well as Expo World Choir lead by Ireland’s National Concert Hall and lively St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Ireland’s theme for Expo 2020 Dubai is Putting Creativity at the Centre of Human Experience in the 21st Century. The building plan is made up of two conjoined, square elements. The first is fully enclosed and climate-controlled. The second is a cloistered courtyard.
To one side is an enclosed room, with a glazed wall to the courtyard, which will house the permanent exhibition, “We Are The Makers”. The exhibition expresses the essence of Irish culture; art, literature, music and song.
Upon entering the pavilion, visitors will step into the Oculus Room where they will enjoy a short, high impact, immersive, visual and vocal experience of Irish culture, highlighting its theme for Expo 2020, followed by a striking digital display of the breath-taking Irish landscape on a slow-moving loop.
The Pavilion includes The Courtyard, where visitors can relax and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and regular music performances from The Expo Players, the Pavilions in-house ensemble, performing Irish music. The Expo players are drawn from a deep well of young Irish musical talent and will introduce visitors to Irish music, its history, instruments and stories.
They will also create their own interpretations of songs from the Irish songbook, in engaging performances that will reveal the background to and history of the songs. With musicians rotating monthly, the Expo Players will reflect a young, talented Ireland and offer audiences an authentic insight into qualities of creativity and virtuosity that are flourishing in Irish music.
Commissioner General of Ireland Pavilion Pat Hennessy said: “We are very excited to welcome visitors from across the globe to our inspiring Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. We have an exciting programme which celebrates Irish creativity in all its many forms. You will be informed, be entertained and above you will be given a warm Irish welcome. Our visitors will see the exciting work of talented Irish designers, innovators and inventors.
“The Pavilion will offer a host of workshops for visitors of all ages whether you want to be part of our Coderdojo groups, or to learn more about Irish music and culture. We also look forward to exciting events on which we are cooperating outside our own Pavilion. Our visitors will certainly see why we say Ireland is a great place to visit, study, invest or do business.” For those seeking traditional Irish activities, the Ireland Pavilion will host a variety of lively events for visitors of all ages to enjoy over the next six months. Key events include the Expo World Choir at Jubilee Park led and created by conductor David Brophy in December. The Ireland Pavilion extends an invitation to all participating countries at Expo, Expo staff, hosts and guests to join them and each other for this incredible project which perfectly captures Expo’s collective and collaborative ethos.
This special Christmas will feature a specially created musical ensemble, guest singers and the Expo World Choir, performing the great Irish songbook in a unique international gathering in Jubilee Park. The song list will range from You Raise Me Up, to U2’s One, as well as festive favourites. The choir will be selected, mobilised and coached online by David Brophy in the weeks preceding the event.
For Ireland’s National Day, St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, the Ireland Pavilion will host a variety of engaging events throughout the day to showcase the lively spirit of Ireland on the significant day. A key highlight will see Martin Hayes, one of Ireland’s most revered traditional musicians, lead a specially created concert exploring Irish music from its roots right through to a highly charged, contemporary rendition of traditional forms.
Especially for Expo 20202, the Irish Songbook will focus on iconic Irish songs including classics from U2, The Cranberries, Hozier, Snow Patrol and The Corrs to name a few. On St. Patrick’s Day, special guests will perform both Irish traditional music and songs from the Irish songbook.
Creative workshops will take place at The Hamilton Room in the heart of the pavilion. The room provides a hub for a wide range of cultural, business and diplomatic conversations, connections and engagements during the six months of Expo. Visitors aged between 7 and 17 can enjoy free programming workshops lead by Coder Dojo, the global volunteer lead coding initiative for the youth community.
oder Dojo’s work encapsulates the Expo theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ It also demonstrates the inherently creative nature of coding, thus adding another dimension to our theme of putting creativity at the centre of human experience in the 21st century. The Chester Beatty is the pre-eminent Irish museum promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures with holdings of manuscripts, rare books, and other treasures from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia.
Chester Beatty will provide displays and workshops at the pavilion and will contribute to intercultural and multi-cultural discussion at Expo. The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) will host a series of panel discussions featuring academics, creative practitioners, activists, public policy figures and politicians.
Coinciding with the centenary of the Irish State, Expo 2020 provides an opportunity to showcase how creativity is an organising principle in Irish life exploring how, at different times in the State’s history, creativity in political, economic, scientific and cultural spheres led to positive change and at other times its absence has stalled progressive developments.