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Magics and Ritual

Core festival October/November with additional events throughout the year

The Irish Georgian Societies City Assembly House,  additional venues

The 2022 theme was Magics and Ritual. Ritual is critical in all processes of life. The daily ritual of how we develop a relationship with tasks, with people and objects in our short time on earth. Developing relationships with forces beyond this earth also requires ritual. It is needed to connect us. This is where magic comes into play. Soon the magic of life and ritual become one. Drawing from Ireland's rich history of paganism and witchcraft, this year's theme will bring us beyond the bounds of this earth. The 2022 Fire Brand Breda Lynch inspired work that also draws on queer magic,  queer occultism, and queer gothic in the programme. The festival location and partner was The National Georgian Societies City Assembly House in the Knight of Glin Room (the first purpose built gallery space in Europe) and the O’Connell Room. The site was bulit between 1766 and 1771.

You can access the 2022 catalogue here
You can access our wonderful private funders here. We would also like to thank Dublin City Council Arts Office for their support.

Documentation by photographer Chad Alexander. Thank you to everyone who came to the festival and to the artists themselves.

More additional events for 2022 can be found under the NEWS section which includes;

Kevin Nolan - Let’s All Get Nervous Listening  Party with The Big Romance
The Clay Creatures sculpural workshop with 8 young artists from ChildVision

Our award winners were:

Audience Favourite - Michael Keane
Best Emerging Artist - Anne O’Brien (The Hardliners)
Dark Heart Award - Glenn McQuaid
Best in Show - Alice Maher

The 2022 programme artists are listed below:

Aepril Schaile

I Guard Your Death.
Sorcery, Prophecy, Otherworld
Performance 8 - 8.20, October 31st

A medial, ritual performance of dance and poetry.

Via dance and chanted poetry Aepril will give testimony to her communications and devotional workings with The Morrigan, her sorcerous magicks, her poems and prophecies, as well as personal interactions with the Sídhe, necromantic encounters, and initiations via the landscape. She will draw on Irish source texts such as the Cath Maige Tuired, documented folklore, charms and spells, approaching them with night-perception and weaving them into an embodied, oracular dream of invoked and shifting presences.

Aepril is an Irish-American diaspora descendant; she is also an immigrant living in Sligo, Ireland. This performance speaks to the recalibration of her energetic body as a Witch via engagement with the land and spirits, ancestral connections remembered, shifting cultural perspectives, a quest for sovereignty and belonging, and increasing feelings of urgency and outrage concerning ecology and kinship with our non-human relations. She draws on her lived experience dancing in stone circles and forests of Ireland.

Artist Bio:
Aepril Schaile is an American witch, dancer, poet, teacher and astrologer living in Ireland. She has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe teaching and performing bellydance and performance art. She is the owner of Aepril’s Arcana. Aepril walks the serpent path along the western Irish sea-coast and forests with her canine companion Gwyddion. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art.

Follow the artist at her website, Instagram, Twitter and Patreon.

Pauline Cummins and Ailbhe MacDonagh

What is Life? (2022)
Performance 6.30 - 7.30, October 31st

This work is a new performance by Pauline Cummins with Ailbhe McDonagh, entitled, What is Life? The artist will present images of grieving, mourning and acceptance, in the beautiful building of The Georgian Society, Dublin. This new work, made especially for Soul Noir, reflects on our recent history of loss and isolation and on the Victorian's rituals around death and dying.

Artist Bios:
Pauline Cummins’ performance and video work examines the human condition from a feminist perspective. Research driven themes of the political body, activism, human rights and gender are often explored in the artist’s practice. Cummins likes to collaborate with artists and communities in public sites and situations; including within prisons as a visiting artist and was the founding chairperson of the Women’s Artist Action Group, (WAAG). Cummins lectured at the National College of Art and Design from 1994 – 2014. Her work is in both national and international collections including The Irish Museum of Modern Art and the National Maternity Hospital. Commissions include the Newgrange Interpretive Centre, New St. Park (Dublin) and the National Maternity Hospital.

Current exhibitions include The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, Protest and Conflict, IMMA. Additionally a new retrospective book of Walking in the Way: Performing Masculinity, Pauline Cummins and Frances Mezzetti, published by WAAG is now available and can be purchased here. Cummins was  recently an Artist in Residence at The Irish Museum of Modern Art from 2021 – 2022.

Follow the artist at her website here.

Irish cellist Ailbhe McDonagh is an international soloist, chamber musician and composer who performs throughout Europe, Asia and the USA.She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York (Steven Doane) and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin (Aisling Drury-Byrne, William Butt). McDonagh gave her debut recital with celebrated Irish pianist John O’Conor at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland.
'Out of several performances of the Beethoven A major sonata heard over 30 years, McDonagh’s was the most musically complete and satisfying' (The Irish Times)As a chamber musician, she performs with ‘The McDonagh Sisters’ with pianist Orla McDonagh. She is also a member of the Ficino Ensemble and the crossover traditional Irish music group, Trio Elatha where she plays traditional Irish music on the cello.
McDonagh is also an established composer with numerous compositions and commissions to her name. Boosey & Hawkes, London published two books of her piano music entitled ‘It’s a Piano Thing’ and more recently ‘It’s a Cello Thing’, two books of her pedagogical pieces for cello. Further works for cello include a solo suite commissioned by the Arts Council of Ireland and the title piece for her recent ‘Skellig’ album for cello and piano. McDonagh has also been published by ABRSM, RIAM and Hal Leonard McDonagh's albums include 'Beethoven: Complete Cello Sonatas 1-5‘ (2021, Steinway & Sons music label, New York) with renowned pianist and Beethoven specialist John O'Conor 'It’s a Cello Thing’ (2012 CD of the week on RTE Lyric FM) and ‘Skellig’ (2020 Irish Examiner, Top Picks of the Year). McDonagh joined the cello faculty of the RIAM in 2010 and she enjoys regular invitations to give masterclasses. She performs on a Postacchini cello.

Follow the artist at her website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Alice Maher

Cassandra’s Necklace(2013)

This ritual neck piece in the form of a necklace of tongues, was created by Alice Maher in conjunction with jewellery maker Daniele Vesque. It was made in response to the artist’s own film ‘Cassandra’s Necklace’, in which the eponymous seer of Troy, played by Charlie Murphy, dons a necklace of lamb’s tongues as a symbol of defiance.  This is to signify the voice that was taken from her and from all people who raise their voices and are violently silenced.  

Artist Bio:

Alice Maher is a visual artist.  Her work touches on a wide range of subjects often reprising, challenging and expanding mythic and vernacular narratives. Her artistic practice spans painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, animation and video.  Her first major solo show was at the Douglas Hyde Gallery Dublin in 1994. That same year she represented Ireland at the Sao Paolo biennale. In 2012 the Irish Museum of Modern Art presented a retrospective of the artists 30 year practice. ‘Becoming’ included many iconic works as well as a newly commissioned film, ‘Cassandra’s Necklace’. Her work can be seen in many international collections including The Neuberger Museum, The Hammond Museum, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MOMA, the British Museum and the Georges Pompidou Centre Paris.

Follow the artist at her website and Instagram.

Andrew Manson

The Moon (2021)

The Moon (2021), painted in thin washes of Payne’s Grey Acrylic, on plywood with a blue ground and is 30cm x 39cm, Andrew has always been intrigued by the New Moon appearing over the hill behind his house, while light lingers in the sky, for these 40 years.

Artist Bio:

(Originally from Brighton, United Kingdom) is a graduate from the Dun Laoghaire art school. He specialises in fine art painting but also works in photography, performance and film. His work embraces the tradition of remembrance in art and daily practice.Andrews collections of small paintings and accompanying photography often become the ingredients of his larger 'Diary' pieces or 'This Is Not A Game' series 1980's on the Gulf and Yugoslavian wars and his more recent 'This Is A Game' paintings: Concerning the artistic life.Manson's works are characterised by the use of everyday activities in which shared differences play an important role. Manson takes daily life as his subject matter, making work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive.Manson's serious works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the good effects of questioning our place in the false histories that propound the here & now. Andrew's works have been selected for the RHA 1982, 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. Andrew is the founder of Ballyrogan House and works and lives there.

Follow the artist at his website and Facebook. 

Ann Ensor

Alltar (2022)

This work ‘Alltar’ was made by growing the mycelium of the Golden Oyster Mushroom. Spores of this fungus were grown on straw, wastepaper and old wool using a plastic water bottle as a mould. They were then crystallised by baking the form in the oven. The mushroom caps were made from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast known as a scoby. This is used in making kambucha. The excess was dried and moulded over bowls. The shrine was made from steam bending air dried oak.  

Artist Bio:

Ann Ensor’s practice explores entangled milieus in plant, microscopic and human worlds. She seeks to ask questions on our anthropomorphic relationship with nonhuman organisms. Her work investigates the subject/object and culture/nature dichotomies and looks to be a catalyst in changing our relationship with nonhumans, to seeing ourselves as part of an entanglement of forces or a hyper object. Environmental issues are central to her practice. Ensor has been researching soil and in particular mycelium, which is the vegetative part of a fungus. It consists of a mass of branching hyphae fibres feeding on debris underground. Mycelium can  digest all forms of materials from flesh, plants, rocks, waste of all sorts, pollutants, and even radioactive material. They have been around the planet long before humans and have been cleaning up their mess and working at rebalancing the planet. Ensor’s sculptures raise awareness as to what is meaningful to us individually and collectively in this way of considering matter and asks questions of the need to revaluate our androcentric world to a world of shared spirituality with other milieus.

Ann Ensor, graduated from NCAD in 2015 with a first-class honours degree and completed an MFA in NCAD in 2017 and her work ‘Fusing Forces’ was selected for the R.D.S. Visual Arts Awards Finals in 2017. She has just completed a residency at Loughshinny Boathouse in April/May 2022. Her recent work has been included in Earth Rising IMMA Eco-Festival 2022, Complexdublin Gallery, Lost Green, 2021, Duo Show curated by Mark O’Gorman and Paul McGrane

Rua Red Winter Open 2021

Complex Gallery Ceremony, 2020, Duo Show curated by Mark O’Gorman and Paul McGrane

Solo Show Holdfast, Amharc Fhine Gall at Draiocht 2020 curated by Sharon Murphy

Publication, HoldFast, Amharc Fhine Gall commissioned by Fingal County Council Arts Office

Residency 2019 at Ballinglen Arts Centre, Mayo

Exhibitions 2019, Open Submissions, Royal Ulster Academy Annual Show

Soul Noir Festival ,2021, 2019,2018,2017

The Court House Gallery 2019

Fingal Co. Council Artists’ Support Scheme award 2021, 2020, 2019 & 2018

Exhibited at Peripheries Open, 2018, Gorey School of Art, open submission

Exhibited with Louisa Casas at Pallas Project Studio for the Open Submission Artist - Initiated Projects, Oct - Nov 2018

Exhibited at Heavy Weather, group show at the Complex, 2018

Exhibited in the RHA Summer Show 2018

Exhibited at KFest 2018

Follow the artist at her website, Instagram and Soundcloud. 

Boz Mugabe


Boz Mugabe is a visual artist living and working in Ireland. In former life Boz worked rapidly by candlelight on illicit and heretical codices, narrowly avoiding much-deserved execution.

Follow the artist on his website, Instagram and Facebook.

Breda Lynch (The 2022 Fire Brand)

Witch Shop (2015 - present)

The artworks presented in Soul Noir are from a larger body of work titled Fragments of a Lost
Civilisation, which is ongoing in its production since 2015. These cyanotype/digital prints are
meditations on our relationship with rituals informed by occultism, spirituality and consumerism.

Artist Bio:

Breda Lynch - born in Kilkenny and lives in Limerick city where she works as a full-time lecturer in Fine Art at Limerick School of Art and Design. She holds a BA (Hons)Degree in Fine Art Print at Crawford College of Art, an MA in Fine Art fromChelsea College of Art and Design, London and an MPhil in Fine Art Print and Digital Media from the University of Wolverhampton. A visual artist working in a variety of media, including drawing, photography, print and digital media, video and installation. She engages with dialogues and discourses on - queer feminisms, the western mystery tradition and occulture, appropriation and the economy of the image. Lynch has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in Ireland and abroad. A recipient of several awards and residencies Lynch is included in national and private collections. Her work was recently purchased by IMMA - Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Arts Council of Ireland for their permanent collections.

Follow the artist at her website and Twitter.

Chloe McKeown

I’m watching this bcz i killed my first pigeon (2020)

This work uses footage, comments and product shots found online to examine the act of bird hunting.The work explores tactics that are used to lure birds in for shooting and calls into question the classification of these birds as ‘pest’ or ‘vermin’. It explores how this language is used to justify the objectification of these non-humans.

Artist Bio:

Chloe McKeown is an emerging multidisciplinary artist who graduated from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in 2020 with a first class honours BA in Art. She is based outside of Navan in county Meath, where her working environment is surrounded by the rural landscape and various agricultural practices taking place in the area. Her work examines the ways in which the bodies of non-human animals are objectified and commodified by the human animal. This is done by investigating industries that are reliant on this commodification. The apparatus of these industries and the language surrounding them are used as a material to create work that explores and defamiliarizes everyday forms of exploitation. She works across a range of media, including text, sculptural installation and most notably video. She has exhibited work in shows such as Surveyor(2020) at Solstice Arts Centre and In the making: Appraisal(2020) at Pallas Projects/Studios, and has received an Arts Council Agility Award(2022).

Follow the artist at her website and Instagram.

Conor Connolly

Tendrils (2016) Detail

Like a plant seeking the sunlight, the seeker must instead plunge
into the darkness and send questing tendrils deep underground to plumb
the depths of occult knowledge, and through the use of rituals and
perseverance unearth the seeds of new wisdom.

Artist Bio:

I'm a self-taught artist, based in Dublin, with professional experience in Graphic Design and Publishing. My academic background includes Literature, Classics, and Psychology. I am also active in the Dublin dark alternative music scene, as DJ and club promoter/organiser, since the 90s. Generally, whether it's music books, art, TV, or movies, if it's dark and twisted I'll probably like it.

Follow the artist on his Instagram and Facebook. 

Conor Mary Foy

Seekers (2015)
Seekers is a narrative video piece which follows two hooded figures tensely pursuing two others through a dark forest. Conor Mary Foy’s artwork uses baroque and rich visual language and strong intuitive narratives to engage the audience. His work explores related themes from his research and interests including: folk culture, fictions, group dynamics, ritual, cults, sci-fi, and utopian societies.

Artist Bio:
Conor Mary Foy works in video, sculpture, sound, installation, live art, photography, drawing, print, and painting. He lives in Dublin and has exhibited widely including in recognised private galleries and publicly funded arts spaces in solo, two person and group exhibitions. His work has been acclaimed by public broadcasters and national press, and is featured in private collections. Foy is a graduate of NCAD and was the winner of the Temple Bar Gallery and Studies Recent Graduate Studio Residency 2014-2015.

Follow the artist at his website.

David Bickley


One of a series of works exploring abstract forms within natural imagery augmented by motion processing and an electronic score / sound design. This and others in the series were inspired by reading “The Alfred Wallis Factor” and general research into the St. Ives arts colony and the birth of abstraction in the area known as West Penwith (a place where a lot of my own work has been conceived and created). The creative / technical process to make these works is extremely arcane & complex and each new incarnation of this style is part of journey of discovery / rediscovery to help build a new calligraphy of process.

Artist Bio:
"We look but we don't always see. David Bickley's generous and beautiful work reminds us what we are missing..." Carmel Winters, film maker, Snap Artist, filmmaker and composer — currently film artist in residence at CCI Paris 2022. My work has a marked foundation in landscape, using ideas mined from nature-myth and folklore, and the curation of these, to inform and evolve the texture of lives, and the resurrection, resuscitation of ancient motif.

Work exhibited / screened —
Revision, Belfast; Cork
International, Seattle Office of
Arts; Glucksman & Crawford, Cork; Signs of the Night; Paris Film Festival; Bibart Biennale; Coventry Cathedral; Black Box Tehran; Luminous Void; Mart, Projection mapping for Paralympics in Japan and “The Burning of Cork” centenary.
Awarded Best Experimental Film, Europe Film Festival; BAI documentary award; Best Director, Fastnet; O2 Digital Media Award.
Recent collaboration, Suzy Moxhay (UK, RA), Hina Kahn (Pakistan) and Shi Yu Pai (US / Korea).
Documentary arts film, The Man Who Shot Beckett (RTÉ Beckett 100) and The Celtic Songlines (BAI).
Composed the ambient score for Architects of the Air's Luminarium and Ridley Scott’s The Terror; founder and creative force behind Hyper[borea] (Hot Press Award).

Musical collaborations inc; Hans Joachim Roedelius (Cluster), Tom Green (The Orb), Dónal Lunny, Interference and Black (Wonderful Life).

Follow the artist on his website and bandcamp.

Dead Craftsman

Confession (2020)

Dead Craftsman is wondering between the boundaries  of slumber land and land of living, collecting the waste elements of pop culture and incorporating them with cut and shattered bits of photographs taken by his own camera. Firmly refusing to be called an artist, Dead Craftsman is using modern technology to pay homage to anonymous masters of medieval visual arts. As he claims, constant battle between sacrum and profanum  became main inspiration of all collage works produced in recent years.

Email Soul Noir at for more information about the artist. 

Diana Chambers

Woman (2022)

Diana Chambers is a painter based in Kilkenny and part of the KCAT studio. In 'Woman' the artist depicts a female figure in the ritual of garment making at  a sewing  machine.

Artist Bio:
After having participated in a number of visual arts courses at KCAT over the years, Diana joined the studio group in 2015. She is a prolific painter who takes her inspiration from sourced imagery and objects.

Follow the artist at her website here

Dolorosa de la Cruz

Red Goddess with Sun Mask (2016)

Dolorosa de la Cruz is a visual artist based in Dublin, Ireland. Her art is an ongoing enquiry into spiritual, magical and esoteric matters, through the female sensibility. Capturing phantastical and talismanic presences, observing their mysteries and sexualities, through drawing, sculpture, object making.

Follow the artist at her Instagram.

Eoin O’ Callaghan

Acceptance (2021)

Perhaps the most common ritual practised by all cultures and religions is mourning the dead. Those rituals, as varied as they might be, at their heart, all serve the same purpose: to help those who remain behind accept that a loved one has passed on. The final work of art is entirely handmade, a single strand of exceptionally fine, high-quality thread is wound between 500 pins. The pattern of over 4000 steps was generated by the artist working in tandem with a custom computer program. The unbroken thread measures 2.75km in length. The work is 40x50cm and it was completed in August 2021.

Artist Bio:

I have always loved both the artistic and the analytical. When I was introduced to computers at an early age I delved into all forms of digital art. When I later learned to program, I taught myself the fundamental principles of how these algorithms worked and how to recreate them myself. In college I studied for a degree in mathematics, followed by a PhD in a branch of algorithmic mathematics. When I learned of the artist and how he combines both digital and physical art I knew I had to figure it out for myself. Starting from a photograph, a custom mathematical algorithm drives a computer program to generate a prediction of how the physical artwork will look. Working in tandem with the program, I carefully tune and optimise the photograph to produce the best result possible. Finally, a pattern is created which guides a human hand to create a three-dimensional artwork. The result is not a two-dimensional image, but a three-dimensional creation with a depth and a structure which changes with both the lighting of its environment and the perspective of the viewer.
I adopted the name raythreading to capture the essence of this form of art. It is inspired by raytracing, a form of computer art where an image is rendered by tracing how rays of light bounce around an environment. In raythreading, rays of thread appear to bounce from pin to pin in a dance which, in the microscopic appears to be pure chaos, but in the macroscopic is highly choreographed to create a work of art capable of capturing humanity, nature, and the abstract.

Follow the artist on his website and Instagram

Felix Faulkner

Black Cat Oil (2015)

This piece was designed as a container for personal and precious totemic items. The contents can be assigned significance by the holder of the box or indeed, changed for other totems. The materials used have little intrinsic value but the design and function make it an object to treasure.

Artist Bio:

I am a jewellery designer/maker and artist, trained as a goldsmith, in Zimbabwe and Germany. My work has been widely exhibited in the UK and Ireland and I was 2006 RDS National Craft Competition group winner (Mixed metals). I became interested, some years ago, in the rise in popularity of alternative attitudes towards philosophies, beliefs, wellbeing and aesthetics. This led to a series of pieces based on shamanistic practices, including totems and talismans and the piece on show was developed from this exploration.

Follow the artist at his Facebook.

Fergus Fitzgerald

The National Gallery (2022)

Fergus Fitzgerald is a painter based in Kilkenny and a member of the KCAT studio. He has a strong interest in history and architecture as we can see his work The National Gallery (2022).

Artist Bio:

Originally from Dublin, Fergus is now settled in Camphill Carrick-on-Suir. Having worked through the KCAT part-time course and Open studio group, he has now joined the Studio full time. Fergus is an avid traveller, particularly to Italy, and this location greatly informs his work. A lover of linguistics and books, Fergus enjoys thoroughly researching his subjects for paintings.

Follow the artist at his website.

Glenn McQuiad (Witchboard) and Austin Hearne

It’s Been Emotional (2017)

Witchboard grew out of an obsession with Night Music, particularly post punk bands like Tones on Tail and early Cocteau Twins. DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing has also influenced the project in terms of the hunt for, and use of, esoteric samples. Though the name of the project comes from the 1986 Movie, it also hints at the deeper undercurrent within the music, something ritualistic and magic that awaits those that dare. Album cover by artist Austin Hearne.

Artist Bio’s:

Glenn McQuaid’s feature film debut I SELL THE DEAD, starring Larry Fessenden, Dominic Monaghan, and Ron Perlman, saw a healthy international film festival run before its release by IFC Films in the US and Anchor Bay in Canada, UK, and Australia. The film was well received by critics and has become a favorite among fans of horror comedy. McQuaid has since contributed the anthology segments Tuesday the 17t to V/H/S, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and The Trouble with Dad to Chiller TV’s Chilling Visions: Five States of Fear. Since 2011, McQuaid, together with Larry Fessenden, has produced the popular audio-drama series, and now podcast, TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE, which features performances from Vincent D'onofrio, Sean Young, Lance Reddick, Misha Collins, Ron Perlman, Tony Todd,  James Le Gros and a regular stable of performers. As well as scoring music for Tales From Beyond the Pale McQuaid makes music under the Witchboard moniker, which he describes as “ambient goth music”, he is also one half of avant-garde band Satin Shadow, a collaboration with Irish artist, Austin Hearne. McQuaid has received Communicator Awards for excellence in writing and directing as well as been awarded best audio drama series in 2016 for Tales from Beyond the Pale Season 3 (The 2017 NYF International Radio Program Awards).He is currently working on The Restoration at Grayson Manor.

Follow the artist on his Soundcloud.

Austin Hearne is an Irish artist living in Dublin. In 2021 he collaborated on a music project Satin Shadow with film maker and music producer Glenn McQuaid with a live stream performance in The Complex as part of Tanad Aaron and Mark Swords exhibition Portico. His film work Whispers was recently shown on RTÉ Culture (online) with an essay about the work in VAN. In 2022 Austin had solo shows in Gorey School of Art and The Complex. He was part of two Queer themed group shows in The Luan Gallery and Ballina Arts Centre. In November 2022 he has a large solo show in The RHA, titled Requiem for Raymo. He currently holds a project studio in Temple Bar Galleries and Studios.

Follow the artist on his website and Instagram.

Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies

Lifting the Veil: Voices of Our Community Talk, 2022 speaker , 6 – 7pm, November 1st

Dara Downey lectures in American and Gothic literature in Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University. Her research focuses on domesticity in American Gothic. She is the editor of The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies(online, open-access), and writing a literary biography of Shirley Jackson (Palgrave, 2024). Downey will discuss the journal's history and future alongside her own individual research and work.

Speaker Bio:

Dara Downey lectures in English in Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University. She is the author of American Women’s Ghost Stories in the Gilded Age (2014), editor of The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, and co-editor (with Ian Kinane and Elizabeth Parker) of Landscapes of Liminality: Between Space and Place (2016). She is currently working on a literary biography of Shirley Jackson for Palgrave Macmillan’s Literary Lives series, and is also researching the depiction of domestic servants in American Gothic.

Follow Dr. Dara Downey on her blog and Twitter. 

Journal Background:

The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies (ISSN 2009-0374) is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, open-access, online scholarly publication dedicated to the study of gothic and horror literature, film, new media, and television. It is published on an annual basis (with some delays as a result of the pandemic).

Follow the Journal on the official website and Twitter.

John Coffey

You Can Cast All Your Troubles to the Wind (Girl on a Swing) (2022)

This painting has had two lives. Its first incarnation was bright and breezy (but sadly had no swing). Now, after a series of 'chance' alterations, the artist shows us a new version of the painting, as if 'in a glass darkly'.

Artist Bio:
At the turn of the century, John Coffey was making performance/video art. Now, after a long hiatus, he is painting landscapes. Recently, his work has been selected for exhibition by the Royal Ulster Academy and has been acquired for the collection of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Follow the artist on his Facebook. 

Michael Keane

Draco Tenebris (2020)

My sculpture for Soul Noir is inspired by the myth of the gothic period. Dragons, gargoyles, grotesques and keystones were placed on buildings to keep away evil spirits. I sculpted Draco Tenebris in ceramic clay. It was fired in a kiln at 1,160° and then finished with an iron oxide to give an aged, mystical look.

Artist Bio:
Michael works mostly in bronze or clay. He is very much at home with representational, figurative and animal sculpture. Michael is based in Dublin, Ireland, where he has his workshop. He creates his sculpture both by himself and in collaboration with other artists, e.g., in the case of large-scale projects over the years. With a certificate in fine art and an advanced diploma in fine art sculpture, Michael has accumulated vast experience in bronze casting, ceramics, portraiture and mould making. Influenced by classical sculptors and more modern sculptors like Rodin, Alberto Giacometti and the animal sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, Michael is always evolving his art form.

Follow the artist on his website. 

Michelle Hannah


Michelle Hannah (she/they) is an artist, performing creature, dank sound maker, photographer, and occasional curator type. Currently Leo born & living in Glasgow. At the core of their practice is the exploration into the detritus of queer futurity and cosmic pessimism within the Anthropocene; through expanded photography, 3D imagery, sound, artificial intelligence, speculative text, moving image and durational performance.

Exhibited and performed at places such as:
Talbot Rice Gallery Edinburgh, HOME Manchester, CGP London, ZKU Berlin, Central St Martins London, DCA Dundee, BALTIC Newcastle, Minsheung Art Museum Shanghai, Artlicks London, Tyneside Cinema Newcastle, Suttie Arts Aberdeen, GOMA Glasgow, The Royal Standard Liverpool, ESW Edinburgh, The Cooper Gallery Dundee, Dresden Film Festival, TULCA Festival Galway, and curated events for the Glasgow Film Festival, nightclub ROST, No Bounds Radio in London and other future ventures.

Follow the artist at their Instagram.

Mona Power

Self Portrait with Ectoplasm (2020)

In Self Portrait with Ectoplasm (2020) she employs the Anthotype process, a 17th century method of image production involving sunlight and plant pigments. The resulting image is highly sensitive to light, and can only be preserved in darkness. This work was inspired by the book Phantasmagoria by Marina Warner, in which the author delves into the history of spirit mediums and spiritual photography. The ephemerality of the work will cause it to fade over the course of this exhibition.

Artist Bio:
Mona Power is a multidisciplinary artist of German-Irish descent. Her work is process-driven and investigative, touching on the folklore and science of the natural world.

Follow the artist on her website and Instagram. 

Olive Barrett

Positive negative (2022)Detail

The works represent light and dark, positive and negative in nature and in our lives. The textile print installation is taken from sketches of shadows from trees while the form and the flow of the fabric to the ground represents the flow and energy of a waterfall.  Here the work represents life cycles, continuity and renewal.  The light cannot be, only for the existence of darkness and a balance and movement cannot be achieved without acknowledging that both positive and negative exists.

Though positive is day, negative is night,
Later is dark and former is bright.

Without darkness there is no meaning of bright,
Day has no meaning without night.

-Kumarmani Mahakul

Artist Bio:
“I often work in a variety of media and materials, the idea forming the focus as to what media is chosen and used. My practice explores our daily lives and rituals with an ever increasing interest in the expression of movement within a given time and space. Recent work has seen a return to drawing and painting exploring our connection to the natural world, in direct contrast to the urban environment in which I now live.”

Olive Barrett is a Tipperary artist based in Dublin and is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design with a Post Graduate in Art and Design Education and B. Des in Textiles, specialising in Print. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally in countries including, Germany, the USA, Thailand and Italy and is part of collections in Ireland and abroad.

Follow the artist on her Instagram.

Pádraig Ó Nualláin  (Special Commission)

Songs of Georgian Dublin, Performance Lecture, November 1st 1-2pm.

Pádraig Ó Nualláin is a traditional singer from Dublin with a keen interest is social history. His work includes song and visual presentation detailing the stories behind the songs.The Soul Noir performance will include songs and tales, some true, of serial murderers, executions, hauntings, grave robbing and madness.

Artist Bio:
Pádraig Ó Nualláin is a traditional singer from Dublin with a keen interest is social history. He is a graduate of Ceoltóir, HND in traditional music at Ballyfermot College of Higher education. His previous work includes song and visual presentation detailing the stories behind the songs. His performances include Dublin songs 18th to 20th century. He has performed at the Jonathan Swift festival, Arthurs, The Pipers Club, Christchurch Cathedral music room and in various libraries around Dublin amongst other venues. He also regularly attends and sings at “An Góilín” traditional singers club in the Teachers club and “The Night Before Larry Got Stretched” traditional singers club at The Cobblestone. The Soul Noir performance will include songs and tales, some true, of serial murderers, executions, hauntings and grave robbing.

Contact Soul Noir at for more information about the artist.

Pat Byrne

Battles in the Sky (2020)

Pat Byrne is an oil painter based in Laois holding an MFA from NCAD. Battles in the Sky shows a Sluagh mask, roughly based on a crows face, hanging on a coat hanger by the black ribbons used to fix it to the figures face.

Artist Bio:
Pat Byrne’s oil paintings explore Irish folklore and superstitions, taking mythological humanoids and reinterpreting them in a more realistic and contemporary fashion as opposed to the figures of parody that they are generally portrayed as in other media. Due to a lack of interest or belief in this world, he portrays these figures of myth as being people living a life of ennui, living on the mythological equivalent of the dole queue.

Originally from Laois, Pat moved to Galway in 2006 to study Fine Art at GMIT, where he graduated in 2010 with BA Honours Degree, having specialised in painting. He remained in Galway for almost a year afterwards as one of the founding members of the artist group A-merge. In 2011 Pat returned to Laois having been awarded a studio by Laois County Council in Mountrath where he worked for a little over a year, during this time he held his first solo exhibition, had his first experience curating a group show and was awarded a place on the Artist in Schools Scheme. In June 2012 Pat moved to Skagastrond, Iceland for a 3 month stay with Nes Artist Residency, returning to Ireland Pat took up a place in the Mountrath studio again in September for the year before starting an MFA at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in September 2013. Pat graduated from NCAD with aMasters in Fine Art in 2015 and is currently based in Laois. Pat’s most recent exhibitions have been a solo exhibition, From Under the Hill, at Tallaght Library, curated by Sinead Keogh in November 2021, and 2 group shows, Ranelagh Summer Open at Ranelagh Arts, July 2022 and Custom House Studios Summer Exhibition, August, 2022.

Follow the artist on his website, Twitter  and Instagram.

The Hardliners

Reading of commissioned works, 2.30 – 3.30pm, November 1st

Soul Noir is very pleased to present a special presentation by The Hardliners writing collective.

Magic words, magic tales. A special invited reading from The Hardliners writing group.The Hardliners are a writing group of Vision Impaired People or more colloquially known as VIP'S. All of whom have a dark but very expressive imagination.The members have been commissioned (or posessed?) to make a selection of pieces for us to enjoy. The group members are: Anne O' Brien, Denis Fahey, Eugene Hancock, John O' Brien, Martin Kelly and Michael Hayes.

Contact Soul Noir at for more information.