Spotlight interview with Fiona Dowling
Over the past few weeks we've been catching up with the facilitators who will be running workshops at this weekends Dalkey Creates Festival. Today we caught up with international storyteller Fiona Dowling...
Q. What did you want to be when you were a child?
An artist, a model and a singer. If life modelling and being part of a choir count, I have achieved all three!
Q. Do you have a routine in your creative practice?
My creative practice tends to work in cycles: sometimes art-making comes to the fore, sometimes storytelling. I feel I have both an extrovert and an introvert in me, and that they take turns to come out and play.
Right now, I am wearing all my hats at the same time as I am working on a public art project with South Dublin County called Work-Song, touring schools and libraries with Halloween tales, as well as directing a short film!
From time to time, I take on little rituals: In 2015 and 2016, I made a drawing a day, a little cartoon summing up the happenings of the day. I used a special notebook called “A Sketch a Day”, which I had received as a gift one Christmas, it had a half-page for each day and I used a super-fine Rotring pen for the drawings. I loved that ritual. I took a pause this year but I am thinking of starting a digital version in 2018.
Q. Which work of art do you wish you had created?
It would have to be a film. Anything by Agnes Varda, Nanni Moretti, or Jafar Panahi…
Ah, I know! “ Into the Forest” by Gilles Marchand. It was as if that film was telling my own story. It managed to translate a very subtle quality of a child-father relationship that I spent years trying to capture in painting.
Q. If you could give any advice to someone starting out on your path, what would it be?
Follow your enthusiasms. Trust in your obsessions.
Q. Who would you like to meet that you haven't already?
I am quite shy when it comes to meeting my heroes (I have met Agnes Varda and Meredith Monk and just managed to say “I love your work! Thank you!”).
So maybe I’d rather not meet them?
Q. What would you ask them?
Once I got over being star-struck, I would ask them probably for their life story and how they got to where they are now, as well as how much of their own experience is in this piece or that piece of work.
Q. Which actor would play you in the film of your life?
My favourite films are ones where the directors appear in their films as themselves.
So…I would be happy to direct that film and to play my current self. I would have to find actors to play my young selves.
Fiona will be hosting a workshop called 'A Storytellers Toolkit' this Sunday October 22nd in Harold's Boys' School.