Winter Talks: Kate O’Shea and John Bissett – encounter and collaboration in Dublin 8

Event · Talk

Winter Talks: Kate O’Shea and John Bissett – encounter and collaboration in Dublin 8 }
Learning Lab, Cork City: Create and Counterpoints Arts. Imagery by Esther Blodau. Photo: Marcia Chandra

7th Dec 2021



In a series of talks, network meet ups and community gatherings held over Winter 2021/22 we hope to create a space to discuss collaborative art and youth work practice and how it can be an asset and activator of change in communities of all kinds.  

Why does/should a community open up to an artist?  Exploring the durational & collaborative work of artist Kate O’Shea with Common Ground’s Studio 468 in Rialto, we will listen to community worker and activist John Bissett talk on why an artist can create a lens for the needs of a community to be seen. When embedded, supported and maintained the energy from this can lead to transformative change in communities.    A talk in 3 acts, Kate and John will offer insights into their work together, their respective roles in Dublin 8 and create a space for conversation and questioning. 

All are welcome to join, but we particularly welcome community development workers, community organisers, volunteers & residents and artists who have an interest or work in Collaborative Arts.   



Kate O’Shea, Artist 

Kate O’Shea is an artist with a social practice which includes printmaking, creating social spaces, collective cooking, and publishing. From setting up a social space in the south west of Ireland in 2009 to producing SPARE ROOM Art Architecture Activism with Dr. Eve Olney in Cork in 2019, and Day of the Straws with artist Marie Brett in 2020, Kate’s collaborative practice is based on building spaces of solidarity and dialogue to explore alternatives to the social relations of capitalism. In 2015 Kate co-founded The People’s Kitchen, which aims to create a platform for people to experiment with their own community, food, and print practices while creating space for nurturing existing and new forms of collective organising. 

Kate is currently The Just City Counter Narrative Neighbourhood Residency Awardee with Common Ground, Dublin 8. In 2018 she published the book Durty Words with graphic designer Victoria Brunetta. With 134 contributors from all over the world, this is the first book from their publishing house Durty Books. In 2019, Durty Bookspublished the first of its single-author books Direct Democracy: Context, Society, Individuality by Yavor Tarinksi (edited by Dr. Eve Olney). Durty Books has four upcoming books in 2021-2022. Kate has a Masters by Research in Printmaking as a space for solidarity and dialogue from Limerick School of Art and Design. 


John Bissett, Community Worker & Activist, St. Andrew’s Community Centre, Rialto 

John Bissett is a community worker in Dublin and has been involved in the longest running housing campaign in the Irish state on the lands of St Michael’s Estate. He wrote the book ‘Regeneration: Public Good or Private Profit’ about this process. He is a member of Housing Action Now which is a collective of activists, public housing tenants and artists. Housing Action Now is one of the founding members of the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City. The coalition is attempting to build solidarity across housing activist groups across Europe and recently met in Lisbon bringing activist groups together from across Europe. John is currently working on a project researching the significance of class and gender in the lives of public housing tenants. John was a member of the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope which resisted the imposition of neo liberal austerity on the community development sector using creative methodologies of resistance in a range of forms. 

related programme
Artist and Community Supports

Common Ground
Spare Room
How Much Is Enough?
Halfway to Falling Podcast
John Bissett: Transactions
Spectacle of Defiance