3 May 2023

Dublin Port Announces Pumphouse Art and Engagement Programme 2023

‘Connections: The Port, the City, Arts and Education’ 

Widening understandings of Dublin Port’s past, present and future at the heart of Dublin City


Dublin Port Company, today 3rd May 2023 announced details of its Art and Engagement programme 22/23 at the Pumphouse, Alexandra Road. The Pumphouse formerly housed the steam engine which powered the gates of Graving Dock 1 but has been repurposed by Dublin Port into an artistic and cultural venue and is a key part of the Heritage Zone at Dublin Port.

The theme for this year’s Dublin Port Art and Engagement programme is ‘Connections: The Port, the City, Arts and Education’. Dublin Port’s plans for the Heritage Zone at the Pumphouse include expanding its use for public exhibitions, events and performances creating a distinct and unique destination in the heart of the working port as part of port-city integration plans up to 2040.

The Art and Engagement programme has been underway since mid-2022. It includes completed art and design outputs, such as large-scale projections incorporating live and still imagery as well as workshops led by experienced artists with pupils from St. Laurence O’Toole Primary School and second level art students from Ringsend College. 

Peter Rothweil, Julie Crowe and Matthew Williamson performing a short piece from “Back home to a wonderful time” by ANU productions at The Pumphouse located on Alexandra Rd, Dublin Port as part of Dublin Port Art and Engagement programme 2023 announcement. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Under a comprehensive programme of future work established artists and students, will participate in short residencies, and performances, including theatre and music – designed and customised for the Pumphouse context. These have been developed in partnership with theatre companies, ANU and Fishamble, as well as with Students from the National College of Art & Design (NCAD), UCD’s School of Architecture, the Design and Material Culture Course at NCAD as well the Sean O’Casey Community Centre’s Art Group and teenage members of the East Wall Youth Centre.

Highlights of the current programme include:

  • Artworks by Transition Students from Ringsend College and ‘Works in Progress’ Prints and Photographs by 5th Year Students (April 2023). A study group of Transition Year students from Ringsend College are engaged in a new round of workshops with artist Janine Davidson using a range of art media to explore Port – City themes.
  • ‘Mappings of East Wall’, by the Sean O’Casey Community Centre Art Group and artist, Silvia Leoffler (May 2023). These small scale and intimate mappings by members of the Sean O’Casey Centre’s mature art group amount to a creative portrait of the streets, homes and people who constitute the local neighbourhood of East Wall.
  • NCAD STUDIO+ Programme (May 2023). The Pumphouse is being regularly used as a situated studio space as part of the National College of Art & Design’s STUDIO + programme during which a series of micro-residencies for specific student groups take place.
  • Temporary Pleasure (Summer 2023) a large-scale architectural installation and event space in the Pumphouse Plaza, to offer new perspectives and appreciations of the work and life of Dublin Port.
  • States of Independence’ by Smashing Times, International Centre for Arts and Equality (October 2023). Celebrating the stories of ten changemakers from the Decade of Centenaries, and stories of ten changemakers today, told through performances, visual arts, creative billboards and online exhibitions.

The Pumphouse has been developing dynamic theatre and music projects for several years. Previous works at The Pumphouse included ‘Hidden Pianos’ (2018) developed by Artistic Director Máire Carroll with the aim of sharing classical and contemporary music in site-specific locations, ‘The Pumphouse Presents’ (2020), a Winter Festival of Plays commissioned by Dublin Port Company featuring work from Axis Ballymun, ANU productions and Fishamble: The New Play Company, and ‘The Book of Names’ (2021), a hugely ambitious co-production by ANU Productions and Landmark, that plots a singular path through one of the most secretive, contentious, and turbulent times in Irish history.

Julie Crowe performing a short piece from “Back home to a wonderful time” by ANU productions at The Pumphouse located on Alexandra Rd, Dublin Port as part of Dublin Port Art and Engagement programme 2023 announcement. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.


Barry O’Connell, CEO Dublin Port said,

“The use of the Pumphouse is part of Dublin Port’s long-term strategy of connecting Port and City. The ‘Connections’ event reflects the ongoing Port/City Integration process and will see other large-scale heritage and arts projects being developed as areas of the Port are opened for public use. We are excited about this development in the overall context of port development and are committed to ensuring that the Port develops as a thriving community resource.”


Edel Currie, Community Engagement Manager for Dublin Port added,

“It has been very positive, over the last few years, to see the theatre and music events, creative residencies and learning workshops develop at the Pumphouse. The engagement with the local schools and Colleges on these artistic works has been enormously positive. The wider appeal of these projects demonstrates the potential for the Pumphouse as a heritage zone in the city Centre. We look forward to the visual arts and performing arts events scheduled over the summer months and into the Autumn of 2023.”


Declan McGonagle, curator of the Pumphouse programme, said,

“The Pumphouse is a distinct and unique setting where creative practice meets public experience in the context of a working Port and communities of place interact with communities of interest from further afield. The visualisations and signage tell the story of the Pumphouse its transformation and contempoary use. These visualisations of past and present activities are presented within the Pumphouse, using large scale, immersive projected imagery, a large scale white screen projection and monitors, along with photo enlarged panels of workshops, participants and artworks. The works have been produced by different participating groups and include interviews with relevant Port staff, artists and academia, workshop members and past Port workers.”


At the Pumphouse Plaza, ANU productions will perform a short piece from “Back home to a wonderful time” about the last troop ship leaving Berth 18 in December of 1922 starring Julie Crowe (The Stewart Of Christendom, The Gate, 2022), Peter Rothweil (Staging the Treaty, ANU Productions, 2022) and Matthew Williamson (The Book of Names, ANU and Landmark Productions, 2021).


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