Issue 1 Launch

Cove Issue 1 has finally been launched!

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We had our launch for Cove Magazine Issue 1: Growth on the 16th of September at The Bernard Shaw Makers Market.

 

The proceeds of the launch (almost €500) were all donated to the wonderful team at Inner City Helping Homeless, Dublin's frontline homeless charity who work tirelessly every night with those living on the streets of Dublin. With Cove designed to help young creatives find a space and means to showcase their work, we couldn't think of a better way to help the young creatives of tomorrow who may not have access to the facilities, than to get involved with the team at ICHH, especially due to all the work they do for children who are homeless or living in emergency accommodation. 

 

Our first Issue Covered the theme of Growth, with contributors encouraged to interpret the theme in a way that was personal to them. Issue 1 is available to purchase in our online shop: http://covemag.com/shop/ and stay tuned for news of Dublin stockists!

 

Submissions are now open for Issue 2, which will tackle the theme of Failure. For more info, and to find out how to submit head over to our Submissions page!

 

 

 

Threaded

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Threaded began its journey last April as the passion project of Mark Hughes and Hugh Allen. The two met while working on the TES committee - the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society. Hugh had been the graphic designer for the past two years and Mark the Public Relations Officer, both in their final year of college. Both have a keen interest in fashion, in fact Mark brought out his own clothing line while in second year. Jaded by the homogeneity of high street fashion, and the lack of Irish clothing shops selling online, Mark and Hugh set out to create a product that would bring local fashion online and offer unique purchases to Irish customers.

Just under half a year later Threaded.ie was launched. Threaded is an online platform that seeks to emulate the unique in-store experience found in small to medium-sized clothing shops, such as boutiques and menswear stores. Not only are users able to browse the Threaded store using all the normal categories of an online shop, but their location-based shopping allows the user to visit a virtual storefront for each of the shops featured on their website. This allows for a richer experience of the shop owners' collection of pieces, and offers an alternative to shopping simply by colour, brand, or the classic - sort by price: low to high. This, however, is only one half of Threaded’s efforts to stir up Ireland’s online fashion, the rest is behind the scenes. Threaded is a comprehensive solution that enables small to medium-sized fashion retailers to sell online. It is primarily the online platform as described, but also provides all the auxiliary services associated with running an online shop - photography services, stock management, and social media marketing management. Threaded takes a hands-on approach to selling online, and will take you through all the steps necessary to get you selling on the platform. Threaded is here to help customers looking for an escape from high street fashion, where options are limited and turning up in the same outfit as two of your friends is an unfortunate inevitability. It is here to help boutiques and up-and-coming clothing brands get a foot in the door online, widening their reach and introducing their unique pieces into the sea of sameness. Threaded is here to help Irish fashion along into the 21st Century, offering customers a new way to shop, and shops a straightforward way to compete.

Threaded.ie is now live, and you can browse the collection from their first cohort of shops in Malahide. If you have a shop or a brand and want to get involved, or simply have any questions, get on to Threaded at info@threaded.ie. You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the Threaded team. Threaded - Shop Local, Online.

The Art of Protest

~ Ciara Fitzgerald

 Photography: Isobel O'Halloran

Photography: Isobel O'Halloran

As divided as the world is these days, there are a few things that it seems most people can agree on. Trump is unfit to lead a conga line let along an entire country, 2017 is turning out to be worse than 2016 and regular protesting seems to be becoming the new normal. It’s not all that surprising really, considering the daily insanity we hear about in the news. Over the last six months alone, Americans have felt the need to come out in force against Nazis, climate change denial and a ban on Muslim immigration. A year ago, none of us would have believed there could be any disagreement on such issues and yet here we are. Organised movements like Black Lives Matter- resulting from the large number of unprovoked killings of black men by white police officers, and the Women’s March- a global event focused on women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and healthcare reform (to name a few), have showcased that there is power in numbers. Of course, protesting is by no means a new phenomenon. But it certainly has taken on a new significance in recently.

However, let’s not give America all the credit for re-energising the art of protesting. I won’t allow them the satisfaction. Yes, they do have a lot to be angry about right now, but nowadays every country, every major democracy has their own reasons for wanting to make their voices heard. Here in Ireland we certainly have not held back. After the same-sex marriage referendum in 2015 and the election of a gay Taoiseach this year, news outlets around the world have talked of Ireland moving away from its Catholic roots and becoming a more progressive and open society. To a certain extent, this is true. But I have a few major issues with this assumption. For starters, we didn’t vote for Leo and him being gay does not make him any more liberal than your average Irish politician so he doesn’t really represent a change in the general population. But also, and more importantly, being the first country to bring in same-sex marriage through a popular vote was only possible because the younger generations got out and voted. If there has been any change in thinking in this country, they are the cause of it. Hundreds, if not thousands made the effort to travel home from wherever the recession had sent them to cast their vote in the referendum. It was a movement in itself, led by the so called ‘millennials’.

I can’t stand that term. Like every other generational moniker, it aims to paint a very diverse group of people with the same dismissive brush. We all spend too much money eating out, then complain about not being able to afford a house. By identifying as feminists, we are saying we hate men. We don’t work hard enough, we do too many drugs and we are making too much fuss about this whole rape culture thing. I could go off on a rant dismantling each and every one of these criticisms, but I have a word count to stick to. So instead I’ll just say this: without millennials, the protests and political movements we’ve been seeing here at home and abroad would not be happening. Just to be clear, I’m not trying to diminish the importance of those over the the age of 30 who voted in the referendum and who go out and chant in the streets, because obviously every person plays an important role. And yet the significance of young people’s involvement cannot be overstated.

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Annoyingly I myself was unable to travel home to vote in 2015. At the time, it really bothered me so I promised myself that next time an issue that significant arose, I would be there. Cut to March 8th 2017, International Women’s Day and the day of the Strike to Repeal. Organised by a coalition of abortion rights groups, the protest took place at lunchtime on O’Connell Bridge. Thousands gathered wearing black and calling for the removal of the 8th Amendment, the law that currently makes abortion (except in very rare circumstances) illegal in Ireland. The amendment has been in place since the 1980’s and has led to thousands of Irish women having to travel abroad to terminate a pregnancy, not to mention women actually dying because doctors are unable to intervene if there is still a foetal heartbeat. The subject has been covered by major publications across the globe, including Time Magazine, CNN and the BBC. We have also come in for harsh criticism from the UN Human Rights Committee for our inhumane treatment of women. So much for the new progressive Ireland.

That day I left work on my lunchbreak with a colleague to join the strike. Many others had taken a day’s holidays or travelled from different parts of the country to be there. Women and men of all ages (as well as a few babies and dogs), brought traffic to a standstill in the heart of Dublin city. They held cleverly funny signs, chanted ‘WHOSE BODY? MY BODY!’ at the top of their lungs, beat pots with wooden spoons and blared songs by Beyoncé and the Spice Girls. All in all, it was quite a sight to behold. It was passionate and loud and heart-warming. The fact that we even had to do it was despicable, and yet there was something fundamentally human and life affirming about a group of people coming together in this way. We were standing against an injustice, making the government see us and hear us, telling them something had to change. Later, as I walked back to my office along the empty quays, I couldn’t help feeling optimistic.

There will always be cynics that say protesting never makes a difference or that it’s just a fad, like gourmet doughnuts and Zumba. But that’s not how I want to live because frankly, it’s a lazy way of thinking. The growth of protest movements around the world is something to be celebrated, not mocked. If perchance a cause is actually forwarded as a result, then that is a major victory and everyone involved should be very proud. If not though, that’s alright too because protests are not just about winning. They’re about the sense of unity and renewed faith in humanity that come from being among likeminded strangers at a time when there is not a lot of either going around.

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Because I could

~ Geri Dempsey

My wise and wonderful English teacher never failed to remind us that he was fed up with reading a bunch of teenagers dreamed up ideas of what New York, London and other far off cities were like. He told us, exasperated, to write about what you know. Having spent 4 years in London it still feels like a dream to me at times.

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Since moving over, I never thought I’d be challenged so much about my “Irishness”. It’s a strange question every way it’s posed to me. It’s never as light hearted as “Where in Ireland are you from?” it’s always more of an “Oh, are you from the North or South?”. The people who ask this have their own views and opinions on our history and are always ready to categorise you into one of their assumptions. With London being so multicultural you meet people from countries in far worse situations than our own, yet learning that so many had watched and studied the troubles in Ireland play out in the same disconnected way that we watch the terrors in others now, reminded me that no one is immune to being stereotyped. You’ll never truly know a country, it’s inhabitants or it’s issues unless you’ve actually live there through them. Having to defend and explain myself and my country is something that never gets less frustrating, but is something I’ve become used to. Being able to open peoples eyes about my home has made me more earnest to learn about theirs.

Often after I’ve enlightened someone as to how we’re not drunken savages being strangled by religion, they will ask “well if you love it so much then why did you leave?”. I always respond with “because I could.” I am grateful every day, to have had the privilege and support to travel and study abroad, something that many cannot do. It seemed to me that there was no study or career pathway that I wanted to pursue in Ireland at the time, and with London being a fashion hub I jumped ship. I was more than ready to break out of the Dublin bubble and have a fresh start. Finding out that the grass wasn’t necessarily greener, and that actually there was no grass just concrete, hit me quite hard. I wanted London to solve all my problems, when in reality I just relocated them.

I praised the tech gods that social media kept me in the loop when I first left, but that universal fear of missing out is really amplified through Facebook and Instagram. It’s bizarre because of course we all know that everyone has their own struggles and no one’s lives are what we see online, but it’s not that simple when there’s no one there to remind you of that at 4am on a Thursday. I genuinely feel that being so close to everything hindered me from truly settling in and feeling comfortable with my life in London for a long time. Others would remark on how lucky I was that I didn’t have the language barrier, that Dublin was only a short flight away, I was in the same time zone as my friends, what did I have to complain about? It’s all basically the UK isn’t it?

People are always going to emigrate. Of course the housing crisis, lack of jobs and the obscene cost of living are driving people away, but there are always many who leave purely to explore. The government always looks at emigration as a negative thing, rather than a learning opportunity. By actively looking at and examining why people leave, what they can do to change that and what they can do to get them back is what will make Ireland more visible on a global platform. Young people going abroad and bringing back new skills and experiences is only ever an asset. London has been life changing for me, so I would never want to encourage anyone to stay home and miss out, but we really need to give them something to come back to. If we don’t nurture and celebrate the creative industries in Ireland, we’ll soon be a desolate desert of digital marketers with nothing to market. Lack of support for creatives in Ireland is not just a “first world problem”, Roisin Agnew, writer and editor of Guts magazine, spoke about addressing Dubin’s problems on Journal.ie: “How is it that no one in the council or government sees that by simply facilitating and allowing for creatives to exist (not even funding them) you will make Dublin a more vibrant place that people will want to visit and invest in? If money alone talks, then why aren’t our politicians hearing this?”

Emmet Kirwan, playwright and actor, compares Dublin to the current situation in Britain where few people from deprived economic backgrounds can consider a career in the arts, largely thanks to the burden of college fees, and “you have a situation where everyone in the arts will be from a private school and the arts will become monocultural.” I’ve experienced this monoculture first hand, having attended a university where the fees were so extortionate that the classrooms were filled with students who have no opinion and who don’t value their place there. For them college was just the next step, something to do after school. Not a first step in their career path or an opportunity that they’re lucky to even have. The importance of making higher education available to all is crucial not only for the students, but for the establishments themselves. A mixture of students from any and all backgrounds creates a vibrant atmosphere of creativity and critical thinking that at present is dulled and stagnant.

I’ve stood on the tube platforms facing ads promoting Dublin as a “breath of fresh air” when in reality it’s heading down a dangerous path that most certainly is not fresh. London is my home now, and sure it still bugs me when BBC crop the rest of Ireland out of the map when they show the weather, as if we’ve been sliced off and left to drift off into the Atlantic, but I’ve made my peace with it. London is a great place to be young in, the constant energy is addictive but I can’t imagine it staying that attractive or feasible for long. I’ve only grown to appreciate Dublin more since I’ve left. I used to think we could do with being a bit more like London, but now I realise we could do with learning from their mistakes.

Define Bodies

- Geri Dempsey

 - Caoimhe Ni Bhroin

- Caoimhe Ni Bhroin

 

“It’s about really placing your work out there, you choose a theme that you want to go for, and have a presentation where you basically sell yourself, your aesthetic and your style. So me, Mark and a few others came together because we’re really interested in body image and social media, so our theme was called media and body, and “Define Bodies” just grew from there.”

 

Define Bodies began as a class project. Meeting Caoimhe and Mark, both textiles students in NCAD clarifies any doubts anyone may have about the quality or necessity of the work created in art colleges.

 

 “Bringing your studio work into the real world and finding out how it impacts the audience is the purpose of our projects.”

 

It isn’t just art for arts sake, it’s about starting a conversation to engage with real people. Define Bodies spans both the online and offline as it’s transitioned from class project to social media project.

 

“We set up an Instagram page called Define Bodies where people can send in pictures of parts of themselves that they don’t like, it can be anonymous or not, which can really build up people’s confidence. We started taking pictures initially, and then people starting sending them. People started submitting really cool things, and we really didn’t expect it to take off, but I suppose there’s no real communal group where people can post things, especially where its so easily accessible.”

 

The future of “Define Bodies” is ever changing, and is a theme that may be carried through to other projects during their time in college.

 

“We’re currently in the process of realising an idea of designing stickers to place on the mirrors in the fitting rooms of several high street stores or even having an anonymous box where people can interact, to simply start the conversation with women about how they feel when they’re in a changing room. Challenging that age old question of what do you dislike the most about yourself when you look in the mirror?

 

Taking Define Bodies online is crucial, and not just at a local level. People really don’t realise how much of an impact social media has on their mental health. The benefits of having more normal imagery on social media feeds is invaluable. We’re scrolling through them for hours every day, so it’s refreshing to change up what they look like, even by just adding one or two “normal” photos of real people each week. Soon it will begin to become normalised and not stand out as harshly against the blur of photo shopped bikini models. Linking people together through mutual understanding that we all have something we hate is emblematic of our generation. The same way memes bring us together by poking fun at quite often very serious situations still results in us being criticized for not taking things seriously, which couldn’t be less true, We’ve found our own way of coping, and have adapted to our environment in order to survive.

Understanding how your audience reacts to your work, is a more modern take on art. Rather than just creating something and hoping it sticks its about adding the interactive element and creating art that helps people, isn’t alienating and works towards a greater goal. It really shows anyone still cynical about art and design courses the value of these students, the problem solvers of tomorrow.

 

Creativity breeds innovation.


Mark McNulty - @mark.mcn

Caoimhe Ni Bhroin - @caoiva

Older than my years

~ a photo series exploring the tedious period of life where one is treated like a child yet expected to act like an adult.

Photography: Rachel Loughrey (@racheloughrey)

Styling: Geri Dempsey (@geridempsey)

Make Up: Anna OCallaghan (@annaocallaghanmakeup)

Models: Julia & Katie at Not Another Agency

Less Genderless?

Author: Geri Dempsey

  Zara's 'Ungendered' Collection

Zara's 'Ungendered' Collection

The thing about oppression is that it is constant. In our society those who are oppressed and marginalized don’t get to just take a break from it. If you want to act in genuine solidarity you can’t simply retreat back into your privilege when you would rather not engage. We all have days where you just don’t have the patience to argue with that classist friend of your mum’s or the energy to reply to a racist comment by that fool on Facebook, but at the end of the day part of the privilege of our identities is that we have a choice about whether or not to resist oppression. Falling back into your privilege, especially when you are most needed, is not being in solidarity.

I became more aware of some of the small and seemingly insignificant ways non-binary and gender non-conforming people are discriminated against when I began designing a survey for my dissertation. We had entire classes based around how to properly lay out a questionnaire to ensure the questions were asked in the right way and to gather the right results. For segmentation purposes the initial question is nearly always “What is your gender?” with one box for male and one box for female. I posed the question to a lecturer as to what someone who was gender non-conforming would select, and he suggested I put a “prefer not to say” box. This did not sit right with me. Gender non conforming individuals wouldn’t “prefer not to say” their gender identity or non-identity for that matter, matters as much as those who choose to identify within the gender spectrum. Identifying as neither male or female is challenging the social construct of gender itself. It’s not about creating more categories; it’s about questioning the categories we have.

In the same breath this lecturer even mentioned, that a clever tactic brands are using at present is to market their collections as gender neutral to appeal to the “trend” that Generation Z have latched on to. Trivialising the politics of identity into a passing trend is a dangerous way of reducing the importance of real issues. It’s something large brands and corporations do extremely well, they will adopt a radical idea expressed by a marginalized group deliberately because they realised that if they reduce it to something trivial it loses its power to change anything.

Take Zara’s “Ungendered” collection which launched in 2016. The name in itself is really just another word for “unisex” which has little to do with gender identity. It begs the question of why are we trying to make a specifically genderless collection at all? Surely that’s just adding another box, label or category? The idea that people outside the gender binary or challenging the gender binary will have to look a certain way misses the point entirely. You can be assigned female at birth or be non-binary and still wear a pink fluffy jumper, you don’t have to drop the trappings of femininity in order to try and be non-binary or even to try and be gender neutral, because everyone’s idea of gender neutral is different and more often than not just masculine. Zara’s “ungendered” collection, unsurprisingly was lacking any shape or colour as well as any skirt or dress options, it’s outwardly masculine. When will society finally move past the idea that “genderless” clothing is just plain t-shirts and joggers? Why is the default for gender neutral always masculine?

It certainly requires much further examination of the concept of gender itself, should we stop describing things as feminine and masculine, seeing that gender in itself is a social construct? How do we begin disassociating "feminine" and "masculine" clothing and is a genderless clothing line actually needed? Would an effective collection from a genuine brand pave the way for others to stop starkly labelling their items or will it still be putting people into yet another box that isn't needed?

To exacerbate the situation further, by Zara presenting it’s collection on cisgendered models, rather than anyone gender non-conforming it only confirms that their “ungendered” range really does seem to be just for men and women, instead of anyone that defines more fluidly. Speaking with some Irish non-binary individuals about their thoughts on it all demonstrated that the struggles faced by the trans and non-binary communities in relation to clothing goes far deeper than a few plain t-shirts. The high levels of body dysmorphia found in trans women who may not have societies idea of a feminine body yet must conform to societies idea of feminine in order to “pass” highlights the need for a universal change on what constitutes as feminine. The process and relationship trans and non-binary people have with clothing is often far more significant in terms of personal expression than the more peripheral relationship we have as cis people. If stores like Zara wanted to be genuinely progressive they would consult directly with trans focus groups and ask what they want – neutral fitting rooms, a broader range of sizes and full staff training on awareness of trans customers would certainly be a start.

Creating an “ungendered” clothing line and then choosing to not address or even acknowledge the real struggles facing trans and non-binary people indicates that this has less to do with meeting the needs of trans and gender non-conforming people and more to do with the fact that brands are noticing gender is a hot topic and are hopping on the bandwagon. As a cisgender person who benefits every single day from cis privilege I have a responsibility to inform myself and others about how to we can help improve the lives of trans and non-binary people simply by listening and responding. Beyond listening, arguably the most important thing that we can do to act in solidarity is to engage those who share our identities. Representation, recognition and rights are what the trans and non-binary communities are fighting for and we need to be better allies.

Entwined

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Photography: Rachel Loughrey

Styling: Eimear Lynch

Models: Qichen Hu & Sean Ceroni 

Layout: Geri Dempsey

Jack Sweeney - Photography

I think I first got into photography in around 2014. Some of my friends were doing art or photography courses in college and had to learn how to use old 35mm film cameras. I really liked the look of the pictures that they were developing so I decided I’d get my own camera and give it a go. On adverts.ie I bought an old Voigtländer Vitomatic, a 1950’s West German Camera for around thirty euro. Amazed by the build quality and longevity of what I had just bought I did some research and found out that, I had in fact a very good camera from a company that dates back to 1756, a good 70 years before the invention of photography. Once I learned how to use it properly and experienced the excitement of getting a good roll back, photography became my most expensive and consistent hobby.

I find a lot of my photography is quite landscapey, which I think is because it is easy. Going to a beautiful place with a half decent camera usually makes some pretty nice photos. But I always feel like these photos are just a google image search away and to some degree pointless. What I really find impressive in other peoples work is pictures of ordinary people in interesting situations or ordinary objects with interesting colors.

Saoirse Sexton (@saoirsesextonphotography) is a young photographer from Dublin who I really admire for her almost portrait like shots of ordinary Dubliners going about their daily lives. Many of my favourites are taking sneakily of fellow passengers on Dublin public transport, or from a bird’s eye view of people passing below her as she stands in the window of a building above. Taking pictures of people like this can be quite scary as you never know how they might react if your caught but the intimate and unguarded results are definitely worth it.

Cáit Fahey (@caitfa) and Gareth Smyth (@loomingrass) are two Dublin based photographers who I love for their attention to detail and eye for colour. So many of their pictures that have made an impression on me are not necessarily of anything interesting, but are framed in such a way, with the right lighting andvibrant colours that your eyes are immediately drawn to them.

Daragh Soden (@daraghsoden) and his work ‘Young Dubliners’ is what I believe to be the perfect combination of interesting and intimate shots of ordinary people and aesthetically pleasing colours. His photos of Dublin Youth enjoying their summer is one of my favourite photo series I’ve ever seen and the Zine where they are published is definitely worth a buy.