On most days, the Trinity Graduates Memorial Building, or GMB, is taken over by all things Phil and Hist. These debating societies, quintessential to the Trinity experience, operate out of this building year-around and have stamped it as a hub for riveting and sometimes controversial discourse. But on Friday November 11 the GMB became a mecca for artistic expression, engulfed in ethereal lighting and dream catchers, as Trinity Arts Festival hosted their first major collaborative event of the year.
The takeover, titled The Hours Before Dawn, offered an opportunity for Trinity’s societies, through their own mediums, to explore the world of art. 17 participating societies were given their own rooms and had the freedom to do whatever they wanted with the space, as long as it aligned with the larger theme. Speaking to Trinity News, TAF Festival Director Clara Cronin said that “The GMB Takeover is the epitome of what TAF stands for, which is bringing a variety of Trinity’s societies together to celebrate the arts and appreciate the incredible talent that Trinity has to offer.” Cronin added that this event is “a great taster of what’s to come during our week-long festival in February, which we will begin planning very soon.”
Adorned with beautiful lace drapes and relaxing dim lights, this space offered people an opportunity to kick back and drop their bags before embarking on a night of fun.
Walking through the grand front doors of the GMB, attendees were first drawn into the 12pm: Lullaby Room. Adorned with beautiful lace drapes and relaxing dim lights, this space offered people an opportunity to kick back and drop their bags before embarking on a night of fun. On a coffee table in the centre of the room, books of all genres ranging from Brighter Than 1000 Suns to A Path to Modern Mathematics were laid out. While stopping at the table, LitSoc invited guests to write quotes from their favourite books for future passersby to marvel at.
After stopping by the Lullaby Room, guests were taken into the iconic debate chamber, temporarily transformed into a 1am: Fever Dream. This room featured JazzSoc whose band played upbeat tunes which perfectly accompanied the excitement created by the VisArts Society as they turned a corner of the room into an art studio for intricate face paintings. Participants became canvases and renditions of art pieces including Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night were drawn masterfully on faces, arms, and hands with nothing more than a bit of paint.
“It was really fun to play around with the starry night theme and to meet other creatives throughout the night,” Chair of the VisArts Society, Kyla McGowan said.
“We wanted to do something that was easy and interactive but still looked visually appealing, so face paint seemed like a good idea! It was really fun to play around with the starry night theme and to meet other creatives throughout the night,” Chair of the VisArts Society, Kyla McGowan said. DU Players also contributed to the captivating atmosphere in the chamber on Friday night, giving performances at regular intervals.
Before reaching the second floor, a small room, teeming with people, in the landing of the GMB’s spiral staircase, hosted by Trinity FM and the Phil. In this room, aptly titled 2am: Realm of Reflection, TFM radio presenters offered their guests the chance to talk about their lives, and more specifically to delve into their dreams.
After trudging up the stairs and reaching the second floor, attendees were met with visions of their worst nightmares in a room dubbed 3am: A Visit From the Boogey Man. Hosted by DU Fashion Soc and DU Music, this room was decorated with ‘blood’-splattered dresses, skeletons, and tables covered in grim newspaper clippings. In the middle of the space, people rallied around talented singers and listened to beautiful covers of music like Goodnight Irene and Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat major, that immaculately fitted the theme of the night.
On the third floor, the Trinity Orchestra, DUPA and DU Film occupied a room called 4am: Tossing and Turning. Four brilliant musicians played the violin and cello, performing compositions that perfectly accompanied the compilation of film clips projected on the wall behind them. At times throughout the night, this space became a dance floor as the stunning decor of green vines and purple mood lighting, complete with melodious music, swept people away.
“I’m seeing most of the music for the first time and honestly it’s just fun because you’re here, people are coming in and out, and it’s an experience, an arts experience. It’s nice to be able to show off Trinity Orchestra and this side of music,” Senior Fresher Trinity Orchestra cellist Michael Murphy said.
Next door to this musical experience, Dublin University Gender Equality Society (DUGES) and Hispanic Society co-curated a room called 5am: Witching Hour. DUGES offered tarot card readings and zine making while the Hispanic Society created an art gallery on the room’s pool tables. Plastered on the walls were large pieces of paper where people were asked to “draw something from your dreams”. This room was particularly popular amongst attendees and as it was co-organised by DUGES, held a much deeper significance.
“By DUGES being here… it’s a reaffirmation of the central role in society of women and gender-minorities as creative people, a reaffirmation of their artistic work and their artistic capabilities and the history that has been erased…for example these Rider Waite tarot cards were designed by a woman [Pamela Colman Smith] and her story is hardly ever told,” Bruna Ciulli, Librarian of DUGES said.
Packed with people and illuminated by strobe lights, skilled student DJs got everyone hyped up to the sound of EDM as the night slowly drew closer to dawn.
After exploring all of these incredible rooms, guests made their way to the attic of the GMB, entitled 6am: The Dawn Chorus, for a full-on clubbing experience hosted by DUDJ. Packed with people and illuminated by strobe lights, skilled student DJs got everyone hyped up to the sound of EDM as the night slowly drew closer to dawn.