District Magazine interview with our favourite visuals team MWK

60 Seconds with Dublin based Niall Clery of Visual Collective, MWK:

First and foremost, what does MWK stand for and what is your ethos when it comes to creating visual art?

 Monkeys with Knives, the name reflects the idea behind it, something different and fun. We always try our best to help out other working artists.


You work in tandem with Peter McKeown, how did the two of you start working together and what sort of relationship do you have?

We had worked together on numerous projects during college that were relatively successful; it just made sense to keep working together. We’re both quite aware of our strengths and weaknesses so we divide our work/time accordingly.


Your documentary Tonn Nua? has been shown nationally and internationally at a variety of film festivals, how did the idea come about and how does it feel knowing that people on the other side of the world have viewed your work?

We’ve always been quite supportive of our national film industry, so when we started to see and hear about a change in films being produced we wanted to document the reasoning behind this cultural shift. We interviewed key filmmakers of this new wave and out of it became a short documentary. It’s been great knowing that the documentary has been embraced globally, but also to know that this is the second documentary ever produced documenting contemporary Irish film.

You’re probably best known in Dublin for your visual work at electronic music shows in clubs like Hangar and Wiley Fox (Formerly The Pint), what was the best show you’ve worked visuals for over the last 12 months?

There has been a few that have stuck with me, Chris Liebing in Hangar, Sunil Sharpe in The Button Factory, Robert Hood in The Grand Social. Getting to work alongside these artists is still kinda surreal especially when you come from a background of following their music and buying their records.

Speaking of visual art and performance in clubs, do you feel Ireland compares to other cities in terms of application and appreciation of visuals as an art form and experience enhancer at club shows?

We always get the trickle down effect here in Ireland but other visual artists such as DSNT, Slipdraft and LeTissier have time and time again produced top quality shows and installations that stand up on the world platform. I think with the rise of social media and other video sources such as YouTube and Vimeo, people are generally more aware of visuals and visual artists and they want to see it at their favorite clubs at home. It’s become a very important aspect to gigs and people want to be entertained with both sound and vision.

Aside from club visuals and documentaries, you’re also accomplished graphic designers, video makers and photographers, what is your favourite medium to work on and what’s been your proudest project to work on to date?

Personally I like working with smaller organisations such as record labels making music videos or promos. I get a lot of satisfaction from helping other artists get their work out there to a bigger audience, it goes back to our idea behind MWK of simultaneously helping other artists.

I’m really proud of what we have achieved so far with Tonn Nua?, we also recently produced a music video for Sunil Sharpe that received some really nice recognition from The Irish Times, that will always make me proud.

Finally, what have you got lined up for the remainder of 2015?

Tonn Nua? is still on the festival circuit at the moment, were also developing a project with FACT magazine in relation to music in Dublin. We’re looking to collaborate with more Irish music and visual artists and we will be regularly performing our visuals in and around Dublin.