- 18 May 23
"A couple of months ago, I saw the work of artist David Rooney in Hot Press magazine and I was fascinated," Mirian González tells us.
Limerick IT graduate Mirian González has turned the lens on visual artist and musician David Rooney for a new short film.
'David Rooney: When Art & Music Meet’ was created by the Spanish filmmaker after González graduated with a degree in Creative Broadcast and Film Production, featuring one-half of music duo Echotal.
Echotal – the collaborative vehicle established by David Rooney and Torsten Kinsella of God Is An Astronaut, recently unveiled their new EP Fire At Full Moon, which has surpassed 13,000 streams across more than 80 countries'.
In 2021, the illustrator teamed up with An Post to celebrate Irish Antarctic Explorers by issuing four 'Ice Men' stamps designed by Rooney, accompanied by a powerful animated video. Since then, Echotal have released 'Serrated Dream', 'Endless Fields', 'Famine' and 'Poseidon', featuring the work of cellist Jo Quail.
Mirian González, originally from Spain, came to Ireland over nine years ago after deciding to leave everything behind and improve her English. This was in order to dedicate herself to film and television, her lifelong passions.
"Destiny took me to Ireland, where after reading about the country, its everyday life and Celtic culture, I could see how similar it was to Galicia, the land where I am from, which definitely helped me to decide to come," González tells Hot Press.
"When I started studying film, I became interested in documentaries very early on and I saw that there weren't many opportunities in this field. When the pandemic started, I knew I wanted to create something. I had to do something and that's when the Nakoa studio was born and I created a project called 'Lemonade', where I wanted to showcase new artists and learn more about their creative and human side through an interview and their work.
"A couple of months ago, I saw the work of artist David Rooney in Hot Press magazine and I was fascinated," Mirian adds. "I didn't think twice and got in touch with him. I knew that something beautiful would come out of it. There was an option that he said 'no', but after talking to him, we decided to go ahead and this is the result.”
Rooney, meanwhile, described the process of working with González, noting the compassion and dedication to task.
“Over the years, some art students and graduates get in touch for advice which I’m happy give, if it's of any help," he notes. "However, of late, the style of communication can sometimes be of the 'Hey David, cool work - wanna chat’ variety, which doesn’t really warm me to the task to be honest!
"Mirian’s email stood out because she took such care in how she made her proposal," he recalls. Having worked with Hot Press for a number of years, his career was propelled forwards since meeting editor Niall Stokes after graduating from art college.
"A planned ten minute interview turned into a very enjoyable couple of hours. The edited 26 minute interview covers a wide variety of subjects including the central part that contributing illustrations to Hot Press has had on my career over the decades. Mirian’s 'saying nada’ style behind the camera had the effect of me pouring out on where I started, where ideas come from, the importance of a dead cormorant and how of late the art and music have met in the form of the Echotal project produced by Torsten Kinsella.
"Also the background to last year’s Christy Moore ‘Flying Into Mystery’ album cover, the ‘1916 - Portraits and Lives’ project and the ‘Famine Artworks’ from BBC’s 'Story of Ireland‘ documentary. Mirian did a great job tackling solo what would usually be a team production - producing, directing, filming, sound/editing...even title design. I’m sure her hard work ethic and great personality will serve her well in securing more work in the near future."
"I often think of the day in 1977, Salmons newsagent in Ballinasloe, when I picked up the first issue of Hot Press," David recalls. "I was 15 years old and to discover that like minded people existed on the island was truly a revelation. Nine years later I did my first cover for the magazine."
"Since graduating from art college I had been plaguing Niall Stokes at gigs to let me in with my portfolio. He finally gave in after seeing me busking on Grafton Street. 'Call in on Monday,' he said, dropping a 50p coin into my guitar case. I never looked back."
"On reflection with the likes of Glen Hansard soon to be hitting the same street busking, I think Niall might have had an inkling that drawing pictures might be more my style. Eternally thankful for that 50p encounter, the truth of course is, had I not busked that day the opportunity might never have arisen. 'Paths laid out' as my dear old mother was fond of saying'."
Watch the new short film, When Art & Music Meet, below.