DOMINIC STEVENS (DUBLIN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, DIT) AND SOPHIA MEERE (LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, UCD) DISCUSS THE ‘FIELDWORK LETTERFRACK 2016: ALTER-RURALITY’ CONFERENCE, WHICH THEY RAN 6 – 9 JUNE IN RURAL CONNEMARA.
What starts to happen when artists, architects, landscape architects, farmers, practitioners and researchers from all around Europe meet to discuss rural life? This June, in Letterfrack, Connemara, an event was held to find out. Three Irish universities (University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology) gathered together 65 researchers, practitioners, teachers and advisors, all engaged with rural life and interested in its future, from 30 different organisations and 10 different countries, for exchange of ideas and experience.
JANICE HOUGH OF IMMA INTRODUCES THEIR COLLABORATIVE PROJECT ‘A FAIR LAND’, WITH GRIZEDALE ARTS, BASED IN THE LAKE DISTRICT.
On the first outing to Grizedale Arts in spring of last year, Helen O’Donoghue (Head of Engagement and Learning at IMMA) and I found ourselves driving the entire circumference of the Lake District. After four hours of driving, which should have taken two, we were barely holding it together in the car as darkness fell over the rural pastures of Cumbria. Our failure to locate this peripheral centre led us to discover that there were two Grizedale Arts here. The one we were looking for was in Lawson Park and of course we had followed the prominent signage for the wrong one. After a wrong turn going up the mountain and the squelchy softening of the terrain under the wheels of the car, we reluctantly made the phone call to Adam Sutherland (Director of Grizedale) to assist us back down a dirt track teetering on the edge of a mountain. After this death defying stunt we were warmly welcomed and presented with some of Grizedale’s many culinary delights to help us recover from the ordeal.
LINDA SHEVLIN DISCUSSES M12’S (USA) WORK WITH ITS FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, RICHARD SAXTON.
Linda Shevlin: Richard, since spending some time in September 2015 at M12’s base, The Feed Store, in Byers, Colorado, I’ve been curious about your relationship as a collective, not just to your surrounding community, but to the wider rural art community. Has this fixed, rural base intrinsically influenced the projects you undertake or do you harbour more nomadic tendencies in your methodology?
ARTIST EILIS MCDONALD GIVES A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO MAKE AN INTERNET-BASED ARTWORK.
You might be reading this article in a hardcopy of VAN, but chances are you’ve read more articles online this morning than you’ll read in this entire issue. Every artist that isn’t strictly using traditional media could benefit from knowing how to make an artwork for the internet. Even if it’s not the primary place you want to locate your work, it can be an easy, fun, quick and a satisfying way to express the smaller ideas you might have been saving up while waiting for your next big gallery show.
EMMA DWAN O’REILLY REPORTS ON ‘THE VALUE OF CRITICISM’ SYMPOSIUM, WHICH TOOK PLACE AT THE LEWIS GLUCKMAN GALLERY, CORK, ON 26 FEBRUARY 2016[i]
In Ireland, practices of art criticism have continued to develop in a changing landscape. Although things remain unsettled with regards to establishing publications and securing funding, there exists a vibrant energy around writing on art in Ireland in recent years. New publications, writers and editors have emerged with fresh initiatives and ideas, and there has been an increased interest in developing new spaces, publishing platforms and audiences, and in cultivating alternative approaches to writing about art.
‘The Value of Criticism’ symposium examined the role of art criticism and the critic in determining both the historical and economic value of art. The role of the critic in the changing landscape of art criticism and publishing was also explored, with particular focus on how writers, editors, curators and broadcasters approach and evaluate their subjects and influence public understanding and appreciation of art.
CHRIS HAYES, CO-DIRECTOR OF ORMSTON HOUSE, LIMERICK, DISCUSSES THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF ARTIST-LED PRACTICE AS AN INSIDER.
Sample-Studios is an artist-run space in Cork. To celebrate its fifth birthday Artistic Director, Aideen Quirke, organised a three-day festival of events. As part of the festivities a panel discussion titled ‘Artist-Led Island’ tackled the topic of artist-led spaces in Ireland. The panel included Moran Been-Noon from Platform Arts Belfast, Lisa Crowne from A4 Sounds in Dublin, David Dobz O’Brien from the National Sculpture Factory in Cork, Gavin Murphy from Pallas Projects in Dublin, Shelly McDonnell, Communications and Advocacy Assistant at VAI, and myself, representing Ormston House in Limerick.
NORTHERN IRELAND MANAGER ROB HILKEN GIVES AN UPDATE ON RECENT CUTS TO ARTS FUNDING IN NORTHERN IRELAND.
In October last year 32 arts organisations in Northern Ireland received word that they would each receive an in-year cut of 7% to their budget. Given that the core costs of an organisation are mostly fixed, and that much of the budget had been spent in the first half of the year, many of the organisations were looking at a cut of almost 20% to their ability to deliver their artistic programme during the second half of their financial year.
The 2016 Social, Economic and Fiscal Status of the Visual Artists in Ireland survey was undertaken in January 2016. The survey results are provided with the comparative data from 2011 and 2013. This year’s report will be the first year that specific attention is placed on gender and also the number of years that respondents have been a professional visual artist. We have found that this latter area is more meaningful to visual artists than taking an age profile, though it is possible to use that breakdown for other analysis outside the remit of this report. Continue reading “The Social, Economic, and Fiscal Status of the Visual Artist in Ireland 2016 [ROI]”
SARAH DEVEREUX WAS INVITED TO CONTRIBUTE AN ARTWORK COMPOSED OF TEXT AND DRAWING FOR ONLINE VIEWING. THIS CONVERSATION BETWEEN JAMES MERRIGAN AND THE ARTIST AIMS TO DRAW OUT A CONTEXT FOR THIS ARTWORK, WHILE ALSO BROACHING THE SUBJECT OF SEX AND ART.
James Merrigan: After experiencing your BFA Degree show in the basement of a building on John’s Lane, Dublin, I was smitten. You disappeared off my radar for a couple of years until sometime in 2014 I caught the tail end of a thread of your perverted commentary on Facebook. There was an uncensored precision to it all that I equated to art, even though it was being displayed on something as fugitive as social media. To my mind you were a cross between American poet Patricia Lockwood’s Twitter ‘sexts’ and Raymond Pettibon’s hyper-dialectic drawings. I questioned why I didn’t get to see more of this kind of stuff, sex stuff, in Irish galleries. Do you know why sex and art don’t tag team as much as they could in the Irish arts scene? Sarah Devereux: Well James, is this “tag team” a case of art slapping sex in the hand as its partner to tag in against the world, or is it a question of art vs. sex? You have to be more specific when it comes to tag teams. Who is against whom? Is there consent? Is there equal involvement? Is there mud involved? These are the things everyone must ask before partaking in a tag team between sex and art. Is the sex willingly becoming art or is it trying to just remain sex? Are we too afraid to tag in? Or do we think we are better than having sex in the gallery. Of course I mean sex as a subject matter. As a matter of interest, have you?
Victoria J. Dean, Niamh O’Doherty and Laura Smith Galway Arts Centre, 22 January – 26 February 2016
Boundaries and partitions are staple themes in Irish cultural production. Over the last 100 years the Irish have struggled with the realities of a physical border, alongside metaphysical, social and political divisions. In this centenary year, such themes convey the complexities of our national identity. The three artists in this exhibition all explore aspects of what borders mean in relation to the passage of time.