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Good Listeners

CHRISTOPHER STEENSON INTERVIEWS DANNY MCCARTHY AND MICK O’SHEA ABOUT THEIR SERIES OF NEW RELEASES, WHICH EMERGED OUT OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG RESIDENCY. Christopher Steenson: How did you both come to be invited to participate in the Robert Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island in Florida? Danny McCarthy: An American artist, who was sitting on the selection panel for the Rauschenberg Residency, recommended us. You cannot apply to go on the residency, as it’s by invitation only. I knew we were to be invited on an American residency, but when this arrived in my inbox it was like winning the Lotto – the terms were so generous. In fact,

Finding the Line

JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS THREE EARLY-CAREER ARTISTS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES OF MAINTAINING A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE AFTER COLLEGE. Joanne Laws: What were your priorities and expectations upon leaving art college? Cecilia Danell: I graduated from GMIT in 2008 with a BA Hons in Fine Art Painting. I was pretty young at the time, having gone straight into college in Ireland after secondary school in Sweden. Despite being awarded GMIT Paint Student of the Year, and feeling committed to pursuing a career as an artist, I have to admit that I knew very little about the realities of life after college. It was terrible timing, as the recession hit Ireland with full force

Space is the Place

CHRISTOPHER STEENSON DISCUSSES SOME OF THE MAIN CHALLENGES FOR ARTISTS IN SECURING STUDIO SPACES. The words “artist” and “studio” seem to go hand-in-hand. If you are one, you need one. Workspaces can sometimes be as revered as the artists themselves. Just look at Francis Bacon – his studio was deemed so significant that conservators at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane painstakingly moved its entire contents from its original location in 7 Reece Mews in London. An extreme example, but, as outlined in other articles featured in this issue, studios are an important – if not essential – part of an artist’s practice. Studios aren’t just a place for making

Regional Retreats

SUZANNE WALSH PROVIDES A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF PROMINENT IRISH RESIDENCIES. Ballinglen Arts Foundation Ballinglen is set in the village of Ballycastle in County Mayo and has been running since 1994. This residency seeks to support artists in an inspiring setting. Artists are encouraged to interact with the local community during their stay by carrying out talks, workshops, exhibitions and school visits. Successful applicants are offered a cottage to live in free of charge as well as a studio. No formal outcomes are specified. Residents are expected to have professional standing in their field, or be an emerging artist of recognised ability. Mayo residents are not eligible. The residency runs for

Critical Exposure

JOANNE LAWS PROVIDES SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE ON HOW TO GET YOUR WORK CRITIQUED AND WRITTEN ABOUT. As Features Editor of VAN, one of the most common requests I receive from artists is: “Can you review my exhibition?” Often these pitches arrive at short-notice and contain sparse information about the exhibition in question. All VAN writing proposals are discussed during bi-monthly editorial meetings and only five exhibitions are reviewed in the Critique section of each issue. We try to cover a range of media, venues and geographical regions, as well as giving coverage to artists at different career stages. Artists, curators and gallery directors are advised to submit details at least

Take Your Passion (and Make it Happen)

PÁDRAIC E. MOORE REFLECTS ON HIS EXPERIENCES OF WORKING AS AN INDEPENDENT CURATOR. My curatorial career dawned in my early twenties, when I began organising exhibitions and events in various spaces across Dublin. I had just completed a BA in the History of Art at UCD and was about to embark on an MA, eager to apply my knowledge and enthusiasm. I’ve always been a voracious exhibition attendee and from my late teens onwards I had the opportunity to meet numerous artists and curators. These experiences shaped a nascent inkling that I wanted to work with, and alongside, artists in a role that would enable me to inhabit and contribute

Sounding Out

CHRISTOPHER STEENSON REPORTS ON SONORITIES FESTIVAL – AN EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC AND SOUND ART FESTIVAL THAT TOOK PLACE IN BELFAST FROM 17 TO 22 APRIL. If someone asked you where they might find a week-long, international festival dedicated to the latest developments in experimental music and sound art, you might recommend somewhere like Berlin. But since 1981, when Sonorities was founded at Queen’s University (QUB) as a “festival of twentieth century music”, Belfast has been just the place for an exploration of all things sonic. This year’s Sonorities Festival, which featured artists from over 40 countries, made a conscious effort to be more inclusive and open to the general public. By

How Do We Get Off?

CURATOR DANIEL BERMINGHAM INTERVIEWS ARTISTS EIMEAR WALSHE AND EMMA HAUGH ABOUT THEIR RECENT EXHIBITION, ‘MIRACULOUS THIRST’, AT GALWAY ARTS CENTRE (5 – 25 MAY). Daniel Bermingham: The exhibition title, ‘Miraculous Thirst’, is a totem for shameless desire, in the face of personal sexual trauma. During the development of your show, Ireland responded to a particularly violent period of national sexual trauma. Can you discuss the relationship between personal and collective trauma? Eimear Walshe: Coming from the online lexicon, ‘thirst’ is a playfully condemning word for shameless displays of queer desire. I use ‘miraculous thirst’ to describe persistent, undisguised desire that has been suppressed, under whatever personal or systemic regime. Such

Landscapes of Potential

AIDAN KELLY MURPHY INTERVIEWS ÁINE MCBRIDE ABOUT HER EMERGING PRACTICE. Aidan Kelly Murphy: Prior to studying art, you obtained a degree in structural engineering. Was this something you had planned or was it something that just evolved? Áine McBride: It wasn’t some grand master plan. I dabbled in painting, knowing that there was something interesting there, but not knowing how to articulate it; being an artist was never framed as something I could realistically pursue. I was interested in looking at art and had friends who were artists so I had an idea of what was going on, but more from the periphery. About halfway through studying engineering, I knew

Dismantling the Monolith

MARY CONLON CATCHES UP WITH INTI GUERRERO, CURATOR OF THE 38TH EVA INTERNATIONAL, CURRENTLY SHOWING ACROSS MULTIPLE VENUES IN LIMERICK CITY. Mary Conlon: In developing the 38th edition of EVA International, you have replaced the standard ‘monolithic’ biennial model with a more complex ecology of exhibitions. Can you explain this curatorial strategy? Inti Guerrero: It is a proposal that corresponds to the simultaneous multiplicity of perception that audiences today have developed, alongside the advent of social media. In other words, in a biennial imagined as an ecology, people can navigate back and forth through entirely distinct bodies of work and different constellations of meaning, and yet not feel the need

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