We work exceptionally hard in the arts. Whether working day in, day out in studios, travelling the length and breadth of the country, grant-chasing, freelancing or maintaining real jobs at the fringes of day jobs, we move mountains every day. While critical reflection is an inbuilt methodology of what we do, how often do we actually pause to reflect on our progress or marvel at our achievements? As the final Visual Artists’ News Sheet of the year, this issue is positioned to consider recent developments across our sector, while assessing some of the challenges that remain.
JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS SARAH BROWNE AND JESSE JONES ABOUT THEIR ONGOING PROJECT ‘IN THE SHADOW OF THE STATE’. Joanne Laws: Perhaps you might explain how your collaboration came about and introduce some of your initial ideas in developing this major new project? Sarah Browne/Jesse Jones: We’d known each other’s practices for many years and felt that at some stage we would find the right opportunity to work together. In 2014, we started discussing a potential collaboration with Patrick Fox (then Director of Create), and later Rachel Anderson (then producer/curator at Artangel, London). We attempted to identify the greatest urgencies for us as artists at that time and felt there was
JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS ANDREW DUGGAN ABOUT ‘PROCLAMATION’, A MULTI-VENUE EXHBITION FUNDED BY CULTURE IRELAND. Two neon signs in a field A public act What’s said? ‘It Only Remains’ (into the night) (out of the dawn) ‘Until Such Time’ Explicit or evocative, for discourse or meditation A spell to conjure a desired state of affairs A declaration that a state of affairs pertains Sounds: between crying and sighing What’s projected?
Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, the Rotunda Hospital Pillar Room, Dublin, 23 – 25 September 2016 The day of the second public performance of Jesse Jones and Sarah Browne’s The Touching Contract fell on a date of heightened emotion for women in Ireland, taking place just hours after Dublin saw thousands take to the streets in the fifth annual March for Choice, part of the campaign demanding that the government repeal the Eighth Amendment. The atmosphere in the Rotunda Pillar Room’s ante-chamber was withdrawn and respectful; the audience appeared fragile. The third chapter of four performative works in the pair’s first collaboration ‘In the Shadow of the State’ was devised in
John Byrne, The LAB, Dublin, 24 June – 10 August 2016 The official 1916 commemoration on Easter Sunday was a conservative if dignified solution that marked the de facto centenary of the foundation of our state. Designed to avoid controversy or soul searching, the event sidelined years of colossal social and economic upheaval in favour of a traditional military parade by the Irish Defence Forces. And they did it very well. In contrast, but arguably hidden safely in the margins, John Byrne’s exhibition ‘Would You Die for Ireland?’ is part of the LAB Gallery’s series of exhibitions supported by Dublin City Council’s Commemoration Fund, which asked artists “to consider what
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