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?
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
DIRECTOR/CEO NOEL KELLY DISCUSSES VAI’S RECENT ADVOCACY WORK IN SEVERAL AREAS AND DETAILS HOW THE ORGANISATION WILL BE MOVING FORWARD IN RESPONSE TO RECENT CONCERNS ABOUT POLICY AND FUNDING FOR THE ARTS IN IRELAND. The arts are back in the news. Every change in government and lead up to a new budget brings with it a renewed expression of the sector’s importance and need for support. It would appear that memories are short, as it seems necessary to repeat the same arguments each time and often to find new ways to express them, as the media become more and more hungry for what is new. In reality, our statements are
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
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.