One of the most significant exhibitions of Irish artists in recent years will be launched in Cavan on Culture Night 2016 as part of an extensive nationwide tour. The exhibition marks 30 years since Local Authorities embarked on providing for the arts locally, featuring 30 artists and 30 places.
This is a must see, not just for the extraordinary line up of Irish artists who rarely find themselves curated into two venues, but for the stories of how they each came to be purchased, commissioned or acquired by local authorities, therein lies the real narrative; the quiet, genuine and imaginative support for Irish artists demonstrated by our local government for the past 30 years.
James Harrold Galway City Arts Officer remarked on the early days of being an Arts Officer “No, we weren't going to fund the local heat of the Rose of Tralee, and we didn't do heritage. We would head off, free and untraceable, pioneering into the blue undiscovered hills and suburbs. Unbothered: we hadn't mobile phones, no-one had. In the un-tethered bliss of communion with the invariably creative communities we encountered we were free to devise residencies, tour theatre, install exhibitions and bring our counties to life.”
Catherine Marshall of IMMA writes in the accompanying catalogue “arts officers went quietly about their work, not heads of smart new venues, not curators of major festivals, not heads of glamorous collections but the real harbingers of the kind of change that empowers and transforms a society.”
At the heart of all this work are artists, and featuring in the exhibition are renowned artists such as Tony O’Malley, Alice Maher, Robert Ballagh, John Kindness, Norah McGuiness, Sean McSweeney, Sean Lynch and John Shinnors alongside alongside emerging artists such as Jenny Brady, Julie Merriman and David Stephenson and many others. The resulting collection speaks of places, people and home which reflects upon local authority arts development as just that, of a place and of a people, of rural and urban Ireland, of home in a changing island where we are bold with new ideas but rooted in our past.
This exhibition includes SWIM by Jane Mc Cormack. SWIM is a series of 11 photographs on tile commissioned by Cavan County Council. The artist Jane Mc Cormack took a series of photographs and Tom Conaty, poet responded to this work. The exhibition in Cavan will include a short film entitled Raymond by the artist David Stephenson. Outreach and education will be facilitated by Rita Kelly, poet and former writer in residence at Cavan County Council.
This touring exhibition, which is being funded by the Arts Council, is the first real public telling of this story. 30 years, artists, places has been curated by Muireann Ni Chonaill, Laois Arts Officer. The exhibition opened on Culture Night 16 September at Johnston Central Library and Townhall Cavan with guest speaker Mary Mc Auliffe, arts consultant. The exhibition continues at both venues until 14 October.
Details: 049 4378548 See www.localartsireland.ie contact firstname.lastname@example.org