Public Art and Public Engagement

Visual Artists Ireland – Professional Development

Venue: Glor

Address: Causeway Link,

Ennis, Co. Clare, V95 VHP0

Starts: Thu Jun 29 2017, 2:00pm GMT

Ends: Thu Jun 29 2017, 5:00pm GMT

A seminar on public art - VAI in partnership with Clare County Council Arts Office.

Coinciding with the launch of Clare County Council's new programme of public art commissioning Gaining Ground - Re-Imagining our Futures through lasting Public Art Encounters. Clare County Council Public Art Programme 2017- 2020

This afternoon series of talks and 1-to-1 Clinics aims to support artists who might wish to submit proposals to Gaining Ground. Accomplished artists Fiona Woods, Gareth Kennedy and Pauline O'Connell will provide insight into their practices as they relate to public art making, focusing on projects that have engaged in a significant way with local communities.

The will discuss:

  • successful public art proposals and projects they have achieved
  • methodologies and ideas they have developed as a means of engaging with communities
  • approaches to developing connectedness and sustainability in the process and outcomes of projects
  • technical or other challenges they have encountered and overcome
  • their learning through project/s and advice for artists new to the public commission process

Following the talks there will be a number of 1-to-1 Clinics, for artists attending, with the speakers. The clinics are an opportunity for advice on a public art proposal or a project idea that you are developing and for feedback on how you present your ideas at proposal stage. Please request a clinic on the registration form on the VAI web site. Clinics will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Fiona Woods is a visual artist whose practice crosses critical inquiry, artistic intervention and international research collaborations. She uses public space, social situations and the institutional site of art as circuits for the production and distribution of works that explore ideas of public interest or what we have 'in common'. 

Fiona regularly operates in a co-productive capacity with others and has carried out commissions and artistic research residencies in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Lithuania, Australia, Canada and the US. Recent commissions and publications include: Tongue-tied, (2016, National Sculpture Factory); one kind and another (2016: collection of minds); Herd, (2014: Action on the Plains, USA); The Researcher’s Two Bodies/ Lines in the City with Susanne Bosch (2013:City (Re)Searches, NI); Pissing in the 7 Seas, (2013: On Remoteness, LI). She devised, curated and produced the programme of rural public art Ground Up for Clare County Council from 2003 – 08 and co-curated Yak Yak: rural/ art dialogues (2013) for the Swan Hill Art programme in Victoria (AUS).

Fiona is currently carrying out practice-based research into the economisation of space in Limerick city and its effects on social and spatial aspects of publicness. Woods teaches at Limerick School of Art & Design, specialising in work that crosses theory and practice at undergraduate and MA level. She is a lecturer on the MA in Socially Engaged Art at NCAD, Dublin, and an external supervisor for the curating programme at the Huston School of Film in NUI Galway (2014 – 16).

Gareth Kennedy will present his research-intensive methodology through a series of public art projects undertaken in recent years.

Gareth's art practice explores the social agency around the production and performance of experimental material cultures in specific contexts. He has produced and exhibited work nationally and internationally. His practice to date includes public artwork, educational projects, exhibitions, residencies and collaborations.  Recent manifestations of his work include Enter Stage Left, group show at the Lewis Glucksman in Cork, (2017); Die Unbequeme Wissenschaft (The Uncomfortable Science), solo exhibition at the Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum, Innsbruck, Austria; Post Colony, solo exhibition at VISUAL, Carlow (both 2016) and The Origins and Uses of Round Towers, a public art work with Fingal Arts Office in Portrane, Co. Dublin (2015).

He is a lecturer in Sculpture and Expanded Practices at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and also works with Sarah Browne as the collaborative entity, Kennedy Browne. 

Pauline O’Connell (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1971) is an artist, researcher, curator, occasional lecturer and writer, studied Fine Art at IADT, Dún Laoghaire from 1988 - 1992 (Dip. Hons) and Social Practice at LSAD, LIT from 2011 - 2012 (MA 1st class Hons.).  She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam’s School of Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) where she is researching ‘postrural’ identity - taking an (auto) ethnographic position.  

Her work investigates the rural discourse as a system of representation: a landscape, a place, a people, a subject and philosophy that is translated through her social practice - encompassing sculpture, photography, video, audio, events and text.  Past public projects include Drawing The Water, % For Art, Co. Kerry; Regeneration, % For Art, Co. Sligo in collaboration with Martina Coyle and Hillary Gilligan; The Plain of Silver Wood, % For Art, Co. Kilkenny; The Orchard, % For Art, Waterford.  Current projects in Co. Kilkenny include The Weather Reports, Beating the Bounds and The Community Field.  Recent exhibitions include Lacuna 04 at Taylor Galleries Dublin (2017), Our Journey to Here at Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow (2016) and a touring exhibition at Leitrim Sculpture Centre Gallery travelling to Roscommon Arts Centre (2015).  

Recently accolades: a Bursary from University College Cork and the 49th Conference of Irish Geographers for Art and Geography, May 2017; nominated by Irish Museum of Modern Art and CREATE Ireland for an Artist Residency with Sweetwater Foundation and Hyde Park Art Center Chicago 2017 (shortlisted). O’Connell works between County Kilkenny, Ireland and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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