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Search words: tara

Ann Madden Retrospective and Some Art Exhibitions.

category national | arts and media | opinion/analysis author Thursday September 06, 2007 15:55author by C Murray Report this post to the editors

Yeats will run until 2008

There is a retrospective of Ann Madden's Major works from the 1950's to Date
running at IMMA until September the 30th, I had meant to write about it before.
The themes are of voyages and mythos- including the Icarus story which is
painted in red and gold, the paintings are ofter based in connected series
through the East wing of the gallery or presented in Triptych form on the walls.
Its a stunning exhibition, the later paintings are marked with small icons of crosses
. the image shown with this little piece is one of a series of Aurora Borealis inspired
paintings- and the exhibition is free, as is the Yeats collection at the National Library
and of course walking on the Hill of tara.
Ann Madden- Aurora Borealis (IMMA)
Ann Madden- Aurora Borealis (IMMA)

This piece is prompted by an article written yesterday by 'Cael' who had drawn attention to
the issue of Public Sculpture of the commerorative variety in Co Mayo. Three of the
Images at the Madden exhibition are high aerial views of small boat shapes on vast
seas, one of them commerorates the famine exodus and is unlike the others , it
features a boat shape on a vast sea that is divided between the dark water and a morass
of copper and gold creating a whirl around it. Its called 'Passage', that image is available
through catalogue, slide or from attending the exhibition. Its evocative and simple.
The exhibition begins with her early landscape and a self-portrait of the artist in a
working hair veil with one little brush, she has elongated the figure and presented it in
a way where she is remote from the viewer and caught up in her language and colour.
It continues through the whole of Madden's career and ends up at the Aurora Borealis
pictures that can be seen from half way down the main gallery and draw you to them.
The rooms on the right of the main gallery contain the Icarus images and mythos:-
Icarus:- Point of No Return, Icarus:- Transition II, Icarus:- Plummet, Icarus:- Immolation.
They are in red and gold, with tiny iconographic mandalas constructed in the bush strokes
as part of the process of the painting. They are next to the later Aurora Paintings.
The 'Garden of Love Paintings' feature short arm crosses worked into the canvas.

The exhibition is free and is well worth the visit, she is lyrical and poetic, though most of the
canvasses are quite big. the Yeats continues until the end of 2007 and into 2008.
This is ongoing in the National Library and features small rooms , each with a theme
such as: Esotericism, 1916,Maud Gonne, Public Life and etcetera.

The Hill of tara is free for people to walk on but the sites involved in the bisection of the Gabhra
Valley are not and many have been arrested on the flimsiest of video evidence which suggests
that the lines drawn by the NRA and Siac/Ferrovial are known only to them.

We have a pretty amazing modern art collection in the combined galleries of
IMMA, The Hugh Lane, NGI, Red on Green, The Original Print Gallery, Temple Bar
Galleries and a host of small independent concerns. Mostly our modern collections
have been formed through the work of small groups of artists and beneficent
people who recognised at the foundation of the State that the art policy of the
de Valera regime did not do enough to help create a visual feast for young Irish Kids
to help form their ability to discern form in art. Our current Legislation :- The Arts
Act 2003, continues the De Valera policy of funding art that appeals to the state
and often disallows the creation of newer work by creating an ossified establishment
in bursary awards or cutting funds to already struggling music or theatre groups.
we should support the galleries people fought so hard to achieve. The Friends of Irish
Art who did most of the collecting saw the banning from exhibition of such artists
as Roualt. it hangs today in the Hugh Lane Gallery.
+ Its free.

author by C. Murraypublication date Thu Sep 06, 2007 19:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The image of 'Christ and the Soldier' by George Roualt was rejected in 1930 by the
Mandarins who bought the art for the edification of the New Irish Free State.
It caused a scandal and is still alluded to today, especially in the Hugh lane
where the Friends installed it- perhaps in protest at the refusal to hang the
painting in the national collection.

This Link contains Le Brocquy's defence of the Roualt, it is on the Madden site.

a little c+p:-

" We Dubliners have rejected Roualt, the greatest living catholic painter of France,
from our gallery on a dual charge of blasphemy and incompetence.This small
earnest work of a deeply spiritual man was deemed unfit to appear in our
gallery, unworthy to hang beside Millias' flowery show of trivial sentiment or
Boldini's facile display of sensual vulgarity'

(Interestingly the Current inheritors of the Dev approach to art discount our Tara
as a few monuments and snails holding up progress...)
The full essay is @ link.

Roualt, of course can be googled from most of the main galleries in most civilised
nations- imagine the battle royale to get one little Roualt into our galleries.

Bruce Arnold did a good overview of Irish Art in His Modern Irish Art Book, and he
of course was one of the Journalists notoriously bugged by another FF regime.
He is currently writing on the issue of abuse in State Institutions.

Aurora Borealis II, by Ann Madden
Aurora Borealis II, by Ann Madden

author by Utrillopublication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting to get an art item on indymedia. Do the visual arts figure in political discourse?What does visual art do for our lives? Has the one per cent scheme for sculptural art operated by local authorities benefited the street landscape of town and villages? Why do we sometimes get an eyesore planted on our streets? - The central Dublin floozy on the jacuzzi being a notorious example, or the corroded geometrical sculpture that had to be removed from a working class block of flats in Dublin 8 a few years back because it was considered dangerous for young children?

I don't want to be negative about it all. Some spectacular public sculptures have appeared on roadsides and at major roundabouts in recent years. Think of the ancient celtic warrior on his horse overlooking Lough Arrow in County Sligo. Think of some famine commemoration bronzes in several towns. Think of the dignified black sculpture erected in Ballydehob to a local man who won an Olympic medal in the early twentieth century.

As for painting, well people's awareness of twentieth century Irish achievement seems to be limited to portraitists like Seamus O'Sullivan, sentimental landscapes of Conamara and other peripheral areas by the Ulster painter whose name eludes me, the oils, drawings and prints of Jack Yeats, and the mysterious X-ray canvasses of Louis le Brockquy. Evie Hone's church stained glass works are known outside elite art circles too. Dubliner sculptor John Behan is known, though many who approach his famine ship piece at the bottom of Croagh Patrick are repelled by all the skulls in the detail. Also in the field of illustration I know that Jim
FitzPatrick's spectacular celtic prints have enthused buyers among a general public.

But are we as a society sufficiently art conscious to sustain creativity by living artists? I'd be interested to read informed responses.

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interestingly The famine Ship in Mayo came up on another thread.

Evie Hone is mentioned in this thread because People like Le Brocquoy, Hone , Jellet and
Sir Hugh Lane actually cared that modern art was available in the galleries of Ireland.
The Lane Bequest debacle is something most Irish People would be familiar with.
You can read the Yeats poem or just pop into the Hugh Lane and realise that many
artists had to fight tooth and nail aganist the inability of those with power to understand
that in the creation of a nation we are not reduced to making art that conforms to the
rational that informed the original constitution. De Valera cut funds to the National
Gallery of Ireland, therby reducing the purchasing power of its collection in its
embryonic form during the transer of power from the UK administration to the fledlging
26 county Republic.

The Irish exhibition of Living Art and the Friends of Irish Art dedicated themselves
to accquiring, supporting and collecting art for the Irish people, the debacle mentioned over
the refusal of the NGI/RHA to accomodate a Roualt was notorious and led to the speech
by Le Brocquoy. Jellet and Hone studied in the Slade and in France. Jellet
developed her cubism and utilised it in some of the most astonishingly accomplished
religious paintings including: - 'I Trod the Wine Press Alone'. Many of the Jellets and
Hones can be seen in the Irish Wing of the National Gallery, though the blurbs do not
mention their ostracisation by the establishment nor the co-operative society they were
members of.

Harry Clarke- who did a uniquely Irish fairy like definition of religiousity, which was
accused of profanity can be seen in the Hugh Lane- a new triptych of his angels
is in the Irish room of the NGI- it was found discarded and rolled up behind organ
pipes in one of the churches he worked in. There are a series of Hones
which can be seen in the church in Sandymount.

Public scuplture is a tricky one- its more often than not an expedient commissioning
thing that goes on between the councils and the arts council, sometimes competition
which is far more democratic- people should be allowed to choose what best
represents their locales (?)

We now have an Arts Portfolio that is divorced from Both the Heritage and Islands
portfolio and in the Department of Sport; and of course the Arts Act 2003 for the
second time only in the history of the State is closely tied to Government policy
and direction- which creates an overweening political influence.

Many Irish artists travelled to become a part of the Irish diaspora and some came back and
tried to open up their culture to influences from 'abroad', they suffered tremendous
isolation from a state that cared only to project a mythos of that state.

Art and Politics are very close, one need only look at how it was eviscerated for
propagandist purposes in the post-weimar period with:-
Chagall, Schwitters, Dix, Picasso, Kandinsky , dadaism declared- degenerate-
One can look at Stalinism and how art was used to project an image of simple peasant agri
images to advertise close to earth policy by a repressive regime.

The galleries are free and far better for a sunday outing with kids than
sittting in front of a telly, they develop an eye for form and detail that is
not a passive assimilation of corporate advertising.

Related Link: http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bill28/acts/a242003.pdf
author by C Murraypublication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Irish people pay to see 'The Vagina Monlogues' and 'Puppetry of the penis' with credit cards.
These are theatre and accrue a lot of publicity. however there is still a grey area round
'The Midnight Court' and it's reading (it deals with the whole area of celibacy and priests,
interestinglya discussion essay in V. browne's Irish Times opinion yesterday;
regarding Father Michael Cleary and the whole abstinence bit).

Political artists:-RB Kitaj- a memeber of the Jewish Diaspora who rejected the US/Israel
approach to 'muscular' Judaism. His work on luxemburg and Auschwitz is beautiful. The
last exhibition of his work was in the 1990's in London (major exhibit).

And Frida Kahlo , who died 11 days after the overthrow of the Guatemalan government by the CIA.
Her image 'My Dress Hangs There' is an iconic protest at the abuse of South America by
the US and features a peasant dress hanging between the border of Mexico and the US.
It has all the abominations of industrial society in the image. the victims of the Guatemalan
campaign are still seeking information and redress on torture and dissappearances.

The Art Portfolio should be with Heritage and the Islands, the removal of heritage from
the list of portfolios for over 12 months was probably the most anti-culture bit of
tomfoolery ever accomplished by any administration..

author by Anarchivistpublication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 15:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The Art Portfolio should be with Heritage and the Islands"

It should be with Heritage but not the Islands. The Islands are presently with Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, probably more appropriate. Heritage has been split between the OPW and the Dept Environment. Broadcasting has gone to Communications.

Getting them all back into one Dept again will be difficult due to decentralisation

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 16:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bertie shifted the portfolios well before de-centralisation.

He dropped Heritage completely, and the DOE split Duchas leaving us since 2003 without a proper
archive and statutory body for the Protection of our natural and built heritage. This is again
abdication of the duty of care to ensure the protection of our heritage for future generations.
The fastrack planning process began in 1998 with the Roads Act and developed into what we
are now faced with= multiple planning laws all weighted to development and private profit
with no central mechanism for protection.

Sile De Valera headed up 'Arts, Heritage, Gaelteacht and the Islands', which began this FF
round of using injunction and trepass law in relation to crushing environmental protest.
The SIB, at introduction was hailed as a new refined system of speeding up delivery
of crony projects by:- Restructuring the Courts. Restructuring ABP. Transposing selected
elements of Aarhus and doing away with right to Judicial process by the individual.

There has been since the Housing Bill (Miscellaneous Provisions) 2002-[the trespass law
used against some Tara campaigners and in Rossport, through Duchas' abolition no
separate demonstrable commitment to heritage protection.]

The shifting of the portfolios indicated the direction of the proposed FF/PD regime.
They have a duty of protection which they have not carried out , nor did Roche
envisage it within the term of office of the last Government.
Gormley too has failed to announce any protections for environment to redress
the balance.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 17:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having just found this thread, I confess to not being terribly surprised that a commentator is astonished to see art discussed on Indymedia. Apart from oodles, drifts, gusts of often ego-driven press releases on this exhibition, reading, performance and that, there is no serious discussion in any form of media as to the role that art and artists should play, have a duty to play, in the social and political world of their time. It's as if such a discussion would raise too many stones and rock too many boats, and discomfit too many people whose main concern with the arts lies in keeping their cultured heads down. There is much to suggest that the Arts Council, an increasingly secretive body, should be brought under the control of a department which also looks after heritage; there is much too to suggest that the Council as it stands is unwieldy as well as secretive, is reluctant to employ fully the Freedom of Information Act when requested to, is grossly over-staffed, and could fair better by being reduced to a sole body of, say, four persons operating from a department whose remit would be the lasting cultural heritage of the country and not merely the service of a goodly number of individual artists or events. I cannot help but mention that the Council's continued refusal to permit Galway City to have a writers' centre by continuously withholding vital Revenue Funding is a case in point; a department concerned with the longer view, the developing cultural heritage of the country, might have taken a different view.

author by Utrillopublication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 18:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I should have mentioned Robert Ballagh as another living artist known to a wider public outside the art set. His realist paintings have a directness that the untutored viewers can relate to, and he did some spectaculars on the outbreak of the troubles in the North that were reproduced in newspapers and magazines at the time. Also his portraits of Seamus Heaney and other individuals have been reproduced in the print media.

I take points made about the Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealion. It's a body rolling in state money, some of which has been well spent on infrastructure, but its policies are not clear to the public. The broadcaster Brian Farrell resigned as chairman after about a year in the job because there were too many committee meetings taking up too much bloody time. I imagine a lot of horse trading goes on behind closed doors to decide what sums of money go to which branches of the arts and which festivals and other events.

One thought that occurs is the problem of too many artists with too little exhibition space in the public and private galleries. How do all the artists make a living? How do those who can't get a gallery to exhibit them manage to sell their works?

author by Ballagh Likerpublication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Robert is excellent, but the problem with an ossified establishment and the Arts
Council is that the central element of FF policy in art, as in education is
profit=value for money. They run the schools like a business with some dimwit
proposing that the opus of Cecilia Ahern be added to the reading lists of our schools
as representative of Irish Writing at its best. They can absorb that pap intravenously
through the million dollar TV deals- anyway- this would involve a massive financial
hike for the Ahern and what they most desire.... respectability.

Nurturing art and culture for the next generation is beyond the imaginative ability
of those who inhabit the hallowed halls, you need only look at Gormley's repellent
statements on graffiti to understand that he does not get visual art. and of course
his lack of intelligent movement on heritage protection.

author by -publication date Fri Sep 07, 2007 19:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given that the defence by Le Brocquoy of the Roualt (Christ and the Soldier) was mentioned
as a row that divided Irish Society in the 1930's, when the newly minted Free-State was
but a notion of 'how things should be done'- and of course betrayed the ideality of the
men and women of 1916....

isn't it amazing that a boorish Taoiseach who presides over a corrupt cabinet sees fit
to undo the work of generations of preservers who have defended Tara against
attack (for whatever reason- including against the search for the Grail by the
British israelites) and is it amazing that all the fines for breach of habitat directive
and lack of heritage protections is centred in a failed and accquisitive State?

Mr Ahern's words :- 'Snails and archaeology holding up progress', surely must go down in
history as the most ill-advised pieces of claptrap ever to emerge from the mouth of
any Irishman.

Tain Bo Cuailgne- Le Brocquoy
Tain Bo Cuailgne- Le Brocquoy

Tapestry design  for the Tain
Tapestry design for the Tain

author by C Murraypublication date Sat Sep 08, 2007 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Most of our main cities and small towns have galleries and there is a wide variety of artists
working in many media from found object scuplture, graffiti, fine art and performance.

Some names:- Ann Seagrave (performance and movement- based in BCN), Cliodhna
Doyle (print and lithography), Paki Smith (painter) James Hanley (Portraiture). Alice Maher
(multi-disciplined). Maud Cotter, Conor Feeley.Ken Thompson (stone/public sculpture)
Bob Lynn (print/lithography/landscape)

Art resources online:-


The Irish Exhibition Of Living Art which exhibited in Dublin in 1943 caused consternation
because the art displayed was anti-establishment and opposed to the art that the Irish
State wanted to use to reflect its cultural directioning. The groups had crossed over since
the twenties when the artists of the immeadiate post 1916 generation found themselves
without studio funding, encouragement or a national collection of art that was to be held
in trust for the future generations of Irish people. Members included le Brocquy who had
defended the Roualt and attacked the establishment in 1930 for their refusal to countenance
hanging the painting in the NGI and Mainie Jellet whose artistic language had been
attacked by critics consistenlty since she had moved to study cubism in Paris.

Maher's Chaplet
Maher's Chaplet

author by dunkpublication date Sat Sep 08, 2007 18:11author email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address Barcelonaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Glad to see a bit of discussion about art, its place today, what it might mean in the future and a little widening of the normal "political" discussion that happens here on imc-ie.

Just to add my own bit, or to build on bits already added into the imc-ie labyrinth about the role "art" can play in our cultural, which includes political, movement.

In Latin America we do not differentiate between art and life, whereas here in Europe you do.
2 years ago in an art exhibition of sorts entitled "can art change the world" in a temporary gallery space in a fine old building in Dun Laoighre as part of the festival of world cultures, there were films, music and written text with photos about the singor songwriter Victor Jara. He was eventually killed, along with many others in the football stadium during the coup in Chile when Allende was attacked by US CIA bodies. A talk happened, which was led by a Chilean friend from LASC, during the art exhibition which kind of summarised the following: in Latin America we do not differentiate between art and life, whereas here in Europe you do. He outlined how music, singing, dancing, storytelling, street theatre all go to keep the story going, how its not a high class thing, everyone has their songs to sing.

In Latin America we do not differentiate between art and life, whereas here in Europe you do.
3 years ago there was an interesting thing in the project arts centre in temple bar, it was an OPEN exhibition, US born Sarah Pierce, who has lived in Ireland for some time, set up an installation and invited people to add to it, it was called RED ARCHIVE and the theme was "art and politics", whatever they wanted: photos, books, posters.... It happened some weeks after the Mayday demonstrations at the accession of the new states into the EU, when the Irish state for the first time in its history used a water cannon against its citizens who were protesting against the unfair direction the EU was taking.. fortress Europe.
Some of us saw the red archive exhibtion and started to add stuff to it, but then we took it a step further and we tried to push the nature of the gallery space and its rules or accepted ways as to how it was used, equally we pushed the accepted levels of "political action" in what is challenged or confronted, how its done, can it be done in a gentle way, what creative mechanisms can be used to get message across, what systems and spaces and mechanisms outside the norm can be played with for political gain, what barriers surround the "political" and "activist" worlds and if we recognise any can we pull them down....
So we quickly entered stuff that we had pulled together for the previous exhibition at the MAYDAY indymedia centre, which was a weeklong excellent temporary space. We began a dialogue with the artist and with the curator of the gallery and asked what we could do and proposed a few ideas, they were supportive and we organised a film screening of some radical films from the indymedia collective and i think also some quick cuts of the mayday demos. We followed this with a "feedback session", which was an attempt at a dialogue between the "activist" and the "artistic" communities in Dublin, very few people turned up, but some did, some were more from one side, some more from the other, and of course there was crossover and some who were active in both worlds, if a line can be drawn? We had about a 40 minute discussion and it was recorded and uploaded to the IMC-radio network and during all this time on imc-ie there was a thread trying to run simultaneously with the events as they happened in the real world.... the nature of the relationship between art and politics.

Project have done some very interesting things, one guy Seamus Nolan, an artist, did a bike workshop there which was a well used functional thing, he went from there onto working with kids in Ballymun. From there he helped set up the controversial "hotel Ballymun", which when i visited ended up in a long and very enjoyable conversatin with a woman who lived for many years in there and who talks very strongly about the role that "art" has played in building up the community, dealing with and overcoming problems and issues. It seems that for some time in Ballymun ART matters.

There were many sides of argument and thats fine and healthy in the feedback session. My own was and still is that in cities there should be spaces that are amazing and full of creativity, open to all to participate in, educational, experimentational with a wide amount of things going on. Normally you would expect art galleries to be these spaces of high excitement, but my experience had been, and unfortunately still is, mostly, that art galleries are quite boring. They are, mostly, spaces for the consumption and digestion of "art"..."oh, look at that picasso, isnt it lovely....". Housing art is an important thing, thats not what im attacking, what im getting at is that along which all that art galleries, and most of todays modern art for that matter, have and do today, they should have another part which is open and participative, ever changing, chaotic, fluid, experimental.... a space or system which anyone can jump in and get their hands dirty, try things, be moved... a space that perhaps things could grow from? I say this in the Irish / European / Western context where i support our Chilean friends view that we have seperated art from life. Perhaps there have been plenty of examples of this already, perhaps it does happen just not in the very public and important art spaces which are normally publically and /or privately funded and might not wish that. Im sure the DADAists cabarets or situationist events or surrealists writing groups all had their open side for people to come and dip into, but in todays world in cities with all their layers of hidden chaos and magic its not always easy to stumble on such things and perhaps one of the jobs of galleries should be to act as an open door to such things or as a pointer to where things of interest and excitement might be happening...
I still hold, more strongly now, that "art spaces" should not be only be passive but should encourage or at least offer collective or individual participation.

So to answer the question "But are we as a society sufficiently art conscious to sustain creativity by living artists?", if "sufficiently art conscious" means do we only buy "art"...? for me no i dont buy it but if someone feels, for whatever reasons, "wow thats lovely, i want to buy it, " great, let them at it...... some artist somewhere is being helped out. But if there are those who are "sufficiently art conscious" who dont directly financially support the art community by paying for paintings, perhaps they can help them by other means...which leads me to final part..

The creation of "art spaces and systems" + MAKE YOUR OWN ART
There are plenty of galleries, big and small, around the country, but its interesting to see new and exciting spaces open up that are sort of galleries at times and at other times something completely different, im talking about social centres, squats, short term events in spaces both indoor and outdoor. Here personally is something which is truly open and allows for and encourages the type of scenario i painted above of what could happen in an art gallery. Dublins seomra spraoi is a good example, anyone can approach them to put on an exhibition, film, party, event, workshop...... this is great and for me personally it is an attempt to re-connect art and life, back together, so that life becomes more a creative and enjoyable thing to do and experience. These spaces are very healthy when used well, they do have a tendancy to become ghettoized but, thankfully, it seems the Dublin social centre is growing from strength to strenght. Below is an audio recording from one of the collective speaking on RTE's "mooney show" about healthy use of space, art systems in cities and examples outside Dublin of healthy artistic cultural spaces.

Anne Madden and Louis Le Brocguoy
Id the pleasure of meeting this couple and sharing a bottle of wine with them some years ago, we talked about the nature of art and seeing it as a force that can radically change the world. Anne had been around Paris in '68 and talked positively about the passion people then had with the wish to change things, I reported that in "living..." on imc-ie but its full text with photos can be seen on the EASA blog.

My finishing point that art doesent have to be something that ends up in galleries, it can end up there and they are interesting spaces to learn about art, people, ideas, history....
Thankfully galleries are opening up a little bit more, national gallery has talks and workshops and tours. In it and IMMA there is a kids section, which normally is the most colorful and i imagine for many kids who participate the best bit of the gallery... perhaps soon we will have equal space and resource for the "older" kids, like you and me?
Thankfully nearly all galleries are free and open to the public in ireland, because a lot of the time, despite the art in them, they are just plesent places to wander alone or a place to meet friends, on the continent many galleries look so flashy and have built up such reputations, but they are not free, so dont get the likes of me wandering in them, which is a shame.

All creativity is "art". "art" is not specifacally special, it should be explored and enjoyed by all, later we place our own "specialness" on things for lots of reasons. Art be a lot of fun. If played with by more people, maybe this world and her people wouldnt have as many problems.

thanks chris for getting this ball rolling, be nice to hear more from the "politicos" on the use of art and creativity as tools for changing the world.

Adeu from Barcelona, a nice place with lots of places and systems to try things out and to be amazed what people can do for no money...

related links:

art and politics- OPEN exhibition @ project- temple bar

critical discussion @ monks garden, venice

can art change the world?

UBE-urban bicycle exchange- COMMUNISM exhibition- project
open exhibition @ project gallery, temple bar: COMMUNISM
as part of it;
"Further afield, Seamus Nolan will set up an open workshop in an unused shop space, where abandoned and reclaimed bicycles will be reconfigured into working machines"

Hotel Ballymun - Uplifting Art or Poverty Tourism?.....inncluding a previous post re "art"
"ART" : what drives people to life and death

Photo Story from Hotel Ballymun

Today's Seomra Spraoi Radio One Interview
the interview:

Seomra Spraoi collective invites you to a night of play, art, discussion, film, food, disco

Dolphin's Barn community garden under threat


an open "art" system which allowed for IMC input
an open "art" system which allowed for IMC input

which led to "other" stuff and a wider dialogue, which then led to more...
which led to "other" stuff and a wider dialogue, which then led to more...

Can art change the world? perhaps the "polical" world could explore this a little better?
Can art change the world? perhaps the "polical" world could explore this a little better?

seomra spraoi, 1 example of someone who is saying "make your own art"
seomra spraoi, 1 example of someone who is saying "make your own art"

author by C Murraypublication date Sat Sep 08, 2007 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The back of IMMA has an open studio system where sponsored artists in residence
work and meet with people, it opens out the process. I forgot to mention the National
Botanic Gardens which for years has sustained students from NCAD, artists in residence and
has interesting public scupltures such as the Socrates and the little Wittgenstein plaque.

Kids spaces- I'd recommend that a group of pals with kids use the resources available
within the galleries and drop the recommended tours and museum trails- NGI
provides a rucksack to each kid which is returned on leaving, in it are geometric
instruments a frame constructed from mounting board, chubby crayons, papers,
a treasure hunt map and such delights. Kids can sit all afternoon studying a chosen
painting and 'copying' it- it helps them react less passively to visual media- which is
of course led by TV and corporate interests. The IMMA room for kids mainly caters for
organised parties but if an attendant can be found they do accomodate single or
family groups. The Museum on Kildare street does a basic multi-media resource thing
for kids too.
These are innovative ways of learning culture and expression and along with the
exhibits being free , they encourage kids to participate in using a gallery space.

They are daily surrounded by billboards and advertising media which makes the
free galleries a space or oasis from the consistent push on selling and consumption
a forgotten assault on their senses for a good period of the day.

Most working galleries such as temple bar and the project welcome questions
and even allow restricted studio access if ye ask nicely. as to John Gormley's
loathing of urban and graffiti art, kids love it and recognise it for what it is in
an urban environmen indeed some schools are starting programmes where kids
in art classes can explore the medium as 'murals'.

author by ned greenpublication date Sat Sep 08, 2007 20:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I visited the Ann Madden retro some weeks ago,only one painting caught my attention a portrait painted in 1954.The rest in my humble opinion were bland, unoriginal and uninspiring rather alas like the current Green Party Ministers.

author by Utrillopublication date Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The boorishness of past or present politicians is not the only problem with regard to support for visual arts. Samuel Becket once described Irish cattle dealers of the 1940s thus: "They don't give a fart through their corduroys about literature and the arts."

I'm afraid there can be a general public ambivalence about visual art, including the so-called educated middle class. The Thomas Davis sculpture near Books Upstairs and the facade of Trinity College was designed to be part of a fountain, but for many years the water has not flowed. Reason - students and other unknown pranksters delighted in throwing bags of washing powder into the font, creating work for corporation workers to clean up the absurd mess. A few years ago an international travelling exhibition of sculpted cows placed in Grafton Street and elsewhere around An Lar was attacked by vandals unknown. Some years before that a bronze figure erected along the quays near Hector Grays had its shopping bag (or was it the head?) removed 'bei Nacht und Nebel'.

Our schoolteachers and other educational institutions have a lot of work to do to bring about better civic pride in public art.

Oh, I've remembered the well-known landscape artist whose Conamara and other scenes are known to the general public - Paul Henry of course. Two of my favourite living landscape artists are Sean Sweeney, who lays the oil on thick and does large spectacular semi-impressionist bogland themes; and Martin Gale, whose hyper-realist paintings have a suggestion of ghostly presences somewhere off-canvas.

But carry on with your other points. We Irish have a respect for folk culture (music and stories) and for some forms of poetry, so the situation isn't all bleak. But how can we encourage a wider respect for the visual arts?

author by C Murraypublication date Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is a huge difference between the issue of public art which represents a process,
sometimes of competition or commission and of art that people react to or participate
in on a level that would be more personal. There is really no mean by which we could judge
the level of discrimination or visual understanding of public, as opposed to performance/
visual/graffiti/installation art- that happens on an individual basis.
Some might find the soap powder bubbling of a fountain to be amusing , cos it brings out
a childlike reaction of glee- whilst others might think its messy and costly to clean up.
Thats what art is about. The overt interference and re-education policy of the irish people by
The De Valera regime showed a commitment to conservative values grounded in the politics
of the time- and of course the very intimate relation between De Valera and the Vatican
which was evident in his closeness with Archbishop John Charles Mc Quaid, whose
literal interpretation of visual art alone as something that would elevate the viewer to a higher plain
of conscious awareness of dogmatic truth did not necessarily make allowance for the
fact that all Irish people of all faiths did not have nor desire the rigourousness necessary to
achieve sainthood- it was censorious. (at best).Info on Archbishop Mc Quaid's Nationalism
and his interest in World Politics can be googled, he was in Rome for the Lateran Treaty and
a supporter of intellectual Irishness (always politically overt in his support for the men
of 1916 who had been fellow students)= lofty idealism and general RC dislike of women.
The thread began with the issue of the Madden Retrospective and the issue of our rather unique
ability to use gallery space freely in comparison with mainland Europe, public sculpture
and its commissioning is another thread- but feeds into the idea of visual education
on one level at least.

author by Padraigin - nonepublication date Sun Sep 09, 2007 18:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I too viewed the Anne Madden exhibition. I am not as politically or artistically educated as the excellent Chris and many of the commentators. However, I intend to become so having come across these writings. The exhibition stirred me at a very deep level - what beauty, what intelligence - up to now the artist was known to me only as someone who attended lots of socialite gatherings with her famous husband - how dumb was I to have missed out on this beautiful work of a beautiful soul. I agree with the splendour of our having galleries free to the public - I brought my children, and now my grandchildren, many times to galleries throughout my life and theirs - something they would have lost out on if in other countries where payment is so often required. What loss to their developing souls.
Keep up the great work, chris. You sound like someone this country badly badly needs, someone so aware about the fundamentals of life. Would that there were more like you.

author by Picpublication date Sun Sep 09, 2007 19:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Eve of St Agnes...

For info on Clarke, stained glass and book illustrations go to google.
The Tales from Poe are rather excellent and the fairy tales. Small samples of his stained
glass are available in the Hugh Lane and drawings/schemas in the NGI. A list of the
Church windows are available through the net. (incl. Honan Chapel in Cork)

Harry Clarke Stained Glass
Harry Clarke Stained Glass

author by C Murraypublication date Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some of the spaces where art theory and practice is discussed , including using the tech that
is available to artists to increase their work and bring it into new areas is:-


The conversations are based in discussions on topics such as performance or use of
acchitectural and net space to explore the process of developing art dialogue with the
viewer as audience or particpant in the process of making art. from the visual art perspective
some of the theory is ground breaking and some has been done by groups involved
in using those spaces (discussed by Dunk).

There is a writing space called rhizome which does much the same from a writerly

The New Left Curve [with links and reports on this newswire] is looking at art
and politics and the responsibility of the artist in creating and sustaining art
as a tool for societal change:-


author by C Murraypublication date Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Art, like politics, is consistently evolving and pinning down radical art theory would aid in
ossifying it's development, however, Gene Ray does an excellent overview of Radical Art's
relation to Capitalism Here:-


' On the Conditions of Anti-Capitalist Art: Radical Cultural Practices and the Capitalist Art System'

The essay looks the the influence of the Zapatista movement, through the Genoa G8
and onto the present , and at how protest has radicalised Art (and Vice versa).

The essay can be found amongst the Other Left Curve online stuff, by clicking the image
on the presentation page. http://www.leftcurve.org

author by Turner's Cataracts/\publication date Sun Oct 07, 2007 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A few years ago scientists had wanted to explore the diffusion of JMW Turner's light in landscape
in association with his persistent eye problems and went as far as stating that his late paintings
were objective studies in how a person with visual difficulties translates the world.

http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3035931.ece :-

Art and Science:Turner's Message From the Skies, by Geoffrey Lean.

Scientists are studying 554 pictures downloaded from the internet by five/six artists to explore
the effect of earthquake on sunset. !!!!!!!

This is being paid for!

They are measuring images by painters through the veil of a medium that cannot translate
colour or brushstroke and divining from it a whole dissertation on climate behaviour and refraction
in relation to global warming. Its hilarious, I wonder if there backers actually tell them to go and view
an exhibition. Theres also an article on science and creationism. a William James Aphorism comes to

author by Utrillopublication date Sun Oct 07, 2007 23:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Glad to know they are applying scientific equipment to the study of Turner's wonderful sunny seascapes. He was a genius in the way he anticipated French impressionism. A pity the Turner Prize in recent years has degenerated into a carnival of post-art that actually insults the memory of one of Britain's greatest visual artists.

Incidentally Vermeer in the Netherlands applied science to his work by inventing and employing the camera obscura to study form and colour before actually painting his unforgettable interiors and amazing urban landscapes. For more info about the camera obscura read the carefully researched popular novel Girl with a Pearl Earring. It was made into a movie couple of years ago.

author by Turner's cataractspublication date Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting indeed, 'they' had reduced his opus to the fanciful ramblings of the nearly
blind in their wisdom and now the computer image translation of the genius -colour use
is being used to study refraction and global cooling post-volcanic eruption.
Its quite amazing, if they would go and look at the canvases and feel the construction
and art in them they would profit magnificently.
uploading an image and studying it is not a method of measurement- but a series
of haphazard calculations based in data collection.

The Irish Turners are generally displayed in January and Feburary in the National
Gallery due to light considerations, the sketches are on view all year round in the
specially designed print room. Dissection of genius to prove theory is basically a cop out
and painters do not give their secrets away so easily! The Leonardo codex is or was in
the Chester Beatty, they have uploaded and scaled some pages into the machines on the
first floor outside of the Koran room. It is always better, when possible to look at art
in the original, virtual viewing does little for the person except create distance. and we do
have some good collections in the city and country.

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