Bealtaine Festival in association with VAI & the RHA School – Sustaining your Practice II


Bealtaine Festival in association with Visual Artists’ Ireland & the RHA School present

Sustaining your Practice II


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We are taking a cancellation list, so do proceed to the ‘register here’ button below to express interest in spaces that may become available.

We will notify interested artists a few days before the event if spaces have become available.

Bealtaine Festival in association with Visual Artists’ Ireland and the RHA School present “Sustaining Your Practice II”, a day-long professional development seminar for older artists. The aim of the event is to address the fundamental issues facing practicing artists midway or late into their careers. The needs of these artists and practicalities of maintaining a practice for this generation will be addressed with particular focus on their representation in public and private institutions, advice on approaching and working with curators, one to one clinics for artists with invited curators, advice on pensions along with other practical financial issues and a reflection on the challenges of maintaining a practice by leading visual artist, Samuel Walsh. Participating curators include Patrick T. Murphy, Director of the RHA; Davey Moor, Independent Curator and Arts Manager at the OPW & John Daly, Gallery Director of Hillsboro Fine Art and Maeve Mulrennan, Curator at Galway Arts Centre. There will be a panel discussion with all the invited curators chaired by Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.

Running Order

10.30 – Meet & Greet Tea & Coffee Introduction
11.00 – 11.30 – Gaby Smyth –
Financial concerns of artists over 50 – including tax and pension entitlements and preparing, financially, for later life.

11.30 – 12.30 –
Aoife Ruane, Curator & Director the HIghlanes Gallery, Drogheda will chair this Panel Discussion, which addresses the representation of older artists in public and privately funded galleries and collections.

The panel will include: Davey Moor, Curator; John Daly, Director, Hilsboro Fine Art; Patrick T. Murphy, Director, RHA; Maeve Mulrennan, Curator; Maria Simonds-Gooding, artist and Sam Walsh, artist.

Following short introductions from each contributor the panelists will respond to questions from the Chair followed by a moderated discussion and questions from audience.

12.30 LUNCH

13.30 –  15.30  – Clinics 4 per curator x 30mins (if you wish to avail of a clinic please indicate so in the registration form).  Citizens Information service will also be in attendance and available to chat with should you have questions regarding the State Pension and your entitlements.

15.30 –16.30 – Artist reflection with artists Maria Simonds-Gooding and Sam Walsh

Leading Irish artists Maria Simonds-Gooding and Sam Walsh will reflect on the challenges they’ve encountered as an older artists and how they have overcome them.
16.30 – Ends


Samuel Walsh was born 1951. He studied at Limerick School of Art, University of Limerick Mary Immaculate College, and the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He was elected a member of Aosdána in 1997 and has served as a Toscaire twice. He is in the words of Róisin Kennedy the art historian: ‘…one of the country’s leading exponents of abstract art…’

 Since 1978 he has had many one-person exhibitions in Ireland the latest in 2015 entitled ‘In Berlin’, at Glór, Ennis, Co Clare. He has also had one-person shows in Switzerland and France. In November 2007, Walsh showed a major body of work based on Dante Alighieri’s ‘The Divine Comedy’ at the Limerick City Gallery of Art part of which travelled to France in 2008 and all of which travelled to the Triskel Arts Centre @ ESB: Caroline St., Cork, in 2010. He showed a major exhibition of paintings entitled: ‘The Coercion of Substance’, at VISUAL, Carlow in September 2011 that toured to Drogheda and Letterkenny in 2012. He has had two-person shows with Michael Fitzharris, Liam Flynn and Richard Gorman. He is represented in Ireland by: The Oliver Sears Gallery, 29 Molesworth St., Dublin 2. (  His work has been exhibited extensively in England, Slovenia, France, Germany, Hungary, USA, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Croatia, Canada, China, Singapore, Italy, Slovakia, Australia, Hong Kong, Norway, France, Greece, Thailand, and the Czech Republic. He is one of Ireland’s leading draughtsmen and his drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Work by him has been acquired by national collections in England, Switzerland, Hungary, Croatia, and Italy and his work is in many public collections in Ireland including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Office of Public Works, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Clare County Council, and the Arts Council. (see also:  He is the founder of the National Collection of Contemporary Drawing, which hangs in the Limerick City Gallery of Art. He lives in Co Clare where he also has his studio.

Maria Simonds-Gooding has been identified as one of Ireland’s foremost painters and printmakers to have emerged since the Sixties.  Her work, which has been exhibited internationally, is represented in many public and private collections, including those of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  Born in India in 1939, Maria Simonds-Gooding studied at the National College of Art, Dublin, Le Centre de Peinture, Bruxelles, Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, UK from 1962 – 1968 and has lived and worked in Kerry since 1947. She was elected a member of Aosdána in 1981 and was elected full membership of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2012.

Aoife Ruane – to follow

John Daly, Gallery Director of Hillsboro Fine Art in Dublin, established the gallery in 1995 with a special interest in 20th and Contemporary art. In this role, he has been responsible for first solo exhibitions in Ireland by many renowned international artists including Jannis Kounellis, Alan Davie, Gillian Ayres, John Hoyland, Anthony Caro, Markus Lüpertz, Catherine Lee, Enzo Cucchi, Alex Katz, Sandro Chia, Larry Poons and numerous others. Though Hillsboro Fine Art continues to expand and develop its international links, its principal focus is on promoting Irish art and the artists represented by the gallery including Paul Doran, Corban Walker, Patrick Hall, Patrick Graham, Michael Warren, John Noel Smith, Gwen O’Dowd, Eilís O’Connell, Eddie Kennedy, John Gibbons and others.  John, a graduate of the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, has written numerous essays, papers and conducted interviews with many of the world’s best known artists; he previously worked as a university lecturer and academic publisher and has been a collector of contemporary art for more than 30 years.

Davey Moor is an independent Curator, photographer and registrar based in Dublin.  Davey was Curator at Monster Truck, Dublin, 2008-2013. Since 2010, has worked as a registrar to the State Art Collection of Ireland with the OPW’s Art Management section. Between 2008 & 2010, he managed Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin, becoming a director in 2009. Between 2005-07, he directed & programmed One Gallery, Dublin, and 2004-05 ran photographic exhibitions in Dublin for Epoch. He has produced photo-documentation for many galleries and publications in Ireland and abroad and is an occasional writer on art. He holds an MA in Cultural Policy & Arts Management from UCD and a Diploma in Photography from the IADT, Dún Laoghaire. Curatorial interests include: fictional, narrative-driven work questioning notions of authorship and authenticity; phantasmagoria, superstition, myth and the esoteric; cinematic photography; the natural world; the modern, (un)grand touring eye.

Patrick T. Murphy graduated from Trinity College Dublin. From 1980 to 1984, he was Exhibitions Officer with the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. In 1984, he became Director of the Douglas Hyde Gallery. From 1989 to 1998 he directed the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, returning to Ireland in 1999 to take up the Directorship at the Royal Hibernian Academy. He has worked on many exhibitions and projects with artists such as, Bill Viola, Charles Tyrrell, Marlene Dumas, Anslem Kiefer, Barrie Cooke, Dorothy Cross, Robert Gober, Jose Bedia and Tacita Dean.

Maeve Mulrennan is the Head of Visual Art in Galway Arts Centre and the programmer for the 2017 Cúirt International Festival of Literature. Maeve was on the Board of Directors of Tulca Festival of Visual Art from 2006 – 2017. She lectures in the MA Arts Policy & Practice in Huston School of Digital Media, NUI Galway. She has also previously been an online-lecturer with NODE Center for Curatorial Studies, Berlin. Maeve is a short story writer, with fiction published in several online journals, The Doire Press 2013 Anthology and The Galway Review. She has a BA in English Literature, BA in Fine Art (Painting), h.Dip in Arts Policy and an MA in Visual Art Practices (Curatorial).

Gaby Smyth is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and managing director with Gaby Smyth & Company Ltd., Business Consultants. He has provided business and taxation advice to individuals and companies for almost 20 years, specialising in the literary, music, film and theatre arts. Gaby has a keen personal and professional interest in the visual arts, promoting not just the work, but the role, of artists, through his work with organisations such as: Pallas Studios, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, IVARO and VAI. He is Chair of the boards of the Dublin International Film Festival, Opera Theatre Company and Boulder Media Ltd.

Mary Murtagh Citizens’ Information Bureau – Citizens Information Service provides a free, impartial and confidential information, advice and advocacy service to the people in the Dublin 2,4 and 6 Postal Districts from a number of locations, on their social and civil rights and entitlements, which is intended to inform educate and empower all individuals in the area. Staff and volunteers work under the guidance and direction of the Board of Management to deliver quality information, advice and advocacy services to the public. The work of the service is informed by strict policies and procedures and is provided by trained Information Providers who have completed accredited training which ensure that a quality service is offered to the public in keeping with the commitments set out in the Customer Charter.

  • May 23, 2017
    10:30 am - 4:30 pm



Royal Hibernian Academy, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Dublin, D2, Co Dublin