MAEVE MULRENNAN DESCRIBES THE CURATORIAL STRATEGIES INVOLVED IN DEVELOPING THE EXHIBITION ‘SYNC’, WHICH OPENS AT THE GALWAY ARTS CENTRE IN OCTOBER 2012, AND IS AIMED AT CREATING A BENEFICIAL GALLERY EXPERIENCE FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER.
In October 2012, The Galway Arts Centre (GAC) will host an exhibition entitled ‘Sync’ as part of the Baboró International Festival for Children. My co-curator, John J Twomey, and I are currently researching methods and mediation techniques for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a visual art context that will inform this exhibition. GAC has been mentored by Ábalta ABA School for Children with Autism and I have also interviewed Carolyn Chin in the V&A Museum Childhood in London, who runs a mediation programme designed specifically for children and young people with ASD.2 ‘Sync’ aims to link together different sources and research, providing a support network to the invited artists. Our research has raised several questions: How can contemporary visual art contribute to the life of a child with autism? What happens to an artist’s practice when they are asked to make work for an audience that may have difficulty with perception?
The ways in which ASD manifests itself are extremely individual. However, the common link is perception. Film director Henry Corra, who made a film with his autistic son George, describes autism thus:
“[Autustic children] have very splintered intelligence, so that they can deal with facts really well, and they can process concrete information really well, but when it comes to the idea of making connections, or empathy, it’s a severe social impairment.”3
5. Roundup. Recent exhibitions and projects of note. The latest developments in the arts sector.
5. Column. Treasa O’Brien.
6. Column. Christopher Clarke.
8. News. The latest developments in the visual arts sector.
9. Regional Profile. Visual arts resources and activity in Leitrim.
13. Profile. Space Time Travel. Artist Sara Haq writes about her unique use of barter and exchange.
14. How I Made. The Artist’s Studio. John Beattie describes his upcoming exhibition at the RHA,Dublin. (Archived)
15. Profile. Night School. Áine Macken introduces her unusual night club art classes. (Archived)
16. Event. Of Other Spaces. Aoife Desmond reports from Manifesta 9.
17. Conference. Like a Buck. Alan Phelan gives his impressions of a recent heritage conference at the University of Gothenburg.
18. Issue. Are you Re -entering the Art World? Noel Kelly provides advice and guidance for those who are.
19. Critique. Our four-page Critique supplement features six reviews of exhibitions, events, publications and projects – that are either current or have recently taken place in Ireland.
23. Profile. Long-term Let. Emma Loughney assesses the long-term sustainability of vacant space initiatives.
24. Interview. First Resort. Jack Nyhans interviews the initiators of a new residency in Donegal.
26. Seminar. Art Law Canada. Kathleen Killin reports from the CARFAC Art and Law conference.
27. How I Made. A Congregation of Vapours. Sound artist Fergus Kelly writes about the production of his new album.
28. Opportunities. All the latest grants, awards, exhibition calls and commissions.
30. Event. 100 Thoughts. Jonathan Carroll reports from Documenta.
31. Issue. In Sync. Maeve Mulrennan details a recent project aimed at engaging autistic children in the visual arts.(Archived)
32. Art in the Community. From Context to Exhibition. Michelle Brown illustrates Create’s Learning Development Programme.
33. Art in Public. Public art commissions, site-specific works, socially-engaged practices and other forms of art outside the gallery.
34. Regional Contacts. VAI’s Northern Ireland Manager reports from the region.
On 18 October last, Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht hosted an important seminar on the topic ‘Philanthropy and the Arts’ at the Smock Alley Auditorium, Exchange Street Lower, Dublin 8. The conference featured speakers from key organisations and arts institutions in Ireland. The speakers outlined the positive impact that philanthropy can bring to arts organisations and businesses and the greater associated social benefits that it can generate. Speakers included Peter Keegan, Country Executive Ireland, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Caitriona Fottrell, Vice President and Director Ireland, The Ireland Funds; John R. Healy, Forum on Philanthropy; Orlaith McBride, Director, The Arts Council; Liam Keogh, Revenue Commissioners; Frances McGee, Director, National Archives of Ireland; Stuart McLaughlin, CEO, Business to Arts; Trevor White, Little Museum of Dublin; Patrick T. Murphy, Director, RHA; Breda Kennedy, Independent Consultant and Patrick Sutton, Director, Smock Alley Theatre.
In 1980, Ireland became a signatory to the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist, a declaration aimed at improving the socio-economic condition of artists. October 27th marks the 32nd anniversary of the Declaration which affirmed the right of artists to the same legal, social and economic advantages enjoyed by other workers.
Ireland, as a signatory, should provide that mechanisms are put in place for a wide range of education, social and economic, and moral supports for artists. While progress has been made on some of these issues, it is fair to say that there is profound disappointment at the slow pace of developments. We are calling on the Government to make good on Ireland’s promise by enshrining the principles of the UNESCO Recommendation into national law.
Have your voice heard !
VAI invites our members, supporters and stakeholders to join us in celebrating this anniversary on October 27th. We feel that the best way to do this is to remind our elected representatives that in 2012 artists are still struggling under many of the same conditions that prompted the UNECSO Declaration back in 1980.
Please write to the Minister for Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs and also to your local TD to reassert the importance of this declaration. There is a sample letter on the VAI web site you can use or adapt. You’ll also find the text of the UNESCO Recommendation, further information on VAI’s position and contact details for your local TD :
Has your artwork or photograph been used in a book, magazine or periodical published in Ireland?
If so you are entitled to claim a share of RETURN royalties. RETURN is an annual service run by IVARO to distribute photocopying royalties to visual creators. An online application form is available on our website: RETURN CLAIM FORM
Don’t miss out !
For further details see: www.ivaro.ie/return
The Arts Council has established an EU Funding for the Arts Forum, which aims to support arts and cultural organisations interested in developing EU partnerships, projects and funding applications. The forum will provide peer-to-peer support, networking and opportunities for collaboration. The next meeting is on 23 October, 10am at the Arts Council premises. New members are most welcome. Book here: http://eufundingforartsforum.eventbrite.com/?ref=estw
The new edition of the Visual Artists News Sheet (VAN) is out now. Members of VAI will receive a copy in the post very soon. If you’re not a member, then give us a call and make sure that you get your VAN delivered directly to your door with an annual membership subscription.
This issue of VAN includes articles by:
Treasa O’Brien, Colin Darke, Christopher Clarke, Sara Haq, John Beattie, Áine Macken, Aoife Desmond, Alan Phelan, Emma Loughrey, Jack Nyhans, Kathleen Killin, Fergus Kelly, Jonathan Carroll, Michelle Brown and Feargall O’Malley…
on topics as diverse as….
- The London Olympics
- Spaces for Artists
- Barter & Exchange
- Making money (Not by making sandwiches in a café)
- The creation of a new film to be shown soon in the RHA
- Arts & Heritage
- The long term sustainability of vacant spaces
- A new residency in Donegal
- Art & Law
- Sound Art
- Engaging with autism
- The British School in Rome
- And how not to bore gallery talk audiences
with peer reviews of recent exhibitions by….
- Richard Mosse – Sirius Arts Centre, Cork
- Chris Leach, Ballina Arts Centre, Mayo
- Áine Phillips, Exchange, Dublin
- Helen O’Leary, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny
- Amelia Stein, RHA, Dublin
- and Hannah McBride, Satis House, Belfast
Magnhild Opdøl, Séamus McCormack, & Barbara Knezevic
Plastic Art sees the commissioning of new work by artists Barbara Knezevic, Magnhild Opdøl and Séamus McCormack. Curated by Dr. Hilary Murray, the exhibition explores the notion of the biological network in art through the manipulation of form, seriality and the interplay of physical change with recognition.
The synapse forms the primary interface for the most complex of systems—the brain. Loaded with membrane proteins that form dynamic channels, this interface is in constant motion: the primary function being the transfer of information. The plastic neuronal network has opened up endless possibilities for perception, learning and memory: a system that has been mimicked in the mechanical age in the shape of the computer. Along with the advancement in biological systems, parallel functions are being mooted in a host of differing applications, most recently in the arts. The biological cell and its endless capabilities continue to be referenced in contemporary art today, particularly post-minimalist sculpture.
September 21st–October 13th
At a certain juncture during Plastic Art certain work will be re-addressed in light of the current display and how it is received. This delicate adaptation of the work will be referred to as an ‘arbor’ or branching.
Gallery 1: (290M2)
8 x A1 drawings to be displayed directly opposite a wall of identically mounted foam taxidermy heads (8 in total)
Floor work: 4 sculptures
These works can be spread through a number of smaller rooms if a large enough space is not available.
Gallery 2 (50M2)
One video and sculptural work (Seamus McCormack) – ideally this should be in an adjoining room to the other works.
Catalogue available. Limited Edition print available.
We have used Plastic Art as an educational tool to demonstrate the synergy between art and science – see www.ruared.ie ‘Art Trolley’
Curatorial and artist fee required.
Dates available: October 15th onwards
Artists Fees required: In keeping with VAI policy, an artist’s fee is required