Artist Talk | ‘She’s no collector’, a conversation around an Irish study of art collecting at The Olivier Cornet Gallery


Artist Talk | 'She's no collector', a conversation around an Irish study of art collecting at The Olivier Cornet Gallery Date/Time
Date(s) - 23/10/2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Olivier Cornet Gallery




The Olivier Cornet Gallery would like you invite you to ‘She’s no collector’, a conversation between

Ciara O’Flaherty & Keely McLavin

around Ciara O’Flaherty’s recent research on art collecting

Saturday 23 October 2021
Olivier Cornet Gallery

A free event but due to Covid-related restrictions, until further notice, only 10 seats are available at the gallery. Please book asap by contacting us at

The audio version of the event will also be live streamed on the gallery’s Facebook and YouTube pages

Ciara O’Flaherty is a sociologist, art historian and artist. Interested in fundamental questions surrounding the nature of art, she began researching art collection as part of her studies at Trinity College Dublin to challenge sociology’s dismissive approach to these dilemmas. This study is also an expression of her wish to further understand the interplay of creativity and consumption, a relationship which continues to gain relevance in a society seemingly determined to endlessly promote the latter.

“She’s No Collector” asks: In a society which lauds rationality above all, how do those who employ their resources in a seemingly ‘irrational’ way become motivated to do so, and how do they consider their behaviour? This study suggests that it is unwise to generalise approaches to collecting and ownership, as a wide variety of indicators of intensely complex and individualised relationships between collectors and their art were found. The recurrent themes of social responsibility, memory, completion, the self, dispossession, and shame gave rise to two suggestions. Namely, that experiences of loss or dispossession in various forms contribute to a wish to accumulate in a profound and meaningful way, and that the ideology of social responsibility mitigates experiences of perceived personal shame connected to collecting.

This talk will discuss what this research discovered about the who, the what and – most of all – the why of art collecting.

Keely McLavin is currently a full time student, in the 3rd year of her Fine Art (BA) in TUD. She is also a practicing artist primarily working with paint and drawing. Her practice revolves around social and political issues as well as personal issues with identity, mental health, and gender. She has been volunteering at the Olivier Cornet Gallery for the last couple of months, mainly at weekends.

Attendees will be able to see our current show at the gallery: Yanny Petters’s ‘Field of Vision’, an exhibition of verre églomisé paintings.


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