Politics: Modern and Irish Print E-mail


An afternoon-long seminar organised by the MA in Visual Arts Practices (MAVIS, IADT) in association with Dublin City Council Arts Office on Friday March 15, 2013, 2-5pm 
at The Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery.


The recent exhibition at Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane entitled; Revolutionary States; Home Rule and Modern Ireland commemorated the centenary of the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill to the British Parliament. Exploring the political and social context of the times, the exhibition emphasized the fact that the introduction of the law was, at the time, deeply significant and ultimately initiated a process, which eventually led to independence for the Republic of Ireland.

Aside from this exhibition the centenary did not seem to fire the imagination of the Irish people in general as it is not considered integral to the official narrative of Irish history which forms many people's sense of identity today. Perhaps this is because in many ways the bill was ultimately something of a failure. A more captivating narrative to the history of Ireland is that which we will soon be celebrating, the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916.

This underscores the idea that there are various facets of recent Irish political history that are less well known despite their importance and potential. Certain individuals and chapters are not remembered or even acknowledged and do not therefore play a role in shaping what might be termed Irish heritage.

As society is constructed, it relies on certain heritages to assemble the identities and traditions its populace adheres to, appearing as the political status quo, or hegemony of cultural from. In these forms of collective perception, how might contemporary art, as an eclectic and liberal form, realistically position itself within these discussions? Might this be useful for reimagining Irish politics past, present and future?

Helen Carey, curator and director of Limerick City Gallery, will speak on Labour History projects marking the 1913 Dublin Lockout centenary. With a vote on Independence taking place in Scotland next year, visual artist Roddy Buchanan speaks about the Scottish contemporaries of Wolfe Tone and James Connolly who were prominent in their time but who are almost unheard of today. Considering the state of Loyalism and Republicanism in Scotland today he presents a fresh look at old and new political forces in play in the lead up to the referendum. Amanda Ralph, artist will present a performative lecture on the 18th century song, Mo Ghile Mear, Seán Clárach Mac Dhomhnaill's homage to Bonnie Prince Charlie with reference to James Connolly's essay "The Jacobites and the Irish People" and Peter Watkins 1964 docudrama "Culloden".The discussion will be chaired by Sean Lynch, artist. Those wishing to book a place at this free event should email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with Politics Modern and Irish in the subject line.


Roderick Buchanan, artist
In 2000 he won the inaugural Beck's Futures prize for his work Gobstopper, a video of children trying to hold their breath while being driven through Glasgow's Clyde Tunnel. In 2004 he was awarded a Paul Hamlyn Award. He has had solo exhibitions at Dundee Contemporary Arts (2000) and the Camden Arts Centre (2005), and his work is held in the collections of the Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland. In 2011 Buchanan exhibited Legacy at the Imperial War Museum in London. The work, a video and photographic installation commissioned by the museum, depicted Scottish bands from the Irish republican and British Unionist communities performing in Northern Ireland.

Helen Carey, curator and director of Limerick City Gallery

Helen Carey is director / curator of Limerick City Gallery since 2012.  Prior to that she worked as an independent curator based in Dublin. Previous positions she has occupied include the inaugural Director of the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Director of Galway Arts Centre, Ireland and Public Art Project Manager for the landmark Millennium Commission at Bristol, United Kingdom. She has worked with artists nationally and internationally well regarded artists, including Michael Warren, Amanda Coogan, Sean Scully, Banksy, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, among others. She has also worked with many emerging artists, and has been involved in managing visual art residencies. Helen's background includes studies in history and politics from University College Dublin, as well as post graduate studies in Contemporary Visual Art Practices at Institute of Art and Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire.

Amanda Ralph, artist
Amanda Ralph is an artist whose practice is based on ideas generated though consideration of material in the public realm. Amanda is Programme Director of the MA in Visual Arts Practices at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She holds an M.Sc. from Trinity College Dublin, an MFA from the University of Arizona Tucson, and a BA(Hons) from the National College of Art and Design Dublin. Awards include Fulbright Scholarship, a one-year artist residency at the International Studio Programme at PS1 Museum of Modern Art, New York, a three-year artist residency at the Fire Station Artist's Studios, Dublin and Arts Council of Ireland bursaries. Amanda is currently a member of the International Association of Art Critics, Ireland and Advisory Board member of Askeaton Contemporary Arts.

Sean Lynch, artist
Sean Lynch was educated in fine art at the Stadelschule, Frankfurt, and Limerick School of Art and Design. He is represented by the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery in Dublin. Recently he has exhibited at neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Camden Arts Centre, London, and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, amongst others. He has upcoming solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford and the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 February 2013 12:48