Place & Movement draws from the Clare County Council Art collection, and is curated by the Young Curators Project, a group of second level students from Ennsitymon’s Scoil Mhuire and VEC schools
The exhibition will be opened by Clare Arts Officer Siobhán Mulcahy at 6.30pm on Thursday 18th January, and runs from 19th January – 24th February 2018.
Drawing from works held in the Clare County Council Art Collection, owned by the people of Co Clare, the Young Curators Project came about following informal discussions between The Courthouse Gallery & Studios’ curator Anne Mullee and Ennistymon art teachers Maeve Collins, Bairbre Geraghty and Mary Fahy.
“We wanted to explore a way of offering second level students an opportunity to experience the curatorial process from conception to execution, from making work to deciding what will be shown in an exhibition, designing the catalogue and installing an exhibition of the resulting selection of works”, explains The Courthouse Gallery curator Anne Mullee.
With grant funding from the Arts Council’s Young Ensembles Scheme, the project organisers were able to devise a programme of activity that offered an overview of this process, culminating in an exhibition drawing from the artworks held in Clare County Council’s art collection.
Clare Arts Officer Siobhán Mulcahy worked with the project facilitators to arrange access to the collection, providing the Young Curators with a rare opportunity to select works for the show. This collection was instigated in 1983 following the purchase of eight prints through the Arts Council’s Joint Purchase Scheme. Since then it has grown through purchases, donations and commissions, primarily featuring artists from Co Clare.
Students from two of the area’s three second level schools, Scoil Mhuire and Ennistymon Vocational School, have participated in the project. They are also exhibiting a selection of prints and conceptual work they have made in response to the Art Collection, which will be on show in the Gallery’s Red Couch space.
The 17 works they have chosen includes prints of Louis le Brocquy’s stunning illustrations for Thomas Kinsella’s 1967 version of the Táin Bó Cúailnge, which retells the folk tales of Cúchulainn and the King of Ulster, as well as work by Deirdre O’Mahony, Jean Regan, John Hanrahan and Eithne Jordan. An early portrait by Royal Hibernian Academy president Mick O’Dea also made the cut – his depiction of Tommy Killoughrey was painted in his family’s pub in Ennis in 1983.
The Project has seen the Group dipping their toes into thinking critically about art, from working with Visual Thinking Strategies facilitator Claire Halpin to collaborating with graphic designer Rob Henderson on the catalogue and poster for the exhibition.
Throughout the past four months, the Young Curators have also visited Limerick City Gallery, Ormston House, Limerick Printmakers, and Clare’s County Council Offices, where they heard from curators and artists, made their own work, and debated the merits of various exhibitions. Clare Arts Officer Siobhán Mulcahy gave them a tour of the collection, describing how the work was acquired by the council and offering background on the artists.
While developing their own work in response to their selections, the Young Curators have experimented with placing conceptual work in different environments – including placing an abstract sculptural work in the aisles of the local Aldi store.
The exhibition’s title, Place & Movement, reflects common themes the group see in this selection of works, where Clare landscapes inform much of the subject matter.
It has been a journey of discovery and realisation, the results of which can now be seen in this exhibition.
Acknowledgements: With thanks to all of the students who have contributed their thoughts, time and artwork to this project. Sincere thanks also to Brian Fitzgerald, Hazel Moore and Jess Tobin at Limerick Printmakers Studio and Gallery Ltd; Úna McCarthy and Simon Fennessy Corcoran at Limerick City Gallery; Mary Conlon and Niamh Brown of Ormston House, artist and Visual Thinking Strategies facilitator Claire Halpin, Young Curators artist-facilitator Maeve Collins and teachers Mary Fahy, Bairbre Geraghty and Brendan Egan from Scoil Mhuire and Ennistymon Vocational School. For his insight and art direction, we are grateful to graphic designer Rob Henderson, and we thank James Shepperd for documenting the entire process. Special thanks to Clare Arts Officer Siobhán Mulcahy and to Ceara Conway for their support and assistance in realising this project.
Scoil Mhuire: Emma Clancy, Mary Devitt, Jessica Heneghan, Nicole Kearney, Anna Murphy, Shannon Noonan, Ciera Rodriguez, Edwina Vaughan, Alice Monacelli, Aoibhín Fahy, Sinéad Hogan
Ennistymon VEC: Seán Andreassen, Charles Higgins, Thomás Mc Namara, Carl O’Connor, Ryan O’Connor, Torin Redpath, Dylan Molly, Saoirse Flynn, Brendan Clancy, Edward Sherlock
A limited edition catalogue accompanies the exhibition and will be available at The Courthouse Gallery during the exhibition, or can be viewed below. screen-res-catalogue (4)
Funded by the Arts Council & supported by Clare County Council