Archive for the ‘News from the art world’ Category

I Am Wall Project…We Need YOU!!

August 11, 2011

Locals are being asked to participate in the biggest ever celebration of Drogheda’s town wall. We are looking for volunteers to join us in bringing together over 2,000 people to join hands and form a ‘Human Wall’. The event will take place on Sunday the 21st of August at 11.30am and will last for just one hour. The event will be recorded by aerial footage and each participant will be given a free red T-Shirt and a certificate stating their involvement in the event.
The event will be covered by local and national newspapers, radio and television including RTE’s Nationwide.

Please contact Drogheda Art Centre for more information
call:041 9875140
For info: Marcella Bannon – 0868278170

The budget and the arts

December 10, 2010

The arts have been hit by the budget, just like any other department, but it could have been worse. Art and Culture not only plays a considerable role in the history of Ireland but also remains important in contemporary life and it exerts a great attraction to the rest of the world. Ireland is known for its music, traditional folk, dance, literature and visual arts. Great names from Irish art and culture are famous worldwide such as Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, U2 and many more. The arts are one of the important values Ireland’s reputation relies upon and especially in times of recession, it is important to keep supporting creativity and artistic endeavour.

The budget has a relatively positive outcome for the arts community, considering the circumstances the country has to cope with. A budget of 150m has been allocated to culture and film, of which the Arts Council receives 65.2m, which is a reduction of 5%. The RTE website states the following: “Representatives for the arts have responded, saying the Budget represents a positive result for the arts community. Minister Hanafin has said funding for the Arts Council will help sustain its major arts organisations, keep regional venues open and programmed and support festivals and touring. A spokeswoman for the National Campaign for the Arts said the budget represents a positive result for the arts community. Although there have been cuts, they can be lived with she said and the continued strong investment in the arts shows that the case they made has been listened to. The NCFA is particularly pleased with the funding for Culture Ireland to promote Irish art abroad.”

In other words, this is somewhat a positive signal which values the importance of art and culture. The full breakdown is to be found on the RTE website. Click here to read more about the budget for the arts.

News from the art world: National Campaign for the Arts

September 21, 2010

Last Friday the 17th of September was the National Day of Action as part of National Campaign for the Arts. Plenty of events were organised nationwide to demonstrate the importance of the arts for the country. The National Campaign for the Arts ensures the arts are on local and national government agendas and recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life.

As written in The Irish Examiner ‘The National Campaign for the Arts was founded in September 2009, following the publication of the McCarthy report, which proposed severe cutbacks in funding to the arts. The campaign encourages members of the public to email their TDs, calling for the preservation of funding to the arts. ‘

In Drogheda Nick Reilly, Board member of Droichead Arts Centre was talking on LMFM during the Micheal Reade Show about the importance of the arts nationwide referring to the excellent reputation Ireland has worldwide, generating fantastic musicians, artists, writers etc.

For more information and reviews on the various events go to

This week we’re inspired by… Betty Boop’s 80th birthday.

August 11, 2010

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She has long eyelashes, feminine shapes and garters. She was created in a time when little cartoon characters didn’t yet suffer from “political correctness”. We’re talking about no one less than Betty Boop.

Betty Boop is now 80 years old. She’s the famous cartoon character created by Max Fleischer and one of the first sex icons on the screen. Exactly 80 years ago, on August 9, 1930, she appeared for the first time in the film “Dizzy Dishes”. Her looks then weren’t quite the same yet compared to how we know her now.

In order to increase her popularity and as a feminist issue against prudery, the creators gave her a more overt sexual appeal. She has long eyelashes, a pouting mouth, a short skirt and her breasts were suggested with a low, contoured bodice that showed cleavage.

Mae Questel provided the voice of Betty Boop from 1931 until her death in 1998. Questel enthusiasts will also know her as the voice behind Olive Oyl, Popeye’s girlfriend.

The films with Betty Boop became less popular as the Hays Code was introduced. This code prohibited nudity and suggestive movements. In 1939, the last film made with Miss Boop was shown in the theatres. Betty was a hit with filmgoers, and despite having been toned down in the mid-1930s, she remains popular up until today.

News from the art world: Farewell Louise Bourgeois

June 1, 2010

Sad news from the art world was to be found in the New York Times this morning: Louise Bourgeois, influential sculptor, dies at 98

Louise Bourgeois was born in France, but lived most of her life in New York, where she worked as a visual artist up until a week before her death. Working hard all her life, she only received recognition in the art world and from the wider public at the age of 70. She is best known for her large sculptures of spiders, her fabric sculptures and drawings.

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Interview with Jacqui McIntosh

May 6, 2010

Installation View, ‘The Marienbad Palace’, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda

Installation view, Laura Buckley, 'In framing light the light frames us', 2010, 'The Marienbad Palace', Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda

The Marienbad Palace opened on the Friday the 30th of April. This exhibition is curated by Jacqui McIntosh on the occasion of the Drogheda Arts Festival and is co-produced by The Highlanes Gallery and Droichead Arts Centre.

I came, I saw, I concluded that the exhibition was not only amazing, but also incredibly clever. I wondered who the mastermind behind this project was and shortly after that I met the curator Jacqui McIntosh in person. We had a highly interesting chat about ‘the art of curating’.

Could you tell me some more about your background?

I’ve had an interest in art since I was a child and originally imagined that I would become an artist. At seventeen I went to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee where I moved into Textile Design, but always regained an interest in fine art. When I left college I worked as a freelance textile designer and then interactive/graphic designer in London before moving into writing about visual art and working in galleries. In 2003 I won a competition for critical art writing called ‘Bloomberg New Writers’ and from there started writing for the Guardian and various art magazines – that’s really where things began in terms of working in the arts.

How did you get started as a curator? How did you find your route to this career?

Curating has been a natural progression really from writing about art and working in galleries. I moved to Dublin in 2004 and began working with Kevin Kavanagh Gallery where I remained for four and a half years before moving back to London at the end of 2008. My role as Director at Kevin Kavanagh was really varied, encompassing everything from the day to day running of the gallery to marketing and artist management. I was involved in exhibition programming and curated a number of shows whilst I was there, incorporating more artists from outside Ireland into the gallery programme. I learnt a lot from that process, and from the artists that I worked with at the gallery such as Mark O’Kelly, Stephen Loughman and Diana Copperwhite. Kevin was great to work with and gave me lots of freedom and opportunities to develop as a curator.

How do you define a concept for a new exhibition? Where do you find your inspiration?

I’m inspired by lots of things. I grew up in a family where arts and science mixed (my grandfather was a violinist and music was a huge part of our upbringing thanks to my mum – on the other hand my dad and sister are both electrical engineers) with a mix of the rational and creative around me. That has definitely informed my way of seeing the world and I’d draw from a wide variety of sources for inspiration. In terms of ‘The Marienbad Palace’, the initial idea came from an interest in the idea that reality isn’t really what we perceive it to be and a questioning about what it may actually be. I’m intrigued by ideas of modern physics such as superstring theory and the crossover of ideas within science and philosophy but also the thought that all of these theories may give us only a partial glimpse of what reality may be – ultimately there are no certainties. Just as in Plato’s allegory of the Cave, everything presents only a shadow of truth. At the same time I was rediscovering the work of the writer JG Ballard and reading his short stories and the ideas all kind of coalesced around that.

How long did it take to fully organise and curate “The Marienbad Palace”?

Aoife Ruane, Director of the Highlanes and I have been discussing the idea of my curating a show for over a year, and then it was decided that the show would be part of the Drogheda Arts Festival which I was delighted to be part of. When that was decided the process of getting the show together happened quite quickly over the course of a few months.

Which skills do you need to have in order to be a good curator?

Good people and organisational skills, an ability to see and make connections between artists and works, an understanding of a wide variety of art practices and inquisitive mind.

Do you have any favourite artists?

Francis Alys, Mariele Neudecker, Rebecca Horn are some of my favourites – but I’m also really excited by the work by all the artists in the show that I selected – Laura Buckley, Diana Copperwhite, Jorge De La Garza, Alicja Kwade, Haroon Mirza and Ian Monroe. It was a pleasure to work with all of them.

Do you have any media that you prefer to work with in the shows you curate?

I get most excited about combining different types of media

What is your impression of Drogheda?

I’ve had a great time during my stay in Drogheda. Everyone I’ve worked with at the Highlanes and Droichead Arts Centre has been brilliant and has made me feel really welcome. I’ve been to Drogheda quite a lot previously, whether visiting the Highlanes Gallery or en route to Termonfeckin where I’ve spent numerous weekends at An Grianán playing chamber music.