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When inherited friends unite, it feels like the departed are joining you. Anyway such a useful segue, that word, innit! Ai Weiwei once again. Frieze Art Fair and a new Turbine Hall commission yet again. This time, I was primarily travelling to hear P. I must admit I had never heard of him. Harvey wrote lyrics and poetry, while Murphy took stills and made short films about the trips. This was one of those high-quality events that you only find in big cities. Where is P. Them Londoners are spoiled. Ai Weiwei makes art from stolen time.

He was detained in for 81 days. In his retrospective, which ran from 19 September to 13 December at the Royal Academy of Arts, Weiwei constructed scaled mock-ups of the interior of his detention cell. The work, Sacred, consists of six large iron containers into which you are invited to peek, cleverly reflecting the voyeuristic and perverse nature of his detention.

He sees this work, where we look down at a naked Weiwei taking his daily shower accompanied by his two jailors, as a form of exorcism or therapy. Art and politics are inseparable. He does not suggest something in an abstract way, he demonstrates it in a very baroque fashion. If he wants to make us visualise the extent of the Sichuan earthquake disaster , he lists all the children who perished: their names and dates of birth and death.

He collects all the iron rods that failed to support the school building and straightens them to form a monumental installation. We will seek out the names of each departed child, and we will remember them. Here he displayed million hand-painted ceramic seeds in one giant mass spread over the floor of the Turbine Hall.

Visual Artists' News Sheet - July August by VisualArtistsIreland - Issuu

All of this would be poignant and moving if it were not for two things. It feels like you are fighting your way through the Beijing rush hour. Some of the work is also so expensive to ship and exhibit that galleries have had to crowdfund the exhibitions. At the Royal Academy, the funders were rewarded with their names displayed in huge letters on the entrance stairs.

investigating issues in contemporary art

This slightly diminished the impact of the list of earthquake victims. Meanwhile, the latest Turbine Hall installation by Abraham Cruzvillegas relies on real seeds, collected from across London, sprouting in common dirt. Nothing had sprouted at the time your correspondent visited. Note 1. Catherine Mar- Scottish artists played with chaos and shall, former head of collections at confusion in their investigations of IMMA and Patrick Murphy, director the unexpressed.

The fea- reveal a sense of disruption. Investigating the simplicities Burns, Aoife Casby, Mags Duffy, Laura Been in a Riot portrayed the remains of a and complexities of physical form and Gallagher, Michael Gannon, Pauline riot, where the audience is left to move inner perspective, the translucent, Garavan, Virginia Gibbons, Marliese amongst this ghostly debris. McWilliam Gallery and Studio. The exhibition investigated the archives of the National Irish Visual Arts Library NIVAL , with each artist responding to the archive in a way their reflected their own research and interests.

The works included his harbour paintings and paintings from Catalonia, a place which has proven to be a great source of inspiration for West over the past few years, and a number of paintings from his new series of still-lives. His work encompasses richly coloured landscapes, still lifes and figurative subjects, conveyed in his trademark heavily-worked canvases. As a chamber of the heart or as a central meeting point, atriums represent circulation, both of people and of blood. These cathedral-like spaces provide architects with the opportunity to play with structure, and it is this that interests Moore.

Kilkenny hosted a weekend series, which encompassed installation, video works, film screenings, performance and discussion 20 — 22 Nov. Beckett scholar Stanley E. Gontarski introduced the work with an. For over 22 years, the event has presented an innovative programme in the city of Belfast. One of the longest running live art festivals in Europe, FIX has generated opportunities for emerging and established practitioners alike and provided work for a diversity of professionals, including artists, photographers, videographers, writers, curators and arts administrators.

Opening on 3 Dec with a variety of events in the vicinity of Catalyst, the eleventh installment of the festival ran until 10 Dec. The opening festivities, in particular, emphasised the necessity of collaboration within the Belfast arts community in particular while endeavouring to achieve greater communal goals. FIX15 was supported by local artists, arts organisations, businesses and communities. The show contained works from the State Art Collection, selected after a series of weekly meetings, during which the group researched and selected from the collection.

The resulting exhibition included an eclectic mix of state-owned art. Running alongside the exhibition was a series of workshops, demonstrations, talks and discussions. The work of the exhibiting artists is concerned with surfaces, constituting an integral part of the aesthetics and concepts of their art practice. The exhibition also incorporated. Curran drew from a cycle of long-term projects, beginning in , which addressed the predatory context resulting from flows and migrations of global capital.

Curran further expanded and developed this enquiry with newly commissioned work completed in the financial district in Amsterdam, heart of the highly-complex international trading culture and shadow banking system. Ahmed Hussein hails from the Dajo tribe, who were prominent in the ancient kingdom of Kush, the black pharaonic dynasty of Sudan. Much of the symbolism and imagery of this civilisation imbues his work. This exhibition promises to offer an insight into a fascinating, ancient and richly diverse culture that is little understood and remains in relative obscurity.

The exhibition is the result of an international cultural exchange between both artists, who share a love of exploring new places and their natural surroundings. Between —, children died while in care in Ireland, and Dolan takes these startling statistics as the impetus for her exhibition, which comprises individual representations of the young lives lost in varied circumstances throughout this decade.

The programmes feature Television Festival for Young People, events and initiatives ranging across all Culture Night Belfast — Cathedral seven strands of the national programme, Quarter Trust, Lyric Theatre, Millennium with a strong emphasis on arts and culForum Theatre and Conference Centre, tural events. It will also help to ensure the maxiCentre. Further information and a full mum level of participation and engagelist of categories and shortlisted organiment, across all sectors of the communisations are available on the Arts and ty, in this once-in-a-century moment in Business website.

The 31 announced appointments to the board of local and community plans are a core the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The the board immediately. Full details of the county proFebruary Mr Gerard Byrne will take grammes are available on the website his place on the board on 3 February. The appointees applied for the posiireland. The Business NI Awards were appointments are for a term of five years. The busipress. The winners will be film, literature, music, theatre and the revealed at the Allianz Arts and Business visual arts, will take place across 35 NI Awards ceremony, which takes place countries in Included in the fundat the Grand Opera House, Belfast on ing is annual support for key partner Wednesday 20 January These events span Irish traditional bands touring the US to an Irish film, music and theatre festival in Moscow.

Many Irish visual artists will be presented at key international art fairs throughout including fairs in Hong Kong, New York, Brussels and London. In total, 14 were awarded funding for The programme has not shied from engaging with the difficult issues of modern society and has always allowed the viewer room for response.

The year began with new work by Stephen Skrynka in Gallery One. The exhibition served as a meditation on perseverance and dreams. As part of the exhibition, the Messhams, a family who have been performing the Wall of Death for generations, spent two days actually performing the feat. The principle objective of any exhibition is to engage the public with meaningful content, which allows for personal interpretation according to individual sensibility. This may be an obvious proclamation, but it is pertinent. The difficulties of exhibiting such material and gaining such traction are very real considering the absence, until recently, of any platform for the arts within the local area.

The invitation to participate must be sung out as loudly as the content on show. This sense of continuity is furthered by the success of Glitch, which is unique in being the only digital art festival in Ireland. As the information age firmly takes root, its nefarious elements,. The Finer Details such as dehumanised drone and digital technologies, are placed to the fore. Personal narratives of local individuals were granted de facto depiction, for how we are is equally important as how we might be. Again, a breadth of materials and creative domains were employed to bring about the exhibition.

All the components of his site-specific installation convened to express a fascination with some basic oral acts: talking, smoking, palette cleansing and sticking your tongue out to concentrate. A chattering about the anxieties of contemporary lifestyles and the battle to subdue and control them plays out in the work.

The RUA RED gallery provides a focal point for the building; however, it is the close intertwining of the disciplines held within the space that ensures no facet of the arts is forgotten. It is important to remember how much theses influences contribute to developing a creative atmosphere.

With this in mind, RUA RED can look forward to continuing relevant, meaningful discussion that builds upon the successes of and strengthens the significance of the arts across south Dublin. Growing up in an artistic home, there was always plenty of encouragement, but, as so often happens, my life took a different route. It was only when I moved from Ireland to Egypt in that I started to paint full time.

I have always had a keen interest in the natural world, and so it was when I visited the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew Gardens, London, in that I realised I wanted to be a botanical artist. I was mesmerised by the work that I saw there. The intensity of the colours and the sheer technical skill required to achieve such meticulous detail was mind-blowing. Botanical art needs patience, skill and an appreciation for nature. It is a form of visual storytelling wherein the role of the artist is to describe how the plant grows, looks and feels.

Each piece takes careful research and planning, because as well as being aesthetically pleasing, it has to be botanically correct. I would normally spend a week doing studies and colour matching and then spend anything from two weeks to a month on a painting. I work with magnifiers so that I can see the finer details, like the hairs on the leaf or the tiny spots on a petal.

The course lasted 27 months and, while I was living in Egypt, the revolution took place. The city was under curfew and there were tanks outside my home, but I kept myself busy and calm by painting purple carrots. It was very surreal. I also appreciate the long hours of daylight that we get here in the summer, as it extends the painting day. The great thing about being an artist in Ireland is that the Irish people are inherently friendly and have a genuine appreciation for art.

Being in Dublin is fantastic because there are a wealth of museums, galleries and gardens on our doorstep. Unlike in many other big cities, I have found. Botanical art is experiencing something of a revival at the moment, and there has been a keen interest in the society from the start. Through the ISBA I have met other botanical artists, who have been really encouraging and supportive. Now in its fourth year, it is growing in popularity, with more and more artists submitting work each year.

Conservation is another area that really interests me, and botanical art is a perfect way to raise awareness. People might not read an article, but good art will catch their eye. This is a nationwide plan to make Ireland a place where pollinators thrive and survive. More bees mean more beautiful gardens! Given the time required to complete a painting, botanical art is not hugely profitable for the artist, but it is very satisfying to be able to do something that I feel passionate about.

I find teaching very rewarding and write a blog about my art process. I am also studying digital marketing, an area that I feel could be of great benefit to artists in Ireland, given our small population. I am excited by new possibilities and am really looking forward to the year ahead. Shevaun Doherty is an artist based in Dublin. I start my day in Adamstown with meditation my favourite souvenir from Thailand.

I paint quickly; I can do a painting in a couple of hours, but I am very rarely happy with it and often cover it with primer again. Meditation helps me to remember that it is just a part of the process and allows me to serenely paint the canvas white and start afresh. Landscapes have become my main source of inspiration. I choose simple subjects: a whole panorama with sky, hills, trees, fields and clouds is too much for me. So now I pick only one: one wave, one mountain, the moon, a cloud, a circle, a line.

I do not want to capture one scene, but rather reflect a memory, a mental picture that has been inspired by several different photographs or sketches. Then I start working. I usually start on an oil pad as I like small paintings or very big ones; nothing in between. My work reminds me of maths, which I really liked at school.

I paint the canvas and then I remove the paint from it by using various liquids. I add, subtract, add and subtract again. I am always open to accidents. I never know where I will end up. Sometimes I follow the way the paint flows; sometimes I impose my own will. I hope that in this way my painting becomes a place between reality and abstraction, between accident and design, between perfection and destruction. I also try to use tools other than brushes to add meaning to my works.

I painted Touching the Moon, for example, using my fingerprints. Light is probably the main subject of my work. Light is also the main theme of my video works Light Paintings. I start by making paper Academy of Fine Arts, knew many people and had collages, which, when attached to a window, evolve lots of friends — to start a completely new chapter in through sunlight. The final result of this process is a a new country.

The aim is not to paint when you fall in love. In Poland I had unconsciously developed a sunlight but to make the sunlight paint my work. I was very grateful for the edge, like a fragment of landscape on a distant opportunity to intern at the Talbot Gallery and horizon. Painting is a process like life. You have to live to Studios for a few months. It was a perfect introduction and led me to participate in my first understand some things.

I believe I have to paint quite a few bad paintings to get to where I want to Irish group show. Last year I had the good fortune to be able to be. I was very excited to travel in Asia for five months. It was amazing to live have two of my works exhibited at the recent art fair my life without a fixed abode, duties or deadlines, VUE in the RHA. I was also delighted to present my and with only one rucksack. It in November It comprised the highlights of also inspired me to start a new project called Map my last two years of work.

I created several books, each of which poses Dorota Borowa is an artist based in Dublin. You can see traces of grandeur, especially at the train station, though I have never seen more than 10 people inside the station at any one time. I decided to live in Adamstown in April It was a strange and difficult choice to leave my Warsaw life behind — where I graduated from the.

It supports creative spaces such as RUA RED South Dublin Arts Centre, which opened in , to facilitate opportunities for artists and producers to create and present their work in a professional environment. Direct support for visual artists takes the form of bursaries and awards. The council has made over awards since the introduction of the Individual Artist Bursary Award in , the majority of which have been in the visual-arts category. The annual Bursary Award, which will next be promoted in March , is open to artists living or working in the South Dublin County administrative area.

The scheme aims to provide support for individual artists of all disciplines to pursue a particular project or to further enhance their career within the arts. Artists are chosen on the basis of the quality of their ideas, the uniqueness of the proposal, the clarity of their artistic direction and vision, their commitment to innovation in form and content, and the significance of the proposal to the artistic development of the applicant.

The Young Artist Development Award was introduced in In general, there have been fewer commissioning opportunities under the Local Authority Per Cent for Art schemes in recent years, alongside a downturn in publicly-funded housing construction. South Dublin County Council, however, is currently preparing a strategy for the commissioning of a new public-art programme, the fourth. Public-art advisors and curators Claire Power and Aoife Tunney were recently appointed to the programme. Claire Power is a Brussels-based independent cultural consultant and producer who works with a variety of arts organisations and individuals internationally.

She was director of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios until Partnerships between venues, artists and the local authorities have been an increasingly prominent feature of project-based programming, such as artistic residencies, festivals and events, in the county. Creative Campus, which supports student artists in the development of their practice, is another example of this move towards collaboration. Participants work with their peers to realise artworks for public exhibition, focusing on the potentialities of audience interactions with and reactions to the work produced.

The student artists establish mentoring relationships with professional artists and curators while they work towards exhibition. Furthermore, the mentees themselves link with second-level students through workshops and exhibition tours. This collaborative approach is likely to continue into the future. The purpose of this is to explore the vital issues for the arts at present and in the future. Artists are invited to participate in this consultation and to bring their expertise and insight to this process.

Feedback from similar consultations in the past has had an impact on the strategy. The country at that time was overtly homogeneous, but this sparked my inquisitiveness about alternative ways of achieving things. Seeing my older sister, now a doctor of anthropology, travelling the world also fed my curiosity and gave me an insight into other cultures. After a revealing trip to Sweden in my early twenties, I decided to learn English so that I would be able to communicate better with the world. I applied for an Erasmus grant at the Winchester School of Art and ended up staying for two years to finish my degree.

Life in the UK was very different. The cultural shock was massive. The mundane became dramatic and the familiar became terrifying. But as Lacan would have described it, it became a real jouissance experience; it felt so pleasurable that it hurt. Living in a foreign land, the limitations of oral communication become more obvious. I often find myself inadvertently rescuing unusual words or inventing new ones when I am unable to express my thoughts with the relatively limited English at my disposal. Perhaps this alternative manner of speech is in fact more authentic, as it emerges organically when you have not yet learnt to manipulate a language, to shape its appearance or to form lies, sarcasm and puzzles.

But it is sometimes sad to think that I might only be enjoying a watered-down version of the relationship I could have with someone if we shared a mother tongue. I also risk saying something that might be misunderstood or hold unintentional weight. Learning English was only the beginning of a much longer journey towards understanding the culture of my new home. On completion of my art degree, I was selected to do a residency at the Cyprus College of Art.

Interaction with some Irish artists during my stay turned my interest towards Ireland. Dublin seemed like a comfortable place to live and an ideal base from which to work. In , I undertook a nine-month work placement at IMMA, which fully seduced me into moving permanently to this green island, where I have lived ever since. This new culture fuelled my interest in language, cross-cultural identities, acculturation processes and other issues related to inhabiting another culture.

Over the following months, we had some interesting conversations about my work, followed by studio visits, and a year later Helen offered me a solo show at LCGA. I was thrilled. This gave me the chance to evaluate and analyse the work I had produced over the past 10 years. At the time I was particularly focused on ideas surrounding adult homesickness and acculturation processes.

It reflects the constant misunderstandings that occur when you are learning a language, which often lead to a. The installation on show in the Carnegie Gallery, however, was a completely new body of work made specifically for this exhibition. As the material was new to me at this time, I started working with industrial clay, which is easy to obtain.

After a while, I found ways to manufacture my own. The Wicklow Mountains were the first place I chose to dig. I recovered white and ochre clays, both of which produced exciting results when processed. In January , Dublin City Council contacted me after hearing that I was working with self-dug clay. I was commissioned to undertake a project on Bull Island, Dublin, looking specifically at its soil, as part of the United Nations International Year of Soils.

Following this, the investigation expanded into different areas: Wicklow, Dublin city centre and then Barcelona and Mallorca. Hundreds and hundreds of study pieces came out of the repetitive, labour-intensive method of digging that I developed. They were first placed chronologically along the wall of the studio and later in the gallery space, though only the paler pieces I made were selected to be shown.

The repetitive action of digging was a primal and intimate process. As I dug continuously on my own, I considered clay as a representation of genesis and origin. I deliberately chose manual labour in order to maintain a close and familiar relationship with the works. With this material, I created fired-clay beads, as well as plaited and knotted shapes. It reflected our journey from the primordial to the comfort of familiarity.

The show was accompanied by a booklet, which I developed with three writers. Ross Birrell, lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, wrote a piece in response to ideas around material experimentation. My solo show at The Lab, Dublin, will open in September and will feature more thorough results from my ongoing research into self-dug clay. Looking at my work retrospectively, I soon identified the three main ways that I cope with homesickness: play, material experimentation and repetition. These three actions determined the physical divisions within the show. I explored my chosen materials in a basic and almost infantile way, using a wide range of materials in the installation: paper, dyes, inks, wood, branches, plaster, fabric, glass and live plants from Barcelona.

I made works using chromatographic techniques that I learned in school, using absorbent paper sourced in Ireland and Spanish inks, which separate when they are absorbed. The way in which the object is formed in this process symbolises how certain things separate in time and space and are then reunited. It reflects our eternal search for answers by reducing things down to simpler forms. Within the exhibition, information was carried from one context to another in a very literal way. I wanted to engage with a range of materials from different sources.

In the Dark Room Gallery, I focused on play, using elements from both my culture of origin and my chosen culture. The pieces of small furniture and most of the other objects were gathered or made from materials found in Barcelona or Dublin: collected sounds, gadgets, lights and magnets.

I built a transitional space where my inner Spanish reality and outer Irish reality met, inspired by the concept of transitional space defined in by the English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. The audience was then invited, almost forced, to play within this area. In these two first rooms, I wanted to show the various approaches that I have taken towards my practice over the last decade, and both. ART writer Anne Mullee and I were selected, through an open call, to be the first Irish participants in this new exchange programme. The Iranian art writer selected for the exchange was Siamak Denzeldeh.

Though the Kooshk Artist Residency in Tehran was founded only two years ago, to foster creative cultural exchanges between Iranian and international art practitioners, Anne Mullee and I were not the first Irish people to have enjoyed their hospitality. With a population of over 16 million, the immense scale of Tehran and the sheer number of human beings who live there take a bit of getting used to. Friday is the best day to visit galleries in the city. The city gallery guide lists 35 private contemporary art galleries, but during our short stay we only managed to see a fraction of these.

In an attempt to better understand the history and culture of Iran, we took five days out of our contemporary art schedule to travel through central Iran. We visited several ancient sites: the Zoroastrian fire temple in Yazd, where the sacred fire of Ahura Mazda has been burning since AD; the twelfth-century palace of Chehel Sotoon in Esfahan, built by the Safavid ruler Shah Abbas I and decorated with the most exquisite miniature murals; the seventeenth-century Masjed-e Shah mosque, also in Esfahan, complete with beautiful ceramic tiled decoration; the shrine of the martyr Sayyed Mir Ahmed in Shiraz, with its incredible mirrored interior; and the inspiring ruins of the ancient capital of the first Persian empire, built by Darius and Xerxes at Persepolis.

This exhausting whirlwind tour through these ancient and historic monuments helped us to begin to understand the cultural heritage that informs much of contemporary art practice in Iran. It included a short animated film called The Noise, directed by Pooya Razi, in which the protagonist struggles to maintain his privacy when a troublesome neighbour takes exception to his.

The theme of tension between public and private life in Iranian culture resurfaced several times during our short visit. Painter Masoumeh Mozaffari, whose studio we visited, makes large-scale figurative works that record the mood and atmosphere in Iran during moments of social tension and turmoil. Our visit included three scheduled public talks. The first was held at the Rybon Arts Centre. It was designed so that the three of us participating in the exchange could talk about our writing practice and try to find some common ground. The second was a large public talk held in the bookshop of Hanooz Publishing.

The third and final talk took place at the Darbast Platform, a space attached to the Mohsen Gallery that is used for talks and screenings. We selected works by Iranian contemporary artists that we had seen over the previous two weeks and wrote a short critical text to present. This was an exercise in exchanging our approaches and points of view on the selected works. Abbas, a lusterware ceramist, remade a thirteenth-century mihrab, the original of which was appropriated by a British collector of Persian antiquities and is now in the Pergamon museum in Berlin. The photographs are of two lakes: Lake Kahrizak, a leachate lake created from the 7, tonnes.

Both of these lakes are products of environmental mismanagement. The photographs portray idyllic landscapes of contemplation and serenity that have arisen from the damage caused by human indifference. It was evident that the social and political situation makes it quite difficult to openly express critical ideas, and there is little freedom to criticise or comment directly on social and political issues. Despite this tension, artists, like those mentioned above, still manage to address issues concerning contemporary society in their work through the use of allegory and metaphor.

Most importantly, all the art practitioners that we met during our brief time in Iran were hopeful and positive about the future of Iranian contemporary art as the political atmosphere within Iran changes and its relationship with the West improves. Kooshk residency is a non-political, cultural and artistic space in Tehran. Kooshk tries to provide a convenient space for artists, curators, researchers, writers and filmmakers to encourage intercultural dialogues and art creation.

The participants had to cover the expenses for airfare, insurance, medical coverage, visa fees and daily living expenses such as travel and food. A mihrab is a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla the direction of Mecca. From our beginnings as an arts collective focused on site-specific installations, A4 Sounds has steadily flourished to become a dynamic interdisciplinary arts organisation with a mission to make art that matters.

We consider the studio an extension of this work and plan to add new programmes in to advance this mission. These will include artist residencies and support for socially engaged art projects. We plan to select two or three socially engaged art projects per year to support, through access to training, facilities and gallery space. In addition, will see the launch of our new five-day residency programme, in which one artist per month will be invited to spend five consecutive days in the studio. They will then hold an exhibition of their new work on the evening of the fifth day.

These events will also be open to the public. The educational programme will build upon the success of recent classes on life drawing and art documentation, and will include topics such as screen-printing, darkroom photography, storytelling through sound, critical design, stop-motion animation, creative stitch and more. Memberships to A4 Sounds are flexible and modular, and can be tailored to the needs of particular artists. The focus of the studio is on shared workspaces and resources, and the majority of members pay a low monthly fee for unlimited access to these. For those who require it, private storage can be provided for an extra fee, and some private workspaces are also available.

A waiting list currently exists for prospective members, who are invited to complete an online application form and submit documentation of recent work. Anyone wishing to find out more about A4 Sounds can contact us via the details below. Photographers, animators, sculptors, filmmakers, theatre practitioners and printmakers mingle and mix with musicians, writers, technologists, craftspeople, and folks whose art crosses the boundaries of many of these disciplines. The square-foot studio complex houses a large-build woodand-metalwork workshop, shared and individual workspaces, a photographic darkroom, screen printing facilities, performance and rehearsal spaces, and meeting and workshop rooms.

This is all infused with a strong sense of community, and the studios serve as something like an informal professional support network for members. As well as working alongside each other, member artists often embark on collaborations, where a conversation over a cuppa can wind up with the exchange of expert advice or practical help. This building served as a base of operations until From there, we planned and executed several site-specific, interactive art exhibitions.

In early , we were on the move, viewing numerous properties with a view to finding a new headquarters. In February we moved to a larger building and began our renovations, and in June we launched a new membership structure, which allowed us to open our doors to a greater number of artists.

Output from the studio is tremendously diverse. Members have exhibited, performed, broadcast, and won awards both internationally and closer to home. Here, she developed an interest in lace and.


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Her recent work incorporates the use of CNC cutting and engraving with plexiglass as a means of translating the transparency, the fragility, and the voids so frequently associated with lace. In addition to individual artists, the studio hosts groups such as Paper Panther Productions, an award-winning group of animators who come together to develop and create short films, commercials, TV series and workshops. Both groups have hosted a range of public and private workshops within the A4 Studio and throughout Ireland, working with community organisations, schools and colleges.

In November, we hosted an art exhibition and auction to raise funds for charities addressing the current refugee crisis, with all proceeds going to Global Giving and other grassroots organisations. Due to its success, we plan to make it an annual event, supporting a different charity each November. In September, Culture Night at the A4 studio featured an exhibition of nine artists who practice their varying disciplines in the studio, which included sculpture, photography, painting, collage, illustration and glitch art.

The studio opened its doors to hundreds of visitors on the night, who got to enjoy a range of theatrical and audio-visual performances, as well as short film screenings, an all-ages animation workshop, and tours of the studio and its facilities. The studio also plays host to Hackfest, an annual independent animation festival, and the Firehouse Film Contests, a monthly competition and screening session for short films made by emerging filmmakers.

Carlo Brady is an artist living in Santa Fe. He works at photo-eye bookstore as a photobook specialist. Many of his projects document the architecture as well as the vernacular culture of metropolises. Since , Wolf has been focusing on his own projects, many of which have been published in more than 32 books. His work is held in many permanent collections of prestigious museums.

Photographs are the heart of his work but they are often accompanied by drawings, paintings, objects, video or sound. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and his current work is called Gong Co. Dewi Lewis published his first photobook in and established his own publishing company in Matthew Genitempo, l Lesley A. Martin Parr is a photographer, a curator, and editor.

Rixon Reed is the founder and director of photo-eye after he managed the Witkin Gallery book department. He was seduced by the power of photobooks upon first seeing Larry Clark's Tulsa in Vanessa Winship is a photographer. Her work explores the fragile nature of our landscape and society, about the legacy of our personal and collective histories.

Esther Teichmann works with the photographic across still and moving image installations shown in solo museum exhibitions. His works are held in public and private collections. Todd Hido, see list Ed Templeton takes his inspiration from the subculture he is a part of and the suburban environment he lives in.

Over twenty books of his work have been published. Costumers of Bildband Berlin, a photography bookshop and gallery that hosts photographic exhibitions and stocks photobooks from small independent publishers and the big publishing houses. Milo Montelli is a graduate in psychology and a self-thought photographer.

His research has been exhibited in galleries and festivals in Italy and abroad. He was founder and member of the photography collective Luoghicomuni. He founded the independent publishing house Skinnerboox, dedicated to the production and distribution of limited editions of photographic books in Italy and abroad.

Last year of her photobooks have moved to the San Telmo Museum where they are accessible and free to anyone. Also, the collection is slowly being catalogued and everybody can look it up online. Beyond Words is a specialist retailer of photographic books. Personal artistic projects include exhibitions and numerous publications. Lives and works in Vienna. Maki, see l Unobtainium Photobooks, online photobook shop in Indonesia, shipping worldwide. Jake Reinhart is a photographer from Pittsburgh, PA. Eva-Maria Kunz, book collector and co-founder and the creative director at ceiba editions, an independent publishing house, based in Italy.

Bryan Schutmaat is an American photographer based in Texas. Nancy Durrant for The Times, Nancy Durrant is arts commissioning editor at The Times, focusing on visual art and theatre, and an art critic. Tim Carpenter, see l Elizabeth Avedon is a photography book and exhibition designer, independent curator, writer, juror and consultant. She has received numerous awards. Photographic Museum of Humanity PHmuseum is a curated platform dedicated to contemporary photography.

A community of 5, selected photographers reached by more than , visitors per year. Mission: to connect professionals within the photographic industry as well as create a free online space where everyone could learn about photography and its language. Laurence Cornet is a writer and curator based in Brooklyn focusing on cultural and environmental issues. She has curated and produced photo exhibitions in Argentina, China, Guatemala and Peru. Colin Pantall is a photographer, writer and lecturer based in Bath, England. His latest book, All Quiet on the Home Front, focuses on family, fatherhood and the landscape.

Rocco Venezia is an Italian visual artist. Next to his personal projects, he is curator and producer for PHmuseum. Lucia De Stefani is a multimedia reporter focusing on photography, illustration, culture, and everything teens. She lives between New York and Italy. Giuseppe Oliverio is an Italian entrepreneur and filmmaker who founded PHmuseum in Francis Gan, photobook collector from the Philippines, now based in Thailand. Colin Pantall, see l Le Thang is a freelance photographer based in London and a photobook collector l Women Photograph is working to elevate the voices of women and non-binary visual storytellers.

Its database includes more than independent women documentary photographers based in 99 countries and is available privately to any commissioning editor or organisation. The organisation provides project grants for photojournalists, a year-long mentorship program, and a travel fund to access workshops, festivals, and other developmental opportunities.

Tim Clark is a curator, writer and editor in chief and director at Words. Kris Graves for Deadbeat Club Press , see l Sarah Allen is assistant curator, international art at Tate Modern. She has a specialist focus on photobooks. Jesse Lenz is founding director Charcoal Book Club. Mariela Sancari, see l Jeanne Mercier, Founder, Afrique in Visu.

Federica Chiocchetti, founding director of The Photocaptionist. Nadia Beard is editor-in-chief at The Calvert Journal. Oluremi C. Rebecca Simons, independent photo editor, educator and curator. Chiara Bardelli Nonino, photo editor of Vogue Italia. Jim Casper, editor-in-chief, LensCulture l Rocco Venezia, see l Jesse Lenz, see Salvatore Vitale is photographer and editor-in-chief of Yet Magazine. Cat Lachowskyj is editor at LensCulture. Daria Tuminas is coordinator of the Unseen Book Market. Francesca Seravalle is an independent curator. Sophie Wright, editor at LensCulture. Chris McCall is director of Pier 24 Photography.

David Campany is writer and curator. Nathan Pearce is a photographer and one half of Same Coin Press, a small book publisher in the American midwest. Todd Cooper is a photographer, designer and writer for different publications. Magnum member Mark Power has been photobooks lover for longer than he cares to remember and has made ten of his own. Bryan Schutmaat for Deadbeat Club Press , see l Elisabeth Avedon, part II, see l It is also great source self-published and small press zines from artists around the world. Matthew Genitempo is a photographer who lives in Texas.

His new book "Jasper" is second on the meta-list. Gabriela Cendoya-Bergareche, see l Sara Fdez. La Rueda distributies publications dedicated to the image and critical thinking. He is also art critic, professor and essayist. She has been awarded a scholarship by the National Council of Culture and Arts of the Government of Chile in training, circulation and research projects. His main line of study is contemporary photography and its historical and artistic development through the photobook.

She is also an editor at the Muga, a publisher of photobooks, magazines and essays on photography. He also teaches and writes about photography and curated for afro-oriented festivals and exhibitions. Ana Zaragoza is co-founder and art director of Caravan Books. At the same time she started the project The Family Book dedicated to the creation of photography books to remember. She is coordinator and writer for Clavoardiendo.

If you are a 9 to 5 working artist all the better, but this is rare. Having an upcoming exhibition is obviously a good incentive to get a studio but so is an objective of applying for one. Extracting yourself from the home environment can be the kick you need to formulate a solid body of work for a show or proposal. Again, it does take a certain kind of commitment to develop a routine where you are there, working or thinking, but being productive in some way.

The first of a two-part series, this talk was directed at Emerging Visual Artists currently seeking studio space. This was an opportunity to gain insight into established studio organisations and the experiences of the associated studio artists. Few artists can afford the expense of owning their own studio, particularly at the start of their careers. Working with a group of artists can be a viable economic alternative with the additional advantage of shared information, expertise, facilities and resources.

Setting up a studio in Ireland today is a tricky business. Property prices are at a premium and even if you find a space, holding on to it may not be that simple. This practical guide is intended to equip practising artists with some general information and advice needed to set up a studio group. Getting started Before you start looking for a space to develop, it is worth spending some time thinking about the type of studio you need.

You may have to respond quickly to an opportunity that arises unexpectedly, or you may have the time to research a variety of possible spaces — in either case having a relatively clear idea of what you really need from a studio will focus your search when looking for space. If you are planning to work with a group of artists there are some basic questions you may wish to consider in advance. It is worth considering these issues before you start, as they will impact on the kind of studio space you will create. Even though you may share similar interests with others in the group and you may be the best of friends, your needs may conflict with theirs depending on the type of work you do.

If for example you work with chemicals and industrial equipment, you will have different needs from someone that works with photography, paint, digital equipment or whose practice is primarily research based. Dust, sound, smells and noise can be disruptive features of a shared working environment. It is possible to find solutions to these problems when designing your space so as to accommodate a range of work practices, however this will depend on the budget you have available and the time provided in your tenancy agreement to develop the studio.

Consider whether you would prefer to share this with a group, perhaps go it alone or within a partnership agreement. Either way you will need to consider the long-term legal and financial implications of managing a group studio and how to balance the time needed to run the space with time for your own studio practice. Research Visiting other studios will give you a sense of what is possible and the opportunity to learn more about what is actually involved in running a studio.

Valuable information can be gained from the experience of existing studio groups. The legal and financial responsibilities for a studio workspace take effect from the very start of the project. Contracts have to be signed, bills have to be paid, common areas need to be kept in order, studios need to be allocated, rubbish needs to be disposed of, things need to be fixed and conflicts need to be resolved.

Talk with other artists about their experiences with studios both good and bad, in order to establish a direction for your project and to assess potential problems in advance. Group dynamics When deciding to set up a studio, there are several options open to you, each with its own particular benefits and risks. You may decide to work with a group of other artists, with just one or two partners or perhaps on your own.

In many ways setting up a studio can be like setting up a small business — you need to know who your partners are, the level of commitment they are willing to invest in the studio and their ability to take responsibility in a group venture. The scale of your project and the length of tenancy available to you will inevitably influence a number of key decisions, both in terms of the physical space and the number of artists involved.

A larger space will require more artists being involved in order to spread the cost of operating the studios. Over an extended period of time there will be greater demands made on the studio administration to monitor both the financial commitments of the studio and the physical maintenance of the space.

Maintenance responsibilities will involve addressing general wear and tear, electrics, plumbing, heating, keys, locks, security — all the usual stuff that comes with a building over time. With less space to manage and maintain, smaller group studios will have lower overheads and will not be as exposed to financial risk should one or two individuals decide to leave the group.

THREE IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) part1

It will be easier to find a suitable replacement for the missing share of the operating costs. Larger studio groups can experience a higher turnover of artists. This places a greater demand on the administrative resources of the studio to find suitable replacements for empty studios or to monitor sub letting arrangements. Studio Models Good results are relatively easy to accommodate. It is when you have to resolve unexpected problems that the core structure and foundations of your studio group will come into focus and you will need to consider issues of power, responsibility, benefits and risks that are implicit within a studio group from the start.

In Ireland the type of studio group structures in operation are as diverse and complex as the buildings they occupy. Generally they fall into five practical models or types of structure. It may also mean that you are depending on each individual participant to contribute to the initial business of setting up and eventual responsibility for the workspace. For smaller groups, advantages can be found by creating simple systems to share the work involved in paying bills and keeping the space in order — for example by setting a fixed term for each member of the group to attend to the administration or offering reduced rent to a group member in exchange for work undertaken.

Developing studios in a rural location using this model has its own rewards but can incur different pressures to its urban equivalent. Cork Artists Collective, Cork www. New Art Studio, Dublin www. Visual Arts Centre, Dublin www. Stoney Batter Studio, Dublin www. Belmont Mill Artists Studios, Co. Offaly www. Art Space Studios, Galway www.

Backwater Artists Group, Cork www. Flax Art Studios, Belfast www. In this situation, the individual or partners take complete responsibility for the studio and will offer studio space to rent to other artists under their particular terms of agreement. Broadstone Studios, Dublin www. Common Place, Dublin www. Pallas Studios, Dublin www. This could be with a local authority, a local business, a health centre or a community group. The group could offer the provision of services like workshops or classes, possibly organising an annual event or exhibition with specialised groups during the period of time the studio is housed by the host or partnership organisations.

The Dock, Co. Leitrim www. If your work requires access to particular equipment e. Black Church Print Studio, Dublin www. Limerick Printmakers, Limerick www. There is little point in creating an elaborate management structure if you can only secure the space for a limited period of time. Equally it would be unwise to invest a lot of time, money and energy into a space that you will have to vacate before you can get any realistic return from your investment. In view of the limited availability of space within most urban environments in Ireland today and their associated prohibitive costs, working with smaller groups in the beginning can be a much simpler way of managing your project whilst establishing stability within the group.

It is not necessary, and in many cases not possible, to know every detail of how you will operate the studios from the start — this is something that will evolve organically and is relative to the concerns of the group involved. However when renting space collectively it is essential that you establish from the start who is taking responsibility for the legal and financial obligations associated with any rental agreement or legal contracts. Legal Identities When working with a small group of artists, it may not be necessary to formulate a legal identity for the group unless entering into legal contracts.

The group can simply agree the ground rules of how you will conduct business together. Having a formal legal structure is advantageous if you intend trying to source financial support for the studio in the future. A formal legal structure presents a clearly identifiable legal commitment to mange any potential funding offers in a responsible manner.

This equally applies when signing lease agreements; a building owner or property agent will normally request either an individual to sign or a group with a legal identity that can be held accountable for the terms of the contract. Demonstrating accountability to potential funding agencies and the measures that have been taken to limit legal liability should things go wrong, is an essential requirement of all funding applications. The reason you need to demonstrate accountability is to assure potential stakeholders that you have taken the appropriate steps to safeguard the studio as an organisation; that the activities of the studio are legal; and that all financial activities are regularly monitored and recorded.

Choosing a legal structure is not of itself difficult, but it is not always clear what is most appropriate for development, and trying to change later on can cause difficulties.

28 October - 14 January 2017

The issue should be thought out carefully and discussed with a professional adviser. They have a Professional Development advice and information service, as well as project management and consultancy services. You can arrange an advisory session with a staff member to help guide you through some of the basic legal requirements. Membership is recommended for on-going support services. Legal Structures There is no standard organisational or legal form for non-profit groups in Ireland — there are different types of legal structure to suit different kinds of organisations and situations.

A group needs a structure to work properly; it sets out basic rules and relationships for management. Business Name A group can trade under any name it likes, provided the name is registered with the Companies Office. Registering a name is not the same as having legal status. It should be kept in mind that the owners of the Business Name are liable for any debts. Opening a bank account for the studio will require a certificate of the registered business name, if you intend trading in that name. The studio business name can be registered as a partnership with all the studio partners named on the business name registration application.

Registration can be made via the CRO website at a reduced fee for on-line applications.

Janine Antoni

Constitution This is the simplest form of legal structure for a voluntary organisation. It does not require registration. A constitution sets out the rules of the group and includes:. Any constitution can be easily adapted to suit the needs of another group, club, society or association. The disadvantage of a constitution is that the members do not have separate legal status from the group.

It is not really suitable for an organisation that intends to enter into contracts, to own property or employ staff. Finding a Space To find a space that is both manageable and affordable will take some time and effort. As well as checking out all the obvious sources, like commercial letting agents, local newspapers, notice boards and e-bulletins; make sure to let people know you are looking as word of mouth can produce surprising results.

Finding the right space may seem elusive, but by remaining focused you will eventually discover several possibilities. When viewing potential studio space, you will need to know from the start whether you can afford it and if there are any hidden costs that you are not aware of, plus other important issues relating to access and safety such as:. Look at as many different types of space as you can before deciding which space will work for you and never sign any agreements or contracts on first viewing.

You will need to look at all the costs involved and weigh up the advantages or disadvantages of the different spaces relative to your particular needs. Location This obviously depends on where you choose to work, with different issues for studios in rural and urban locations.

Circumstances tend to reverse for both; either you are in a rural environment which is much cheaper than its urban equivalent with lots of space available but limited access to resources or the latter where space is very limited and costly, but comes with extensive access to resources, facilities, critics, curators, galleries, institutions and other artists. You should think about the times when you use the studio. If you need to get large work in or out of the space, is there adequate access? Perhaps you will require materials to be delivered or work to be collected by transporters; are there any parking facilities or public transport services close to the studio?

You may then refer back to this signed agreement or contract if issues of conflict arise. If you do sign a contract on behalf of a group without formulating any type of legal structure for the studio group, then all responsibility for the terms of the contract agreement will rest with you personally. Some guidelines to consider before signing any contract are:. Know your rights: www.

Potential Costs Involved in Setting up a Studio Setting up the studio will incur costs at each stage of the development. Marginally overestimating the initial costs may prove more beneficial than underestimating potential expenses, as it will allow some room for unforeseen costs that you had not anticipated. These can be broken down into three basic stages:. It can be recorded as a credit or attributed to individuals later in lieu of rent.

You should consider checking out your local Enterprise Board who may support this phase of research with a feasibility study grant. You may require legal advice when negotiating the terms of the lease or to interpret particular details associated with legal contracts. If the space is bigger than m you may need the help of an architect to assist you with a design to get the best use out of the space, whilst ensuring designated fire safety exists from the building. Even if you can do this yourself or you have friends who will help, you will still need to account for the material costs of building individual studio units within the space, as well as electrical and plumbing services.

If equipment needs to be installed you will have to look at where this will be located, as this will occupy space that may or may not generate income for the studio. Operating costs Apart from the monthly or annual rent, there are additional costs associated with operating the space:. Management and Administration Once you have secured a space to develop as a studio, you now need to consider how you will manage the space.

At its simplest, administration involves dealing with the day-to-day responsibilities of the space occupied by the studio group — controlling finances, creating a safe working environment, managing people, allocating space and making plans for the future in order to achieve the aims and ambitions of the studio. Managing the studio is about keeping it on track with your original vision for the space, defining a clear direction for what you want to achieve, whilst responding to various problems and opportunities along the way.

You may decide on a democratic model where everyone has an equal voice; or you may identify individuals within the group with particular skills and expertise to act on behalf of the other members. As a group it is important to define your goals and build trust and support for one another. The decision making process should be clear to everyone involved. For this, you need to agree the ground rules for making decisions — will it be made by a majority vote or perhaps by two thirds vote? For a larger group you may consider setting up a management team or steering committee with a clearly defined brief of their responsibilities.

Communication is an essential component to either of these choices. If delegating responsibility on behalf of the group to a number of individuals then you will need to arrange regular meetings where the delegates can report back to the group on issues arising so that everyone is included and one individual cannot act on behalf of the group without the agreement of those involved. Simply meeting as a group will not guarantee an outcome and it helps to set a few ground rules, decide what exactly the meeting is about, distribute an agenda, limit the agenda to four or five specific items and agree a timeframe of one or two hours maximum.

Having a clear agenda will focus the group and help produce positive results. Funding Applications A lot of forward planning is required if you intend to make a funding application on behalf of the studio. You will need to plan for development in the following year, as well as provide a good record of how you have managed the studios resources in the current year. To do this you will need to prepare a mission statement identifying your aims and objectives, whilst recording all your expenditure and activities to produce a realistic analysis of estimated costs for future events or activities.

This time consuming work is essential if you hope to secure any financial support for your studio. As a group you will have to decide how you will make these decisions and who will take responsibility for particular tasks. Arts Council annual funding for studios is available by application, however applications from individuals or unincorporated bodies are not normally eligible.

Equally, funding is normally only offered to organisations that operate on a not-for-profit basis. It is highly recommend that you contact the Arts Council in advance of your application for annual funding to seek advice. You can find information on Arts Council funding on their website. Administration The administration of the studio focuses on implementing decisions made by your management team and dealing with the day-to-day demands of operating the space.

Just leaving it up to the person who is good at these tasks is not necessarily the best solution, as there will be many demands on their time and the stability of the studio depends on it. General administrative tasks will include advertising vacant studios, showing people around, answering queries, communicating with the landlord and other tenants of the building, attend to repairs and maintenance, collecting rent and utility charges, dealing with the waste and rubbish, paying bills and keeping records of all the financial transactions and possibly organising group events and activities.

Studios with a strict application procedure do so in order to ensure a level of quality, commitment and professional practice within the studio. A standard criterion for studio applications requires three basic items in order to ascertain the suitability of a potential studio member, these are:. Studio Contracts Having studio contracts in place is of benefit to both the studio artist and the studio organisation. For a new member entering a studio complex, it clarifies the terms of agreement between the artist renting a studio and the organisation offering the space — for example the length of time they will have in the studio, the monthly or weekly rent, a record of any deposit paid and what is required to vacate the studio.

For the organisation it provides an agreed set of terms under which it will offer a studio, how and when the rent is to be paid, what happens if arrears or money due exceeds the deposit held against the contract and specifies the minimum notice requiried if quitting the studio. Adequate notice allows time for the adminisatration to find a replacement so that no loss of income will occur. Insurance When dealing with members of the public or renting space to other artists, it is essential to protect the studio by purchasing Public Liability insurance on an annual basis. Accidents can happen and, should an incident occur in the studio, you are liable if an individual needs to sue for damages.

Public Liability insurance covers any awards or damages given to a member of the public because of an injury or damage to them or their property caused by you or your business. It also covers any related legal fees, costs and expenses, as well as costs for hospital expenses. Premiums will depend on the type of work you do and the level of exposure to hazardous chemicals or dangerous equipment. There are excellent offers available from a number of companies in Ireland that work specifically with the arts sector. These companies are familiar with the type of risk associated with studio groups.

Equally it is worth insuring your equipment, as often these resources are hard earned facilities and its best to protect your investments. The personal safety of anyone entering the space and evidence of appropriate insurance policies are required by law. Emergency lighting and fire access routes should be clearly marked.

Equally, corridor space and door exits need to be reasonably free of obstructions. Director and founder of Broadstone Studios Ltd. Director Roscommon Arts Centre, multi-disciplinary public venue Artists Studio Network Ireland. Introduction The past decade has seen significant increases in the range of opportunities for visual artists to work on commissions.

On one hand this can be linked to developments in policy on public art but in the main it can be accredited to artists who have continued to challenge the traditional perception of commissioning and public art practice. Commissions can arise from a variety of sources. Artists may apply for or be approached to undertake private or corporate commissions.

A sizeable amount of advertised commissions are funded through the Per Cent for Art Scheme which is operated in the Republic of Ireland. Thankfully there has been progress and while there are still a range of innovative sculpture commissions on offer the scheme is now more firmly connected to contemporary arts practice. Working in the public realm has obvious benefits to artists.

Presenting an art project to a wide public audience — some of whom may not necessarily visit gallery spaces — can provide openings for new interpretations of work and ideas. However working beyond the possible comfort zone of a traditional gallery or exhibition space also brings distinct challenges. Some of these are outlined here under the premise that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Current Context For the most part commissions and public art projects can be described as a process of dialogue and negotiation.

This process usually involves a trinity of partners — the artist, the commissioner and the public. Often an artist has to invest an immeasurable amount of time in negotiating the best possible outcome for a commission. This has led to critical debate and increased public awareness of art in the public realm and has in turn influenced commissioner attitudes to commissioning practice. In the past commission opportunities often focused solely on the product or outcome to the loss of the amount of time invested in the overall process.

Okay, this may be a bit idealistic for the average visual artist who is being instructed by a commissioner as to whether the statue of the horse should have a saddle or not but public art policy has become more supportive of artists practice and certainly more flexible over the past ten years. Public art includes all aspects of contemporary arts practice such as performance, live art, multimedia, video art, sound art, etc. Projects can be of any duration, temporary or permanent and can be centred in an urban or rural context. This text aims to give an outline of the breath of creative possibilities which can be developed and commissioned in the public realm.

The text further aims to give artists support for expanded practice within and beyond the sculptural object. From a visual arts perspective it is worth noting that the inclusion of all artforms in the scheme was first defined in the guidelines but that a majority of Per Cent for Art Scheme commissions are still focusing on visual art. Visual artists may wish to work collaboratively with artists from other artforms and this is now supported.

The process of developing these guidelines provided an opportunity for artists concerns and experiences to be addressed in a productive way. Artists inputted to the development of the guidelines by asking for best practice principles to be clearly defined and recognised. This gives a brief indication of the wealth of opportunities an artist may experience in connection to the development of infrastructure such as the building of new roads, hospitals, schools and housing projects, to name but a few.

The commissioning process can be described as having five key phases — planning, selection, research and development, realisation and review. If the brief reads as clear, creative and ambitious then an artist can get an early indication of what it will be like when undertaking the commission. Equally, if the brief reads as overly prescriptive or tight then the artist would be warned that there is a strong possibility that this viewpoint will most likely remain during the commissioning process. When designing the brief the commissioner will already have made a number of key decisions regarding the parameters for the commission.

The commissioner can decide whether to adapt an open and flexible attitude to artists ideas or alternatively to set the commission parameters quite tightly. Through the brief the artist will see how the commissioner has set specific boundaries on the commission such as preferred art form, site, budget, timeframe, etc.

In a worst case scenario the brief will go so far as to dictate materials, colour schemes, themes and ideas for the project. Fortunately commissioners now have access to more support than ever before to assist them in the process of commissioning artists. Resources organisations, publications, websites, guidelines and handbooks have all been developed with the aim of improving the process for artists. For the In Context 2 series which began in the artists brief was deliberately left very open with the aim that artists would select their own sites, budgets, materials, timescales and the communities they wished to work with.

This allowed artists to consider context over site and to carry out research subsequent to being appointed rather than prior to selection. For the current In Context 3 series the local authority have developed this principle a step further by commissioning visual artist John Byrne to make a short film about the county to be included in the published briefing document. This aimed to give Irish and international artists an honest flavour of the people, time and place in which they were being invited to develop art projects through the eyes of another artist.

They act as observers, reporters and analysts of the time that we live in. A restricted brief offers less opportunity for artists to fulfil this role and at times requests artists to design purely functional objects. Some commission briefs are set out from the start to specifically deal with issues of a historical or commemorative nature. Artists will see evidence of this in the commission brief and can decide if they wish to work in this way. If this is not clear and the brief contains an abundance of information on local history and folklore then artists would be advised to clarify with the commissioner how much flexibility there is within the brief for unusual or imaginative proposals, before they proceed.

Competition Methods and Options Artists may undertake commissions through a range of mechanisms such as open competition, limited competition, direct invitation or purchase. Open competition has been deemed as expensive and time consuming from the commissioners perspective but can provide a useful means for emerging artists to gain experience of developing proposals and projects.

Limited competitions operate where a commissioner draws up a shortlist of artists, often with the input of professional artistic advice, and directly approaches them to make a proposal for a commission. This allows artists to carry out research for their proposal and shortlisted artists are paid a proposal development fee. For emerging artists or those with less experience of public art commissioning it is worth making yourself known professionally to the local authority or publicly funded galleries and venues in your area.

That way should they be consulted on upcoming commissions they have the option of recommending your work. Site Visits Some commissions include site visits which gives artists a chance to view sites for projects, to meet with communities and sometimes to meet with members of the selection panel to ask questions about the parameters for the project. At times artists have experienced gaps between a potentially open brief and confusingly different verbal information at a site visit.

This can be a signal that the commission brief has not been fully clarified. A typical commissioning group deciding on the artists brief can include engineers, architects and construction project managers as well as artistic advice so the possibility for a difference of opinions is inherent. If an artist finds himself or herself in this situation it is best to be led by the original brief and their initial response to it.

By submitting your best idea you have the opportunity to build a reputation for creatively and intelligently responding to the brief. At site visits artists can sometimes be reluctant to ask the questions they really want to ask, which may give too much information away on their particular concept. Commissioners may have the facility to take questions by email or by phone after the site visit.

However if this is the case generally all questions and answers are circulated to all those who attended. An exception to this is where a professional curator or practicing artist may be appointed to adjudicate on submissions and select an artist s. The criteria for selection should be clearly outlined in the artists brief. Usually criteria would include:.

The number of individuals and range of expertise on a selection panel may vary. Ideally the make-up of the group should be listed on the artists brief. It is worthwhile for artists to consider the breath of expertise on the selection panel when preparing a proposal.

These could range from community representatives to local councillors and from engineers and architects to construction project managers. I have had the experience of working on public panels with Garda sergeants, nuns and consultant paediatricians who all made very worthwhile contributions to the discussions and were very quick to spot the best idea presented. When preparing submissions for a panel artists should remember that the panel may not be familiar with their work and should not presume they will be.

Contributors

Also when describing chosen materials or methods for a project these should be stated clearly without appearing to be condescending. Selection panels usually sit for one day, sometimes two depending on the number of entries or level of detail in the submissions. With the right balance of expertise discussion is usually balanced and not dominated by one individual with an agenda.

Selection panels are very thorough, wishing to respond to the effort made by the artists in developing and submitting their proposals. With recent improvements in professional project management it is becoming common practice for panels to record feedback for artists especially to those who have been unsuccessful, which can be communicated to artists in a follow up letter. If feedback is not forthcoming artists can approach the commissioner and request it. This may go a long way in assisting artists in improving future commission proposals.

Once You Have Been Selected This is the stage when the need to develop and maintain good working relationships becomes most important. An artist may have contact with a commissioning team such as engineers, architects or community representatives on a project for a long period of time. Sure the commission has an agreed and reasonable timeframe but at times these can be extended or delayed.

So consider this team as a group of work colleagues for the duration of the commission. Working with a range of expertise such as these presents unique opportunities for artists to exchange perspectives and to develop new skills. Once an artist is selected they either proceed with realising the proposal submitted or are contracted for a specific period of research and development.

A research and development period allows artists to develop a proposal to a greater degree under pre-arranged headings such as engineering, landscaping, site and location, performance location, community participation, feasibility, etc. This period should be contracted separately to the main commission contact and be clear on deadlines, fees, meeting schedules and expected outcomes. While the commission is being realised an artist may face certain challenges and compromises, such as the need for changes and refinements to the proposed idea.

For example, this may be as a result of engineering advice be it from the engineer contracted by the artist or by the commissioner. These could be in connection with technical details such as foundations, weight bearing, wind loading, materials, suppliers, timeframes, etc. An artist ability to negotiate these challenges again will be influenced by the working relationship they have with the commissioning body.