Museum of August Destiny comes to Pearse Museum

Launch of The Museum of August Destiny
Thursday 3 November, 5 pm
Pearse Museum, St Enda’s, Rathfarnham

I’m delighted to share news that the contemporary art exhibition I curated this summer at Lismore Castle Arts – The Museum of August Destiny – will have a second showing at the Pearse Museum, St. Enda’s, Rathfarnham, from 4 November 2016 – 8 January 2017.

Featuring artists Aideen Barry, Mark Clare, Amanda Coogan, Anthony Haughey, Dragana Jurisic, and Sarah Pierce, the six new commissioned works offer reflections on the Irish state and the ‘august destiny’ envisioned by the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.


The exhibition will be launched on 3 November (5 pm) by Professor Sarah Prescott, Principal, UCD College of Arts and Humanities, and on view from 4 November 2016 – 8 January 2017. Admission is free.

Supported by the UCD Decade of Centenaries programme
Initiated & first displayed by Lismore Castle Arts, Co. Waterford
With thanks to the Pearse Museum, Office of Public Works

Upcoming events in Irish arts management and cultural policy


Titanic Quarter – image c/o

Lots of exciting updates in today’s post!

Jobs have recently been refreshed: closing soon are posts at the Tain Arts Centre, Droichead Arts Centre, Screen Producers Ireland, etc.

Next week (13-15 October) is a major conference on Making Memory: Visual and Material Cultures of Commemoration in Ireland, at the National Gallery of Ireland and NCAD. A very diverse lineup of artists, historians, archaeologists, geographers, and heritage professionals will be speaking about memory-work in a variety of commemorative contexts. Don’t miss Guy Beiner’s keynote on vernacular memory in the Royal Irish Academy on Day 2 – he’s really an outstanding speaker, and his visits to Ireland are always a treat.

Enfranchising Ireland? Identity, Citizenship and the State is a public seminar on offer at the Royal Irish Academy on 20 October. Expect political big-hitters including Francis FitzGerald (Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality), and expert presentations on contemporary and historical perspectives on Irish citizenship and the public sphere.

The Irish Museums Association event City Life: Museums and Community Regeneration on 21 October is now taking reservations. This is a FREE event at Ulster University (with free transport from Dublin – Belfast provided for students and IMA members) sponsored by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Rural, Regional, and Gaeltacht Affairs,. A great lineup of speakers will be addressing case studies of community-building and museums, followed by a guided site visit.

Mise Eire? Shaping Ireland through Design is taking place from 4-5 November at the National Museum of Ireland (Collins Barracks). Apart from having a stunning website (!) this 2-day seminar is part of the 2016 centenary programme, and a partnership project between the National Museum of Ireland and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. Highlights include a keynote by Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes, and a fabulous range of speakers encompassing all aspects of design and national identity.

The Cultural Policy Observatory Ireland has announced details of its 2-part winter seminar at University of Limerick on 16 November. Part 1 is a Methods Seminar for CPOI Affiliate Researchers and doctoral candidates; Part 2 is a public lecture by renowned cultural policy scholar Eleonora Belfiore. Reservations for both segments are now being accepted!

Autumn 2016 in Dublin: an arts/cultural primer


Apart from all the events on in city centre, don’t forget Drawsoc, UCD’s award-winning visual arts society! Lots of events planned on campus for the first weeks of term…

Today we welcomed our new class of MAs in Arts Management and Cultural Policy here at UCD! We’ve another group of diverse and ambitious folks keen to get stuck into study, but also to explore all of the cultural delights of the city🙂 As promised, here’s a roundup of some highlights in the cultural calendar during the next two months. For folks new to Dublin, you couldn’t land at a better time!

Culture Night (Friday, 16 September) – the city will be taken over this Friday with Culture Night, with a massive number arts and cultural events happening around the country (and in NI) as well. My tips: start early, bring your walking shoes, plan your itinerary in advance (queues can be long for the popular venues!), and enjoy the liveliest night of the year in town… it’s not an exaggeration to say that most of city centre is given over to culture vultures.

Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival (10-25 September) – it’s on, it’s sprawling, it’s hot, it’s crazy. Fringe has already kicked off the autumn arts glut with a smashing programme this year… top venues include the Spiegeltent (in Merrion Square for the first time this year!) You’ve 73 productions and 412 performances to choose from (and here are the recs from the Irish Times), but my money’s on RIOT from Thisisopopbaby (co-produced by MA alumna Jenny Jennings) and Paul Currie’s surreal Release the Baboons.

Dublin Theatre Festival (29 Sept. – 16 October 2016) – this is the big one: theatres across town will be stuffed to the gills with the offerings in this year’s festival, with top-notch international and domestic productions a-plenty, and very reasonable ticket prices. I’ve got my eye on Backstage in Biscuit Land and the new staging of a Midsummer Night’s Dream in particular.

Open House Dublin (14-16 October 2016) – for the architecture buffs amongst us, this annual mainstay offers 100+ tours of iconic Dublin buildings and little-seen interiors. A fab way to poke your nose in some astonishing and striking buildings sprinkled all over the greater Dublin area.

Project Arts Centre – Project 50 Season (from October) – the beloved Project Arts Centre (one of the country’s main multidisciplinary venues) is blowing out 50 candles on its cake this year, and to celebrate they’ve programmed a special season of work. Shows at Project are reliably excellent and provocative, under the steady hand of director Cian O’Brian (a graduate of our course, btw).

Ireland 2016 / Decade of Commemorations  – over the past year the events calendar has been stuffed with commemorative events of all shades and stripes; there’s still time to catch a number of fantastic arts events over the next few months:

  • Composing the Island: a century of music in Ireland, 1916-2016, National Concert Hall (7-25 September) – for the music buffs, catch any one of a series of 29 concerts — orchestral, choral, instrumental, song and chamber music — by Irish composers written between 1916 and 2016.
  • In the Shadow of the State – The Touching Contract, Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, the Rotunda (23-25 September) – get booking NOW for this — one of the commissioned centenary works created by artists Browne and Jones, this is an immersive performance work staged in the Rotunda Hospital reflecting on women’s bodies and the state.
  • These Rooms – Anu Productions & CoisCéim Dance Theatre (27 Sept. – 16 Oct.) – another immersive live performance, from the renowned site specific theatre-makers Anu and the highly regarded CoisCéim, revisiting the Rising from the perspective of civilians on North King Street caught in the cross-hairs.
  • Butterflies and Bones: The Casement Project (20-22 October) – Perhaps no figure better encapsulates the conflicts and contradictions of 1916 and its legacy than Roger Casement. Dancer Fearghus Ó Conchúir has been producing a stunning series of events reflecting on Casement’s human rights activism, revolutionary aspirations, his sexuality, trial and conflicted legacy – an unmissable final instalment.

Phew. I love Dublin in the autumn!



Back in the swing of things! New Irish arts jobs etc.


It’s the first day of orientation here at UCD — the autumn semester is upon us! I’ve just updated all of the arts jobs listings, and will post a fall preview (looking ahead to events in the coming weeks) on the blog very soon🙂

A special welcome to all of our undergraduates in art history, and postgraduates in art history and cultural policy this year!

On now: The Museum of August Destiny


Dragana Jurisic, Jessie, 2016

I’m very pleased to share details of an exhibition I’ve curated and just opened at Lismore Castle Arts, at St Carthage Hall, in Lismore Co. Waterford

The Museum of August Destiny (17 July – 4 September) features six artists born or working in Ireland and explores the resonance of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, a century after it was written. The participating artists are Aideen Barry, Mark Clare, Amanda Coogan, Anthony Haughey, Dragana Jurisic and Sarah Pierce.

The exhibition proposes an alternative means of making 1916 again manifest, by creating a ‘capsule’ museum responding to the final line of the 1916 Proclamation:

In this supreme hour the Irish nation must by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worth of the august destiny to which it is called.

The Museum of August Destiny has commissioned each artist to respond to one of six ‘visions’ of Irish destiny set out in the Proclamation: (1) sovereignty and ‘unfettered control of Irish destinies’; (2) religious and civil liberty; (3) equal rights and opportunities for citizens; (4) the pursuit of happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts; (5) cherishing the children of the nation; and (6) oblivion of the differences ‘which have divided a minority from the majority in the past’.

Housed within museum cases on loan from the Pearse Museum at St. Enda’s, Rathfarnham, the six artworks present individual meditations (utilizing sounds/objects/images) on the realization or retreat from our ‘august destiny’. A seventh case will host rotating contributions from the residents of Lismore and its surrounds: making visible a range of political, personal, conceptual, utopian, critical, and condemnatory responses.

The essay accompanying the exhibition can be downloaded here.

Lismore Castle Arts
General opening: Monday – Sunday, 10.30 – 5.30
St Carthage Hall opening hours: Friday – Sunday, 1-6 pm
Running: 17 July-4 September
Admission to St Carthage Hall is free