Weekly round-up: 15 August 2011

New LUAS Heritage posters

Time ran away before I could post on Friday, so here’s a a week’s worth of artscultury goodness for your Monday reading pleasure:

The Kilkenny Festival has wrapped up, but ah, the memories… highlights for me included the artist talk sponsored by Josephine Kelliher of the Rubicon Gallery, the amazing video installation by Jacco Olivier, the quirky and playful show by Ian Burns (still on!) at the Butler Gallery, and Angela O’Kelly’s curated show ‘Modified Expression’ at the National Craft Gallery of delicately crafted paper objects — simply delightful.

Go Karl! A former office-mate of mine from the Humanities Institute of Ireland here at UCD has taken the initiative to develop a series of historical community posters, now adorning a LUAS stop near you (you can see all the posters here). A great heritage initiative that’s very common in other European cities, it’s a wonderful way to share stories and images from archives with the public.

Cork was feeling the love in the Irish Times at the weekend, with a big article on the rebel county’s blossoming arts scene… lots of familiar faces there!

In today’s Irish Times, Michael Dervan pens a hugely depressing account of the failure of the Arts Council or the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht to support Irish opera… a situation which shows no signs of forthcoming improvement.

The Department has also recently published a review of the Irish Heritage Trust, set up in 2006 to help preserve the Big House in Ireland and presumably acquire important properties, but which to date has only managed to conserve and re-present Fota House in Cork. The report is fairly negative about the value elicited thus far from the Trust, and seems to suggest an absorption of its functions into the existing bodies An Taisce, the Irish Georgian Society or the Irish Landmark Trust.

Planning a project with another European arts organisation? No? Well, you should be, cause the European Cultural Foundation has money to give ya! Deadline is Sept. 1st, and this fund tends to be underutilised by Irish arts orgs, so get creative!

Or how about if you have a project taking place within 1 km of the Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road!) in Dublin? There’s more funding up for grabs for community, arts & cultural projects…

News of the Dublin Contemporary’s preview dates & launch hit last week, and more details are coming all the time… next month’s Visual Artists News Sheet will have a special focus on the DC as well. I’m particularly keen to see the Willie Doherty retrospective coming up at the Hugh Lane.

Ai Wei Wei has spoken briefly about the conditions of his detention by Chinese officials to the New York Times — the censorship he has faced is still so shocking…

Is art being used as the ‘window dressing’ of the recession? Peter Crawley in the IT thinks so, but I disagree… site specific theatre is such a rich dimension of theatrical experience, and certainly responding to our changed physical environment in such direct ways is the very point and purpose of art?

The Cultúrlann building in Derry by architects O’Donnell Tuomey has been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, considered the ‘Oscars’ of the architecture world… another kudos for the progressive firm who’ve won loads of acclaim for their arts and cultural buildings, including the new Lyric Theatre in Belfast opened in May, and of course the Glucksman Gallery (shortlisted in 2005 for the Stirling).

We knew it was coming, but still… sigh. IMMA’s announced its closure dates of November 2011-January 2013. The New Galleries will still be open and host small scale shows, but it’s going to be a lean year for visitors to our national visual arts institutions.

I had meant to give a heads up on the talk by my colleague Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith at Lismore Castle Arts last Friday on their current exhibition ‘Still Life’. Dangit. Go see the exhibition anyway, I thought it was wonderful!

Finally… no word yet on the new director appointment at the National Gallery, but if the gossip is correct there should be white smoke soon…