60+ new Irish arts jobs just added

David Shrigley, 2011

David Shrigley, 2011

A tough last few weeks for folks in the arts, with the ugly spectre of censorship appearing in connection with numerous arts events & artworks connected to the Repeal the 8th campaign. Feels like it’s time to re-visit the arms-length concept of public funding, and how/when it applies to different forms of organizations. Time also to clarify the role and practices of the Charity Regulator, which is playing fast and loose with interpretations of its mandate.


In sunnier news, this might be a record: I’ve just updated the blog with more than 60 new jobs & other opportunities in the arts and cultural sector. It’s worth mentioning several new listings are related to a major injection of £1.5 million into Northern Ireland as part of its ‘Making the Future’ multi-institution consortium project, which is funding projects and positions at NMNI, Nerve Centre, PRONI, and the Linen Hall Library. Dublin Theatre Festival is also recruiting for numerous seasonal roles; the new Tenement Museum in Dublin is hiring a Director; Belfast Exposed is hiring a Director; and the National Gallery of Ireland is hiring several collections-related roles. Also offering multiple positions currently are the Irish Film Institute and the Irish Architecture Foundation.

All details etc are in the jobs page! In the meantime, dust off the sunglasses and soak up some sunshine this bank holiday weekend…

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…

Weekly round-up: 17 December 2010

Last digest before Xmas, folks! And it’s a doozy…

Season’s Greetings to all my readers!! Thanks for granting me the gift of your eyeballs over the past year.

Weekly round-up: 8 December 2010

Woe is us– budget, snow, and Jackie Healy Rae. Sigh.

Here’s what been buzzing on the wire:

* edit: Laurence Mackin had CI’s budget down by 2%; I asked him on his blog about the discrepancy in his figures versus the 71% increase cited elsewhere, and here’s his response:

According to the Government estimates (available at http://www.budget.gov.ie/budgets/2011/Documents/Estimates%20Budget%202011.pdf) Culture Ireland got €4.083 million in 2010 and will get €3.997 million in 2011 – a decrease of 2 per cent. According to the Minister for the Arts Mary Hanafin “a carry-over of €3m from 2010 will be used towards the funding of Culture Ireland’s major year-long season of contemporary Irish culture, Imagine Ireland, across the US in 2011” – hence the figure of €6,997 at Theatre Forum and elsewhere.

Basically, Culture Ireland’s budget is the €3.997 and the €3 million is a once-off payment to fund this once-off programme. You could argue that their budget has gone up by that much, but my understanding, following a phonecall to the Department, is that the €3 million must go on the US programme and isn’t transferable to other projects under CI’s aegis. Hope that clears it up.

It does… sort of. Certainly it clears up the discrepancy, and the earmarked €3 million can’t really be considered a true budgetary increase… nevertheless it’s a clear vote of confidence/investment in favour of CI’s work in a difficult climate.

Berlusconi tampers with Truth

In other fascinating, hilarious yet somewhat disturbing news: minions attached to Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi have taken the initiative to cover up the nipple of a nude figure (‘Truth’) in a reproduction of a Tiepolo painting which hangs behind the minister during press conferences, as reported in the Guardian:

Slap in the middle of the painting is a neat, round female breast. During press conferences, as a commentator writing for the daily La Stampa noted, the breast floats above the prime minister’s head “like a halo”. This, it was felt, was too much for the sensibilities of a nation that – long before Berlusconi came along – had been feasting its eyes on half-naked Magdalenes and Minervas, not to mention the blatantly erotic statuary of Antonio Canova. Tiepolo’s breast, with attendant nipple, had to go.

Photos taken of the most recent press conference at Palazzo Chigi show the central figure has been retouched. An extra fold of clothing has appeared that covers the offending breast.

Berlusconi’s chief spin doctor, the junior minister Paolo Bonaiuti, told Corriere della Sera it was “an initiative of those on the staff of the prime minister who take care of Berlusconi’s image”. He went on: “That breast [and] that nipple ended up right in the shots the news bulletins used [for coverage of] the press conferences.”

He added that the prime minister’s image advisers feared that such a sight might offend the sensibilities of some television viewers.

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