FIS Athlone is a contemporary multi-media exhibition and residency project taking place in Passionfruit Theatre, Athlone over a two week period, initiated and produced by Athlone visual artist and curator Miriam Walsh.
The exhibition opens at 2pm this Saturday, March 28 at Passionfruit, and runs until the following Saturday, April 4, from 10am to 5pm daily.
FIS Athlone is dedicated to developing new working opportunities for artists, and for contemporary artistic exchange to take place within the Midlands, while also aiming to explore and identify alternative exhibition and workspaces for artists.
For FÍS Athlone, the whole of the theatre space becomes an interactive installation open to the public. Every part of the building will be considered, from the point where the building meets the street to the entrance hallway to the auditorium itself. All of the site will become the working ground for the artists.
The outcome of the project is a group exhibition, requiring open discussion and debate to take place between the participants throughout all stages of the two-week project. FÍS challenges the participants to look at space, architecture, and context as the framework within which to respond to the site.
Development of the project commenced in October 2008 and has since continued to evolve with the ongoing support of Westmeath Arts Officer Martina Finn.
FÍS Athlone began this week with a historical walking tour led by local historian Gearoid O’Brien. The tour started by outlining the history of the workhouse (currently the design department of AIT ). It continued on to Passionfruit Theatre and the building it occupies, ending with a visit to the castle, an ideal vantage point from which Gearoid gave an overview of the history of Athlone.
FÍS involves both emerging artists and students endeavoring to create a new platform for mutual learning and exchange to take place.
Participating artists include April C Mellor (England ), Tokumasa Matsubuchi (Japan ), Mary-Jo Gilligan (Co Kildare ), Edward Simpson (Scotland ) and students; Ronald Boer (Edinburgh College of Art ), and Deirdre Ohlwein (Athlone Institute of Technology ).
FIS Athlone is supported by Edinburgh College of Art, Westmeath County Council, WCC Emerging Artist Award, and the Arts Council.