THE GALWAY Arts Centre's 2018 visual art programme will feature a mix of Irish and international artists and partnerships with several festivals, including the Cúirt international Festival of Literature, TULCA Festival of Visual Art, Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, and Galway International Arts Festival.
The first exhibition of 2018, Ex-Voto: the Body + the Institution, opens on January 19 and features artists Jenna Bliss, Lucy Beech, Judy Foley [a work by whom is depicted below], Cecilia Bullo, Rajinder Singh, and writer Sinéad Gleeson. Ex-Voto addresses the colonisation of the human body and its treatment by State, corporate, medical ,and pharmaceutical institutions, as well as the role of power and the impact of capitalism and commerce.
The exhibition frames the artist as witness, mirroring Michel Foucault's theories in The Birth Of The Clinic, which addressed the patient's corporeal experience and vulnerability in the context of modern medicine: "The presence of disease in the body, with its tensions and its burnings, the silent world of the entrails, the whole dark underside of the body lined with endless unseeing dreams, are challenged as to their objectivity by the reductive discourse of the doctor, as well as established as multiple objects meeting his positive gaze."
2018 is the year of partnerships for GAC. In May the gallery will work with Basic Space Dublin for Yellow Air in Room 625. In this exhibition, artists Emma Haugh and Eimear Walshe will respond to Queer community and space in collaboration with the public through sculpture, video, workshops, performances and community events. It runs from May 4 to June 2 and includes a screening, exhibition, community club night, and library.
GAC is also working with Vivienne Dick who will curate a group exhibition and film programme in June. Another large group show will open in August, curated by Gregory McCartney as part of Abridged, a poetry and photography journal published several times a year in Northern Ireland. Entitled A Brand New Darkness for a Bright New Way, the exhibition includes work by Zoe Murdoch [a detail from one of whose works is depicted below], Lorna Wilson, and Kelly Richardson.
The gallery programme will close 2018 with an ambitious solo exhibition by Galway-based Scottish artist Marielle MacLeman. It is being developed in partnership with the LAB Gallery, Dublin and Dublin City Council. MacLeman has received an Arts Council Project Award to develop a new body of work.
In April 2017 NUI Galway in partnership with Galway City Museum, Galway Arts Centre, and Croí na Gaillimhe secured a Royal Astronomical Society award to mark the bicentenary celebration RAS 200: Sky & Earth. This is the only project in Ireland, to join others from Britain, to have received awards. RAS 200 projects involve partner organisations whose specialist knowledge brings effective ways to share the sciences. Led by Professor Andrew Shearer in NUIG, Making Space is a multi-layered project that will begin this year and culminate in a year of creative events, collaborations, and a celebration of astronomy and geophysics in 2020. This year an arts/science residency programme will begin, leading into an exhibition in 2019 and further events leading up to 2020.
Young and old
Red Bird Youth Collective, Ireland’s only youth-led visual art collective, is currently working with artist Siobhán McGibbon on a process-based sculpture project which will culminate in an exhibition at the end of January. Never a group to rest on their laurels, Red Bird will jump straight into a new project, this time with writer Javier Gimenez. Red Bird will also continue their collaboration with CAMHS at Merlin Park Hospital Galway, with funding from the National Youth Council of Ireland.
Burning Bright 2018 kicks off in late January, with artists working in nursing units, day centres, and hospitals across Galway city and county, including three Gaeltacht areas where the project is conducted as Gaeilge. This year there will also be a dance project led by Genevieve Ryan with Croi na Gaillimhe, and a choir for people living with Dementia in Ballinasloe CNU. The Burning Bright showcase is in May as part of Bealtaine Festival, the national arts festival celebrating creativity as we age.
Concert with Dott and JANAJ
The Galway Arts Centre will be working with The Orbit Open Mic Night and Sos, an all-ages monthly music event. This follows an extremely successful under-18s gig and workshop with The Rusangano Family in December. Orbit Open Mic Night will take place on January 13 at 7pm in Galway Arts Centre, featuring a performance by Sonny Casey. Each month a musician or writer will be invited to headline and all other performers will be open mic. Admission is €3.
Sos is a celebration of the diverse original music community in Galway city and county. The first show will take place on January 20 at Nuns Island Theatre at 7pm where Dott and JANAJ will take the stage. Preceding them will be a DJ set by Graham Dolan, followed by an open mic. Sos is supported by Galway City Council and ILAS NUI Galway.
Dott play shiny, harmony-driven guitar pop. Their music drips with luscious harmonies, fuzzy guitars, and addictive feel-good pop melodies. Dott are currently working on their second album due for release in summer 2018. Their sophomore record will follow up a string of releases including their EPs Beverly Baldwin (Mirror Universe Records, NYC 2016 ) and Carousel (Split with Night School, Graveface Record US, 2015 ), Button (Graveface Records US/Popical Island IRE, 2013 ), and their album Swoon.
JANAJ are an alt-rock band from Galway. Their eclectic style takes influences from prog, acoustic, and classic rock styles, and mashes them together to create a modern sound. In 2016 they won the coveted Irish Youth Music Award, which opened up a number of opportunities such as playing for the President, national airplay, and the recording and successful release of their debut EP A in April 2017.