GMIT golden jubilee celebrations to feature to host ‘creative stories’ series of public talks

GMIT’s School of Design & Creative Arts will host a series of public talks each Tuesday during March on the subject of “Creativity” marking the commencement of the institute’s Golden Jubilee celebrations ahead of becoming Atlantic Technological University (on 1 April ). The talks will take place in Room 104 at 5.30pm at GMIT Centre for Creative Arts & Media on Wellpark Road, covering topics from Community Outreach, Design Process & Practice to Performance and the Visual Arts, delivered by GMIT lecturers.

Head of Department of Creative Arts & Media, Celine Curtin, says the opportunity to host these public talks on creativity is very special to our staff.

“Creativity is everyone’s property, and within everyone’s gift to share, and our hope is that these talks will colour imagination, encourage creativity, and demonstrate the historical and social value of creativity within society. The staff at the school foster and nurture these principles in our students and their enthusiasm is infectious.”

On 8 March, GMIT screenwriting lecturer Felim Mac Dermott, co-author of “Screencraft: Screenwriting,” former Artistic Director of the Galway Film Fleadh and Programme Chair of the BA (Hons ) in Film & Documentary, will deliver a talk on screenwriting.

Transfixed by story

He will explore the creative writing process and how the writer’s route to originality and truly engaging an audience often leads to self-examination. He will examine story structure, specifically Aristotle’s Poetics, and how these ideas might align with story form - drama (feature length and series ) and documentary. Felim says: “This is very much an introductory presentation that will speak to anyone who is, like me, transfixed by story”.

On 15 March, Animation lecturer, Edith Pieperhoff in conversation with Bernie Rowan (pastoral co-ordinator of the Galway-based ‘That’s Life’ arts initiative ) will give an illustrated talk about work undertaken in 2019 where they facilitated the creation of three short animations by two groups of adults with intellectual disabilities. “Art and creativity are not an exclusive pursuit of specialists in art colleges, it is an innate human desire to create. The conversation will centre on the challenges and benefits of a wider creative exchange between people of diverse abilities,” explains Edith.

Edith Pieperhoff studied Animation in IADT and has a BA in Printmaking from LIT and an MA in Film Production from NUIG. Her award-winning short films have been selected for national and international film festivals and been shown on Irish, British, French and German TV stations. Her interest in animation as a means to give voice to marginalized groups has led to the collaboration with ‘That’s Life’ in 2019.

Historical objects

On 22 March, 3D Design and Heritage lecturer Gary Dempsey, will present an exhibition of artwork inspired by Galway’s medieval stone heritage. Gary will deliver an illustrated talk on artwork as a method of communicating past places and discusses how historical works can be used to unveil the narrative of historical objects as viewed through the eyes of artists. The exhibition will showcase collaborative art projects between Cork based artist John Flynn and Gary Dempsey, incorporating 3D modelling, hand-drawn stipple sketches and digital arts work of Galway’s Hidden Stone Heritage.

Gary Dempsey teaches 3D Modelling for Games and Animation. His background in archaeology took a left turn into the field of visualisation as traditional archaeology began to borrow from computer science to help communicate the past using modern technologies. Gary worked for several years in the private sector, creating animations using real time game technology for some of Ireland’s largest infrastructure projects. He has worked on several interactive 3D installations at Galway City Museum, Spike Island, Titanic Belfast and Clonmacnoise which incorporate advances in gaming technology to produce playable education experiences.

On 29 March, Art lecturer Dominic Thorpe will present a talk titled Performance Art from Ireland and Perpetrator Trauma which will reference work from a range of performance artists including Thorpe’s own work and work by Alastair MacLennan, Sandra Johnston, Andre Stitt, Alanna O’Kelly and Nigel Rolfe. This talk explores how performance from the visual arts can play a vital role in excavating and reframing narratives of difficult histories. As such, it will be of interest to those within the visual arts, performance studies, perpetration studies, memory and conflict studies and those with an interest in art practice as research.

Dominic Thorpe teaches in sculpture and is an Irish visual artist who works through performance art as well as drawing, video, photography, installation, collaborative and relational based processes. Much of his recent work addresses current and historical conflict, abuses and human rights violations. Thorpe has received a Vice-Chancellors Scholarship at the University of Ulster to undertake a practice-based PhD, researching how perpetrator trauma is addressed within performance art from Ireland. Thorpe has shown and performed work extensively in Ireland and internationally. He has work in a number of public collections, including the collection of the Arts Council of Ireland.

For further information about courses in GMIT School of Design & Creative Arts, visit


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