Dublin Study Trip // April 2015 // MLitt: Art: Politics: Transgression: 20th Century Avant-Gardes

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Between the 20th and 23rd of April 2015 the MLitt Art History: Art, Politics, Transgression group visited Dublin on a study trip in conjunction with the National College of Art and Design Dublin for the symposium Art/History/Politics: Contemporary Artists in Conversation. The event was organised to bring together University of Glasgow History of Art students and the ‘Art in Contemporary World’ student cohort at NCAD to offer an exchange of research ideas and to build a collegiate working practice between the two institutions.

The event featured artist talks by Glasgow-based artists Ross Birrell and Niel Clements and Dublin-based artist Sarah Pierce. Students were offered an insight into the artists’ working practice and the distinctive ways that the artists engage with the tasks of shaping political, historical and art historical genealogies in their practices and research fields. The talk was followed by a dinner where students had the opportunity to interact with the artists and the teaching staff and students from both degree programmes.

On the 21st a Day-Ennial was organised where we visited a variety of contemporary art galleries including The Douglas Hyde Gallery for an exhibition by Rose Wylie and the Kerlin Gallery where the artist Isabel Nolan discussed her current exhibition and fielded questions regarding her working practice and artistic motivation. We visited Temple Bar Gallery and Studios where we were given a tour of the studio spaces which the gallery avail for graduate and established Dublin-based artists. The day’s final visit was to the Project Arts Centre where we were given a behind the scenes view of the install for the forthcoming exhibition ‘A Breathcrystal’ and a private talk with the curator Mihnea Mircan.

On the final day we embarked on a fascinating James Joyce walking tour where our enthusiastic guide led us around the North side of Dublin as we followed Leopold Bloom’s journey home as described in Joyce’s Ulysses. This literary hiatus was a real highlight and has inspired us all to visit/re-visit Ulysses. In a post tour discussion with Professor David Hopkins we made connections between Joyce’s writing practice and avant-garde artist’s transgressive motivations which we have been studying. We finished the day at the Hugh Lane Gallery to visit the reconstruction of Francis Bacon’s studio followed by a discussion of Bacon’s work and a tour of the gallery.

The trip was a fascinating insight into the jewels of Dublin’s established art scene. We were well looked after by the students from NCAD with whom we have developed a relationship which will be nurtured via ongoing correspondence and look forward to hosting some of the students when they visit Glasgow for the forthcoming Glasgow School of Art degree show.




Post written by Erica O’Neill, MLitt Art History: Art, Politics, Transgression.

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