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People taking a break during the Symposium on Public Art, The DOCK, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim, 2007. Public Art Symposium

Create in association with the Leitrim County Council Arts office will host

A Symposium on Public Art
at The DOCK, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim
Sept 13th and 14th, 2007 
Create and Leitrim County Council Arts office are hosting a symposium to discuss future directions in public art.  Artists and those commissioning them are moving beyond dominant conventions about public art as narrow and prescribed, or as monumental urban decoration.  Grasping the possibilities of art conceived as a social process and freed from the traditional and ‘monumental, the new public art can question assumptions behind notions of "public" and investigate the diverse forms of communication and interaction by which artists can reach and engage different audiences.

Focusing on themes of Dialogue as methodology and intercultural competence and Ritual as collective cultural memory, the symposium will challenge conventions about public art and offer insights into practices, projects and outcomes.  

Major national and international speakers will take part in what will be stimulating debate and discussion. Create & Leitrim County Council Arts Office have confirmed the participation of Dragan Klaic and John Fox as Keynote Speakers (biogs below) to talk about interculturalism and the role of art in shaping and reshaping cultural memory.

There will be a number of Artists Dialogues throughout the symposium. Artists include Gary Keegan and Seamus Nolan; Vivienne Dick and Aileen Lambert; Jesse Jones and John Byrne; Sarah Browne and Fearghus Ó Conchúir.

There will also be a panel discussion to explore the relationship of Memory, Place and Identity and a separate panel with representative organisations to consider the best ways of providing supports for artists across all artforms responding to public art commissions.

Lyric FM are our media partners for this event

Who Should Attend? Artists, arts officers, public arts officers, arts students; arts organisations.

Fee:  Organisations: €210/€285*; Individual: €90/€165* (includes food, tea coffee). *with bed.


SESSIONS and Panel Discussions

Thursday 13 September 
10.30 Registration
11.00 Dragan Klaic - Arts and Dialogue, Keynote address
11.20 Sarah Searson: Overview of public art practices on this theme
11.40 Tea/coffee
12.00 Artists dialogue: Aileen Lambert and Vivienne Dick
Artists dialogue: Seamus Nolan and Gary Keegan
Panel discussion: Dragan Klaic, Aileen Lambert, Vivienne Dick, Seamus Nolan and Gary Keegan. Chaired by Sarah Searson

Buffet meal

2.30 John Fox – Arts and Vernacular Ritual, Keynote address 
2.50                      Cliodhna Shaffrey: Overview of public art practices 
3.10 Tea/coffee
3.30 Artist dialogue: Jesse Jones and John Byrne
Artist dialogue: Fearghus Ó Conchúir and Sarah Browne
Panel discussion:  John Fox, Jesse Jones, John Byrne, Fearghus Ó Conchúir and Sarah Browne. Chaired by Cliodhna Shaffrey
6.00 Thursday’s sessions conclude at 6 pm
7.00 At 7pm there will be a boat trip to a restaurant for everyone. A bus will bring everyone back to the town
  Friday 14 September
10.15   Panel discussion: Memory, Place and Identity. 
Dragan Klaic, Declan Redmond, Susan Kelly and David A Bailey - Chaired by Cliodhna Shaffrey
11.20 Tea/coffee
11.40 Panel discussion: Working in Partnership - Initiating new Visions 

Tania Banotti, Theatre Forum, Alan Fitzpatrick, Filmbase, Deirdre McCrea, Music Network, Orlaith McBride, National Association for Youth Drama, Jane O’Hanlon, Poetry Ireland, Katherine Atkinson, Create.
Chaired by Sarah Searson

1.00 Event ends with a buffet meal




Dragan Klaic teaches Arts and Cultural Policy at the University of Leiden and serves as a Permanent Fellow of Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam. Educated in dramaturgy in Belgrade and with a doctorate in theatre history and dramatic criticism from Yale University.  Former president of the European Forum for Arts & Heritage (EFAH, Brussels), Klaic has lectured widely on culture and democracy in Europe and America. He has worked as theatre critic, dramaturg, festival and production advisor, editor, researcher and trainer. Before leaving Yugoslavia in 1991 he was Professor at the University of Arts in Belgrade and the founding Co-Editor of Euromaske, the European Theatre Quarterly. From 1992 until summer 2001 he was Director of Theatre Instituut Nederland in Amsterdam and from 1998 to 2003 Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Currently, Klaic moderates the Reflection Group of the European Cultural Foundation, develops modes of “applied theatre” for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and Eurocare (Brussels), researches the ongoing festivalization of the everyday life and takes part in other research and artistic projects in Europe.

Among his books are several works published in the former Yugoslavia as well as Terrorism and Modern Drama (co-edited with J. Orr, Edinburgh Univ. Press 1990, paperback 1992), The Plot of The Future: Utopia and Dystopia in Modern Drama (Michigan Univ. Press 1991), and Shifting Gears/ Changer de vitesse (co-edited with R. Engelander, TIN Amsterdam 1998).


Klaic is a Contributing Editor of the Theatre magazine (USA), board member of Praemium Erasmianum (Amsterdam) and Transeuropeennes (Paris), a trustee of the Russian Institute for Cultural Policy (Moscow) and member of the advisory boards of the Nexus Institute (Tilburg), the Fund for the Central & East European Book Project (Amsterdam) and of the Marcel Hicter European Diploma training program (Brussels).  He is international advisor for the pan-European project SEAS Balticum-Adriatico.


John Fox Born in Hull. Hons  Degrees in PPE at Oxford and Fine Art in Newcastle.  After lecturing in art colleges, John co-founded Welfare State International in 1968 and was Artistic Director, until he archived the company in 2006. Printmaker, poet, author, artist, theatre director, occasional musician, lecturer and cultural provocateur with numerous awards and Fellowships for 'outstanding and innovative contribution to the arts' .His large woodcut triptych, commissioned by English Estates 1998 is a permanent mural in The Trinity Enterprise Centre in Barrow in Furness. In 2006 at ARTS 06 he received the first Arts Council England (NW) Lifetime Achievement Award and also an Artist/Time/Space award for his cross disciplinary research project Pick up Sticks.

Eyes on Stalks with co–author Sue Gill traces the history of WSI and was published by Methuen in 2002. In 2006 he founded Dead Good Guides with Sue Gill.


David A Bailey is a photographer, writer, curator and lecturer. His work focuses on issues relating to black representations in the area of photography. He has also   worked as an advisor for a number of founding bodies he was actively involved in setting up. These include Autograph: The Association of Black Photographers in 1988 and the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA) in 1994. From 1996 to 2002 he was Co-Director of the African and Asian Visual Artists Archive (AAVAA) based at the University of East London. He is currently Director of the Black Moving Cube Season, a major touring exhibition programme and season that presents key works made by artists working in the moving image to be shown in a range of gallery spaces collaborating with the Arnolfini Gallery and Watershed in Bristol, the Tate Britain, the Guardian Archive Space, the Photographers Gallery and Camden Arts Centre in London.

Sarah Browne
 was born in Dublin in 1981. She is an artist currently based in rural northwest Ireland. Her practice addresses ecologies of place and displacement through the circulation of people, products and social behaviours. This process is often carried out with the participation of a community where it is based, or creates a fictional or temporary community for itself. An interest in design, craft, and hobbies prompts subtle interventions into existing objects and surfaces (sofas, wallpaper, handknitted sweaters). The redistribution and use of these objects, often through the formation of gift economies on an intimate scale, highlights particular social contexts. Parallel to her art practice is the development of a body of research and critical writing. She regularly publishes and also has contributed articles and reviews to various Irish publications such as Circa, Contexts, and  Visual Artists’ Newsheet.

John Byrne was born in Belfast; he went to the Art College and attended The Slade School of Art in London in the mid eighties. It was there that he began to practice as a performer, and has since performed and exhibited at venues throughout Ireland, the UK, Denmark Poland and Germany. Returning to live in Ireland in1996 he performed ‘A Border Worrier’ for the 1997 Dublin Theatre Festival. This apparent obsession with the Irish Border culminated in his ‘Border Interpretative Centre’ (2000), a week long visitor centre project right on the border. “Would you die for Ireland?” (2003) was made in response to a commissioned group show (Dearcadh) for Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, marking the bi-centenary of Robert Emmett’s revolt and execution in 1803. The 12 minute video charts Byrne’s tour around Ireland asking people on the street whether they were prepared to make ‘the ultimate sacrifice’.  It documented his travelling the streets of Ireland (Dublin, Belfast, Cork) asking the question to a wide range of people including Bertie Ahern, members of the Orange order and the Irish Army. In 2004 he installed his ‘Dublin’s Last Supper’ a large outdoor digitally manipulated photo-work in enamel, screen-printed and fired onto 9 adjoining panels which is now very much part of the Dublin streetscape.

In 2005 /06 he undertook residencies in Cork City and Riga, Latvia culminating in new video works. In 2005 he had solo show at the Fenton Gallery Cork. He is currently working on a major permanent sculptural work through Breaking Ground  as part of the Ballymun regeneration.


Vivienne Dick was born in Donegal in 1950 and studied at University College, Dublin. Between 1977 -1982 she lived in New York, part of a group of filmmakers whose affiliation to the music and aesthetic of punk became known as 'New Wave'. Working mainly on Super 8, Dick's films from this period feature many musicians from the punk movement in NY with performances and music from Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Pat Place, Adele Bertei, and Ikue Mori.

Dick returned to Ireland in 1982 and then to London in 1985, where she was a member of The London Filmmakers Coop for many years and produced a number of films in 16mm, and in video.

Her films have been screened at cinemas, museums and film festivals internationally, including Tate Britain, Moma and the Whitney in New York, IMMA in Dublin, and the Edinburgh and Berlin Film Festivals. She has received a number of Production Awards from The British Arts Council and The Irish Film Board, and has had work commissioned by Ch 4 (Dazzling Image, Midnight Underground), BBC (Artrageous, The Late Show) and RTE. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art and Anthology Archives, NYC and the Irish Film Archives. She lives in Galway, Ireland, where she teaches and continues to make films.


Jesse Jones is a Dublin based artist; she is a BA graduate from National College of  Art & Design, Dublin (2002) and MA graduate in visual arts practice in IADT in 2005(Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design). Jones’s practice focuses on the imbedded political and social history within everyday life.

Recent work includes 12 Angry Films, a public art commission for Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Dublin Docklands Authority. This project consisted of an intensive collaboration with an elective community. Informed by activist workshops in drama and filmmaking, the process led to the creation of a series of six short films. The resulting films were then shown in a purpose built drive-in cinema in Dublin port in November 2006. She has also staged various musical performances in public spaces such an impromptu operatic performance on a bridge in Tallaght as well as a symphonic performance of Leonard Bernstein’s score from On the Waterfront in the courtyard of a social housing project in the north inner city. Jones’ practice focuses on how cultural intervention can create new public spheres and moments of critical convergence. She is currently lecturing in contextual practices in the Dublin Institute of Technology and is an artist in residence in Fire Station Artists’ Studios


Gary Keegan is co founder (with Feidlim Cannon) and Artistic Director of Brokentalkers Theatre Company,  Dublin's leading experimental performance group whose show credits include 'Transient Express' and 'On This One Night' which won the award for 'Sexiest Production' at 2006 Dublin Fringe Festival Awards. Brokentalkers are currently being mentored by Gob Squad.


Susan Kelly is an artist and researcher who develops performances and interventions that look at the relationship between practice, movement and space. From 1998- 2001, Kelly lived and worked in New York, where she developed an archival project called ‘Supposing a State’ in the Lower East Side as part of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Programme. She also took part in the World Trade Centre’s 91st floor studio residency and the Sixteen Beaver Street Collective. Kelly’s work has been included in exhibitions at Art in General and the Kent-Gallery New York, The Brewster Project, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s World Views exhibition at the City Museum of Skopje, Macedonia and the Lenin Museum, Tampere Finland. She is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmith’s College in London. UK.


Aileen Lambert is a County Wexford-based artist whose practice spans video, performance and sound work, as well as participatory public art projects. Aileen’s video, sound and performance practice is concerned with the relationship which the body has with its environment, and represents a claiming of space. Using simple actions, gestures, processes, and interventions, she traces her body's presence on the landscape, expressing and documenting a particular place and time. Many works are concerned with a vain attempt to preserve, mark or measure a certain material, activity or process. Aileen completed an MA in Visual Arts Practices in Dun Laoghaire IADT in January 2007 and in 2007 received a Bursary from the Arts Council.  She is currently working on a public art commission in Creagh, Gorey, Co Wexford and developing a new body of work which will be presented in solo shows in Wexford Arts Centre in 2008 and Triskel Arts Centre, Cork in 2009.


Seamus Nolan is an artist living and working in Dublin.  Born in Kilkenny 1978, he graduated from the National College of Art and Design with a first class honours degree in sculpture in 2004. His work has been shown in the Dublin Fringe Festival 2002/03, Intermedia 2002 at Triskel, Cork, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 2003, the City Arts Centre, Dublin, 2003, and the Signal Arts Centre, Bray 2002, 2003, and 2004. In 2005 he took part both in 'Communism' and, 'Artcirq / Seamus Nolan' at the Project Arts Centre, and in an exhibition in Fota House. He showed in EV+A in 2006. He has also been selected as the Irish candidate for Agorafolly, as part of Europalia '07. He has been awarded a studio placement by Independent Artists’ Studios in Temple Bar, a residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and recently received Wexford County Council’s inaugural Emerging Visual Artist Award.


Fearghus Ó Conchúir was brought up in the Ring Gaeltacht, County Waterford. He completed degrees in English and European Literature at Magdalen College Oxford, before attending the London Contemporary Dance School. Since graduation, he has danced for companies including Adventures in Motion Pictures, Claire Russ Ensemble, David Massingham Dance, English National Opera, Royal Opera House and ARC Dance Company.  In 2001 he set up Corp Feasa Dance Company to perform his choreography which has included Vespers (2001) Tearmann (2003) Sulán (2003) and An dá thrá (2004). His work has also been performed internationally by 4D, and in productions at LCDS, London Studio Centre and Conservatoire for Acting and Musical Theatre, Guildford. In 2003 he became Artist-in-Residence in the Muskerry Gaeltacht. He recently represented Ireland in the Eurofuturoscope cultural exchange programme touring work across Belgium. He is a Board Member of Dance Ireland. In 2005 he produced Cosán Dearg, a collaboration with director and designer Jason Byrne and composer Julie Feeney.


Dr. Declan Redmond is a lecturer in the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin.  He main research interest is in urban regeneration and in particular the contested regeneration of social housing.  He has carried out research on community participation in social housing estates and has given workshops to tenants on local planning and regeneration.

Clíodhna Shaffrey is a curator. Her practice includes longer-term and researched curatorial projects and programmes that focus on the interaction between artists and situations such as Body City, Dublin Docklands 2007-08 (co-curation with Nigel Rolf and Shelagh Morris); Artist as Traveller, Leitrim/Roscommon, 2004 and Utopias Eigse Carlow, 2006. Other projects include exhibitions and commissions of new work such as The Sea by Gary Coyle and composer Stephen Gardner, 2006 for Wexford County Council, and John Byrne’s Dublin’s Last Supper 2004. With Sarah Finlay she was artistic director for In Context 3, South Dublin County Council’s percent for art programme, which initiates a two-year residency programme for artists.

Sarah Searson works a cultural consultant, curator and educator.  Her career focus has been arts and cultural policy development within a public service context.  She is currently completing a two year public art commission with South Dublin County Council's public art programme, In Context 3. Her current research interests are the public and private uses of the arts in Ireland. She teaches at the Dublin Institute of Technology and University College Dublin.

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