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Amhrán na mBeach: Softday.

CREATE DEBATE: The Artist and Civic Life, collaborating with the Socio-Political + Environmental.

Date: 28th June
Venue: National College of Art and Design, Dublin, as part of VAI GETTOGETHER
Time: 11am-4pm

Following on from the presentations by Ailbhe Murphy Lynnette Moran and as part of last year’s Visual Arts Ireland's annual GETTOGETHER, Create, has curated a series of contributions focussing on artists whose collaborations have inspired them, through the artistic process, to engage in environmental and socio-political arenas.

We are asking the presenting artists to reflect on the motivations behind their work, to elaborate on the processes they undertake and to consider their work and its role in relation to broader discussions around art and society and the role of the artist in civic life.

Presentation + In Conversation with Katherine Atkinson, Create.

The sessions will involve a 20-30 minute presentation of work followed by a question and answers session facilitated by Katherine Atkinson from Create.

Socio-Political context- Seamus Nolan – 10th President of Ireland by Irish artist Seamus Nolan.

“As a way of honouring the survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland and of recognising those who died in institutional and state care, Seamus Nolan has invited President Michael D Higgins to hand over, for the period of one day, the Presidency of Ireland posthumously to Willie Delaney, a child who died whilst under the care of the state. William Delaney, 13 when he died had spent the preceding three years in St Joseph’s industrial school Letterfrack. His name has been put forward as a representative of the children who have suffered abuse, neglect and fatal injury throughout the history of the state.”

Environmental context: Sean Taylor-as part of Softday (Mikael Fernstrom & Sean Taylor) Amhrán na mBeach.

Amhrán na mBeach (Song of the Bees) is the result of a project by the Limerick-based art/science collaboration Softday (Sean Taylor and Mikael Fernström). The project aims to connect the life of honeybees and the threats to their wellbeing from diseases, and raise public awareness about this sensitive part of our ecosystem.

Softday have collaborated with beekeepers and scientists in Ireland and abroad, gathering scientific data and field recordings of the acoustic ecology of bee habitats, and converting this research into music. As part of the project, the duo have worked with the monks of Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, Co. Limerick, who are beekeepers, running a number of workshops there for beekeepers on how to record and play sounds from their own habitats.


11am-1pm Presentation and discussion with Seamus Nolan and Katherine Atkinson

- 11am-11.30am Seamus Nolan Artist Presentation
- 11.30-1pm Discussion and in- conversation with Katherine Atkinson


2pm-4pm  Presentation and discussion with Sean Taylor and Katherine Atkinson:

- 2pm-2.30pm Sean Taylor Artist Presentation
- 2.30pm-4pm  Discussion and in- conversation with Katherine Atkinson

Artists Biogs


Seamus Nolan studied sculpture in the National College of Art and Design, and went on to develop his practice based on a critical reading of the role of the artist in society. Recent work includes '10th President' Templebar Gallery and studios, 'Every Action' for Newtopia, the state of human rights, Mechelen Belgium, Contours of the Common, CCA Derry-Londonderry, 'Trades Club Revival' with CREATE and The Model Sligo, which saw the revival of the traditional working man’s club, the attempted hijack of a Ryanair flight for St Patrick's day, Flight NM7104, for Terminal Convention, an off-site exhibition and seminar situated in the abandoned Airport terminal building at Cork Airport, and a refusal to participate in Dublin Contemporary 2011. Other works include Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2008 Nature Reserve, Brussels 2007, and Hotel Ballymun 2007 which saw the transformation of a residential tower block on the outskirts of the city transformed into a boutique hotel by a group of local participants and organisations. Seamus Nolan is based in Dublin where he has a studio at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios.


Studied Fine Art at Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork, Ireland. Awarded an MA in Fine Art from the University of Ulster in Belfast, and a Postgraduate Scholarship from The Kunstenacademie, Rotterdam, Holland.

Sean is interested in exploring ‘the cracks’ between various media such as, sound art, performance art, expanded theatre, sculpture, music and dance.

His socially engaged art practice has been shaped by considerable experiences of working as an artist in the community, undertaking numerous temporary site specific public art projects, and embracing artistic collaborations where appropiate.

An imporatant development in his  recent practice has been the exploration of the links between art, sound and science and new technoligies, in collaboration with computer software designer Mikael Fernstrom (aka Softday).

Currently Joint Programme leader MA In Social Practice & the Creative Environment and lecturer in the Sculpture & Combined Media Department at Limerick School of Art & Design.  Currently undertaking a PhD entitled: Acouscenic Listening; towards the development of a Sonically Engaged Collaborative Sound Art Practice.

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