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Artist: Michael Fortune

Venue: Loose End Studio, Civic Theatre, Tallaght 
Date: Thursday 19 April, 2007
Time: 4pm

Artists’ Responses to Changing Urban Landscapes in partnership with Civic Theatre and South Dublin County Arts Office.

In September 2006 as part of the Arts Council Critical Voices ‘3’ programme, Create invited artists and writers to discuss how their work is informed by the changing urban landscapes of Europe and the US.

To continue this ongoing debate, Create has asked a group of Irish artists: Jesse Jones, Mary Ruth Walsh, Michael Fortune and writer Dermot Bolger to engage with the issue of suburban development in relation to the rapidly changing environment of contemporary Ireland.

Chaired by journalist and critic Gemma Tipton, Suburbs and Cities 2 will explore how artists working in an Irish context respond to and engage with the intangible qualities of location: history, desire and identity.

The panel of invited artists will show examples of their work, sharing insights into their specific practice and drawing connections across art disciplines. Suburbs and Cities 2 will also look to shed light on how artists can be effective voices of dissent and collective celebration.

The event is free but it is necessary to book a place in advance. The event will be followed by a wine reception.

Dermot Bolger

Poet, playwright and novelist, Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland's best known writers.He founded and edited the Raven Arts Press, Dublin, from 1979 to 1992. His   ninth novel, The Family on Paradise Pier was published by HarperCollins in 2006. He has been associated with South Dublin County, firstly as Writer in Residence and now under the In Context Public Art Commission scheme. His work has explored the changing realities of contemporary Dublin, most notably in his Ballymun trilogy, the first part of which, From These Green Heights, won the Irish Times/ESB Award for Best New Irish play of 2005. His works have been staged and translated in many countries. In 2006 he edited, County Lines: A Portrait of South Dublin County Through Its Writers.

 Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune studied Fine Art, specialising in video and performance at the Limerick School of Art, where he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree. In 2004 he completed an MA in Screenwriting from Dun Laoghaire School of Film. He has undertaken numerous public art projects and residencies throughout the country with various age groups and communities and have been the recipient of various awards, residencies and commissions from local and national art authorities.

Recent shows include Seconds, Wexford Arts Centre, Exchange Places, Black Box, Belfast, COE, Claremorris, Our House Project, Wexford Arts Centre, Conflict and Resolution, Letterkenny Arts Centre and Art@Work, Roscommon Arts Centre. In 2006, he undertook two residency programmes with newspapers in Donegal and Roscommon, and numerous participatory-based projects throughout Wexford. Fortune is currently working on a public art commission for Wexford County Council and in the coming months will have a solo show in G126, Galway as well as work in Homespun, Dublin, Lighthouse, London, CEAD, China and House Project, Newfoundland. 

 Jesse Jones

Jesse Jones is a Dublin based artist. She is a BA graduate from NCAD (2002) and MA graduate in visual arts practice from the Institute of Art & Design T Dun Laoghaire in 2005. Jones’s practice focuses on the embedded political and social history within everyday life.

Recent work made by Jones includes 12 Angry Films, a public art commission for Fire Station Artists Studios and Dublin Docklands. 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 6 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 DIT and is an artist in residence in Fire Station Artist Studios.

Mary-Ruth Walsh

Dublin born artist Mary-Ruth Walsh holds an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths University College London and a BA in Fine Art and Art History from NCAD.  Selected exhibitions include Éigse 2006 (reviewed by Aidan Dunne, Irish Times 14-06-06), Goethe Institute 2005 (solo), Iontas Award 2005, dedalus Context Gallery 2002, and a forthcoming solo exhibition in the newly reopened Wexford Arts Centre in August 2007. Taking her inspiration from the language of architecture Mary-Ruth makes imagined proposals for grandiose buildings and public spaces.  The gallery installations define and disrupt space and this regulates how visitors move around them.  Her work suggests how architecture can both symbolize and effect systems of control.

Gemma Tipton

Gemma Tipton is an independent writer and critic of contemporary art and architecture. Based in Dublin, she contributes regularly to art and architectural publications, panel discussions, lectures, radio and television programmes in Ireland and internationally.


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