Culture Action Seminar, Pavee Point 1996  Image: Derek Speirs.
Culture Action Seminar, Pavee Point 1996 Image: Derek Speirs.

Seamus Nolan Announced As Recipient of CAPP Commission with Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and Create 

Create and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane are delighted to announce that Seamus Nolan has been successful in the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) Open Call for a socially engaged commission.

This is a very significant commission in the collaborative arts sphere in Ireland. It has resulted from a successful collaboration between Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, located in Parnell Square and is supported by the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) a transnational programme co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The applications, from across the CAPP network of partners, were of particularly high calibre with forty-one artists submitting diverse proposals in cross disciplinary artforms. This exciting commission will run from 2017 to 2018 and sets out to encourage meaningful and in depth engagement with communities of place and of interest as well as the distinct architectural, socio-political and cultural landscape of the North Inner City of Dublin. For this significant contemporary collaborative arts award, the adjudicating panel were looking for a clear demonstration of ambition, framing the commission around innovative engagement with communities in Parnell Square and environs. 

Seamus Nolan’s proposal to investigate the idea of archive, deconstruct ideas on ‘heritage’ and engage with both communities of place and of interest, involving Traveller activists and archivists, stood out in terms of concept and imaginative power.

Barbara Dawson, Director Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane 

“We are delighted to work with Create and Seamus Nolan on this great commission. One of Ireland’s foremost artists working in collaborative arts practice, Nolan has presented a powerful and thoughtful proposal focused on the Traveller community. Working with the community, Paveé Point, archives and archivists, the artist will go beyond any single reading of identity and heritage in a contemporary re thinking of established histories, memories and communities”

Ailbhe Murphy, Director of Create 

“We are delighted that Seamus Nolan, one of Ireland’s leading collaborative arts practitioners, has proposed this very timely and relevant socially engaged project. With a focus on archive, identity and history in relation to the Irish Traveller community, Nolan will work with a number of collaborators to re shape and re work ideas about what ‘heritage’ and memory can be. We are really looking forward to working in partnership with the Hugh Lane on this exciting commission.”

Seamus Nolan, artist 

“I am really pleased to have the opportunity through this commission to examine basic notions of representation and community building in relation to Traveller past and heritage. The commission will support the coming together of cultural practitioners, activists and archivists in an exploration of contested histories.”

Martin Collins, Pavee Point added:

“With the recognition of Traveller ethnicity it is important to explore how Traveller culture and identity can be integrated in an inclusive way into all aspects of Irish life. Pavee Point welcomes this opportunity to continue to develop innovative and imaginative approaches and looks forward to working with artist Seamus Nolan.”

Seamus Nolan sets out his ambitions for the commission as ‘…relating to the visibility of Traveller culture, expanding upon the idea of the accessible archive, and troubling the relationship to material and contexts which define these unresolved relationships of difference.’

Artist Statement Seamus Nolan

For a number of years Traveller organisations and representatives pursued an intensive a campaign to have Traveller ethnicity recognized by the Irish State. On March 1st 2017 the State's formal recognition of Irish Travellers as an indigenous ethnic minority has been described as a "historic" day for Travellers and for Ireland. 

The project seeks to open up a dialogue around what an appropriate approach to integrating the narrative of Traveller History into the National project might look like. A collaborative process of inquiry, and production working with a diverse group of cultural practitioners to examine a shared history of conflict and mis-appropriation, of critical research through sites, objects and documentation which will combine to inform a public artwork and presentation. 

A group made up of Traveller and settled participants of diverse background and areas of interest, will begin a series of encounters and conversations, where by basic notions of representation and community building are interrogated. A common language of equivalence is utilized to explore both material and embedded collections in relation to cultural representation and performance.

Pavee Point is home to a large collection of Traveller related publications and reports, this uncatalogued library is not open to the public but is one of many such archives which exist in the city. The National Folklore Collection in UCD contains a huge range of photographs and manuscripts on the topic of Traveller culture in Ireland. The Irish Film Archives contains a broad range of news reels films and documentaries relating to Traveller history, The Irish Traditional Music Archive contains a catalog of recorded Irish Traveller music and song.

Working with these collections relating to the visibility of Traveller culture, expanding upon the idea of the accessible archive, and troubling the relationship to material and contexts which define these unresolved relationships of difference. The project does not set out to produce a museum to present the archives of Traveller culture nor the archives of settled visions or versions of interactions with Travellers but attempts to open up a contextual space of commonality where previously these spaces served to exclude.

Seamus Nolan Biography

Seamus Nolan is an artist based in Dublin, recent work includes: presenting 10th President as part of Re-Public in the Hyde Park Art Centre Chicago (Create /Culture Ireland showcase for 2016); Historica – Republican Aesthetics, the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Radical Actions, RMIT Melbourne, (2016); Proto punks with Upstate Theatre projects Drogheda, (2015); Kathleen Lynn, Insider on the outside, Mayo Arts Collaborative, (2016); what if we got it wrong, the Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris, touring exhibition (2015); and F**K IMMA for What we call love, Irish Museum of Modern Art (2015).

Previous works include 10th President in the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios (2013), a project which proposed the President of Ireland temporarily hand over office to a child who died whilst in institutional care; Newtopia, the state of human rights, Mechelen Belgium, (2011); Flight NM7104 for the attempted hijack of a Ryanair flight for St Patrick's day, Terminal Convention (2011), an off-site exhibition and seminar situated in the abandoned Airport terminal building at Cork Airport. Nolan has also been awarded the Artist in the Community Scheme Award for The Trades Club Revival, which, over 2008 - 2011, saw the revival of the traditional working man’s club in Sligo, and a related exhibition in the Model, Sligo. 

Other works include: Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre (2008) a solo show which looked at the Corrib Gas Pipeline and the North Mayo community affected by its development; every action, a collaboration with the five peace activists acquitted for disarming a military aircraft in Shannon Airport; if art could save your life (2009), Which invited the Drogheda Arts centre to foster two dogs, earmarked to be destroyed, for the duration of the exhibition; and Hotel Ballymun (2007), a temporary public art work commissioned by Breaking Ground, Ballymun Dublin, which saw the transformation of a residential tower block on the outskirts of Dublin city into a boutique hotel by a group of local participants and organisations.

For further information contact Katrina Goldstone, Create This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

and Jessica O’Donnell, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Create and partner logos 

Sign-up to Create's eBulletin


CreateIreland Micro-funding opportunity for individuals or arts groups in the Ballyogan/ surrounding area - for more details check out
2 days ago.
CreateIreland Don't forget that you can still book your place at our #AICScheme info sessions. Learn about the application process, and hear insights from former recipients @aefreeseas and Marie Brett @artscouncil_ie @CrawfordArtGall @mermaidarts
2 days ago.
CreateIreland An interesting talk on @lisafingleton 30 day food challenge...
2 days ago.