VAWF, 69 O’Connell Street (former Belltable Arts Centre), Limerick

29 May 2015

Ormston House is delighted to host the fourth Visual Arts Workers Forum at 69 O’Connell Street (the former Belltable Arts Centre), Limerick City on Friday 29 May 2015.

Voice your criticality, inspire your peers, debate your concerns – this forum is our opportunity to co-support the field of the visual arts in Ireland right now.

The fourth Visual Arts Workers Forum took place at former Belltable Arts Centre and was hosted by Ormston House.

Tea & Coffee: 10:00 – 10:30

Introduction: 10:30 – 10:40

The opening session of VAWF 2015 invites participants to imagine Ireland in 2050: How will we be living? As we commemorate the momentous events that shaped Modern Ireland, let’s reflect together on the impact of current social and political developments on cultural access, creative citizenship and sustainable heritage. What does the future look like? What role might the arts play (or do they play) in shaping that future?

  • Speakers: Úna McCarthy (Director/Curator, Limerick City Gallery of Art), Kevin O’Keeffe (Co-ordinator, Visual Art Ecology Limerick, National City of Culture 2014), and Seán Rainbird (Director, National Gallery of Ireland)
  • Chair: Woodrow Kernohan (Director/CEO, eva International & Curator, Ireland at Venice 2015)
Aislinn O’Donnell (Lecturer in Philosophy of Education, Mary Immaculate College, UL).

It may seem self-evident that a democratic society ought to develop inclusive institutions and systems, yet when we try to define what we understand by inclusion, its complexity becomes apparent. What are the presuppositions, values, aims and blindspots associated with the language of inclusion? What happens when we fail to think about the unintended consequences of including those who were previously excluded? Is there an implicit ideal of ‘normality’ at play? Does the concept of inclusion foreclose interrogation of patterns of privilege and power?

  • Speakers: Ciara Hickey & Alissa Kleist (Co-directors/Co-curators, Household Curatorial Collective), Nora O’Murchú (Curator and Lecturer, University of Limerick) and Aislinn O’Donnell (Lecturer in Philosophy of Education, Mary Immaculate College, UL)
  • Chair: Mary Conlon (Director, Ormston House)

Lunch: 13:20 – 14:30

“A reduction in funding for arts, culture and film by some €16 million between 2011 and 2014, elicits little public comment or concern [and] underlines the peripheral place the arts are too often granted in our society and in the public consciousness.” (Michael D. Higgins, Aosdána General Assembly, 5 March 2015)

Despite crippling cuts, the arts sector is often portrayed as resilient and adaptable. How are we really coping with the precarity of the financial crisis – personally, practically, professionally? Aftershock examines strategies for survival such as new processes of collaboration and participation, a frank presentation of a small organisation’s annual budget and a collective curatorial strategy which asks: “Now what?”

  • Speakers: Mark Cullen & Gavin Murphy (artists and Co-directors, Pallas Projects & Studios), Emer Ní Chiobháin (artist and Director, Sample Studios) and Viviana Checchia (Public Engagement Curator, CCA Glasgow)
  • Chair: Kieran Cashell (Lecturer in Critical & Contextual Studies, Limerick School of Art & Design, LIT)
Attendees at the 2015 Visual Arts Workers Forum.

VAWF 2015 will culminate in the Prime Time debate on two topical issues which draw on questions raised in each of the day’s sessions:

NCAD Student Action – getting down to business

JobBridge – bridge to nowhere?

  • Contributions from Bernadette Beecher (Office Manager, Visual Artists Ireland), Marta Slawinska (Arts Programmer, Ormston House), Eimear Walshe & Niamh Moriarty (artists and postgraduate students, NCAD), and more.

Ends 17:00

Tickets are €10 for independent practitioners and €20 for those institutionally affiliated. Tea and coffee will be served on arrival and a light lunch will be included. Book your tickets here.

Proceeds from ticket sales help to fund independent speakers’ participation. Please note that in the past, all forums have sold out; tickets for this year’s forum are limited, so early booking is advised. VAWF is an independent, not-for-profit and non-funded initiative.