After almost two years in gestation, the inaugral Dublin Contemporary visual art exhibition kicked off in Dublin this week. Hailed by the organisers as one the most ambitious art exhibitions ever staged in Ireland, more than 150,000 visitors from around the world are expected to attend the city-wide event, which runs for 8 weeks until 31st October.
This year, artists will be interpreting the theme of Terrible Beauty – Art, Crisis, Change and the Office of Non-Compliance. The inspiration for the exhibition is drawn from W. B. Yeats’s famous poem “Easter 1916”, which was written in response to momentous political events in Ireland in the early years of the twentieth century.
The 90 artists from all over the world who are participating in this year’s Dublin Contemporary – which is curated by Franco-Peruvian artist Jota Castro and New-York based writer Cristian Viveros-Fauné – will attempt to highlight the potential of art to interpret current events in Irish life through new commissions and small solo exhibitions.
The main exhibition venue is in the grounds of the National Concert Hall on Earlsfort Terrace, on the southside of the city close to Stephen’s Green, with smaller exhibition venues in the Dublin City Gallery, Hugh Lane Gallery, the Royal Hibernian Academy and the Douglas Hyde Gallery. A series of sound works can be heard in The Annex warehouse building, adjacent to the Earlsfort Terrace exhibition site, and the neighbouring Iveagh Gardens will host a sculpture park.
Visitors are encouraged to participate in a programme of free tours, talks, seminars and debates which will take place in the main exhibition centre as part of the exhibition’s education programme – there’s a Collection g the Contemporary series for art afficionados, but novices can opt for the Introducting Contemporary Art course, or one of the Ten Minute Talks held every lunchtime, or one of the daily Highlights tours.
There’s plenty for kids to do too, with parent and child mornings, art workshops for all ages, and Art Sparks, a programme which encourages children to “expand their aesthetic sense” and their ability to interpret and express their opinions about the works of art on display.
Tickets cost €15 per adult per day, or €8 for children. Admission is free for the under-fives.
For more information about participating artists, a programme of scheduled events, or to book tickets, see www.dublincontemporary.com.
Images courtesy of www.dublincontemporary.com.