What is an Island? Art & Archipelagic Thinking in the 21st Century
“The entire world is becoming an archipelago” – Édouard Glissant (1997:194)
At a time of increasing nationalism and cultural insularity, the need to refresh our understanding of ‘relation’ in the world is more urgent than ever. What is an Island? is a durational artistic research event that explores relational form through the concept of archipelagic thinking and collaborative arts practice. Facilitated by a unique pedagogical programme on a specially commissioned ferry, What is an Island? travels the West Cork archipelago on a single summer day, in search of a deeper connection between islanders, artists and the world.
In response to the question “What is an island?”, three artists have been commissioned to develop work on one of three islands in the archipelago, they are: Sherkin Island (Mona O’Driscoll), Heir Island (Tess Leak) and Long Island (art manoeuvres). Participants will engage with the different art projects on each of the islands alongside the pedagogical programme, titled: Tidalectics. The Tidalectic programme will feature two key presentations on Art and Archipelagic thinking by Dr. Jonathan Pugh and Prof. Mick Wilson. These events will be supported by an on board supper and dialogue with islanders, facilitated by Glenn Loughran.
What is an Island? has been developed by the BAVA: Dublin School of Creative Arts (DIT/GradCAM) in partnership with CREATE: National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, to present a series of seminars, workshops and exhibitions exploring Art & Archipelagic Thinking in the 21st Century.
While each of the artist’s responses to this question will be on display on their respective islands for the entirety of the Skibbereen Arts Festival (27 July to 5 August), on Monday 30 July, they will be linked by this performative, pedagogical, ferry journey.
Please wear shoes/boots and clothes suitable for a field trip – expect long grass, rough ground and mud so please dress accordingly. Heir and Long Islands are accessed via ladder to the pier, there is no wheelchair access and no dogs allowed.