Go Back
Socially Engaged Commission with Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
CAPP Commission with Create and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Image credit: Vance Lau

Socially Engaged Commission with Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane



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 runs 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 commission Traveller Collection investigates the idea of archive, deconstructs ideas on ‘heritage’ and engages with communities of place and of interest, involving Traveller activists and archivists. Artist Seamus Nolan, working with Paveé Point, representatives from the Travelling community and researcher Dr Eve Olney, is engaging in a collaborative process of enquiry with cultural practitioners, activists and archivists in an exploration of contested histories to examine notions of representations of Traveller culture and heritage.

Currently, documentation of Traveller history and culture exists in State-managed collections such as museums and libraries, or in independent collections, such as those maintained by Traveller agencies and individual collectors. There is no central database or inventory of this material. The aim of this project is the development of a database where collections are brought together, where information on what exists, where it exists, and how it can be accessed is clarified. An online database travellercollection.ie is open to submission, moderation and curation by Travellers from around the country.

The project also facilitates workshops focused on managing collections with relation to Traveller culture in Ireland, meeting with individual agencies and groups, and looking specifically at the concerns and needs of that community. It is hoped that this process will lead to the development of a centralised database of Traveller Culture which is accessible to all agencies throughout the country, and equally managed by all agencies.

The project will be presented in Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, as part of an exhibition to coincide with the CAPP (Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme) dissemination event: Practice and Power, 20-23 June, 2018.

Join us at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane Gallery on June 21st at 18.30, to launch this exhibition. Traveller Collection at The Hugh Lane Gallery presents a number of objects, activities, recordings, and documents relating to Traveller culture. Throughout the exhibition, material will be digitised and made available to the public on travellercollection.ie. Individual contributions are sought and national collections mined in constructing a dialogue around the ownership and management of this collection.

This is a co-commission between Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and supported by the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP), a transnational programme co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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. The State’s formal recognition of Irish Travellers as an indigenous ethnic minority on March 1st 2017 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 hold a series of encounters and conversations, whereby 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.

Pavée 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.

Create and partner logos

related programme
Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme

CAPP Network
Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane