Visual arts at Galway 2020

Above: Carol Anne Connolly on board the Celtic Explorer. Far right: Kate Howard

Galway 2020 got off to a stormy start with the cancellation of the opening ceremony due to adverse weather conditions and Galway City Council’s refusal to provide a further €2.5 million. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Visual arts producer Kate Howard has developed a programme with strong Irish elements. One unusual project is ‘Aerial/Sparks’, a collaboration between artists and marine scientists. Curated by Louise Manifold, the participating artists spent time with scientists on board the Celtic Explorer. Their research will be used to create sound installations, performances, sculptures and texts in response to their experiences at sea, where they explored radio as a tool for both communication and navigation. Their work will be exhibited in multiple venues on Inis Oírr.

Carol Anne Connolly spent two-and-a-half weeks on board and sailed to Porcupine Bank Canyon, 360km off the coast of Kerry. Her interest was piqued by the acoustic mapping technology used by the scientists to record the features of the sea bed. Connolly’s exhibit, Answering Echoes, uses photographs, text and sound to portray the landscape of the deep.

Galway’s Tulca Festival of Visual Arts has also developed a project for 2020, which runs until November. ‘UnSelfing’, led by former curators Helen Carey, Sarah Searson and Gregory McCartney, and developed by Irish and European artists, focuses on our relationship with what they describe as ‘our challenging and irreplaceable world’. This programme of exhibitions and performances takes its theme from author Iris Murdoch’s concept of ‘UnSelfing’ – the idea that, to find truth, it is necessary to look outside of one’s self; to be attentive to the world and to be curious about the people, places and ideas that surround us.
Judy Murphy