Open Studio: A Conversation on Drawing

In August Vagabond Reviews was invited by artist Mary Ruth Walsh to present work for Open Studio: A Conversation on Drawing. As part of her residency in the Life Drawing Studio at the Royal Hibernian Academy, we were asked, along with 43 other artists to consider the relationship between drawing, writing and thinking.

Drawing on current work towards the production of a series of publications on almost 10 years of practice, Vagabond Reviews presented a series of six prints entitled Archival Notes, 2008 – 2016. Each print combines illustrative line drawings with key quotations from selected projects. The work was imagined as selected documents from an archival record of unknown magnitude.

Watch RHA Open Studio: A Conversation on Drawing

Royal Hibernian Academy
26 – 27 August 2016

Vagabond Reviews presents: I Said to Myself, Who Else?

Artist Suzanne Walsh presents an extract adapted for the spoken word from I Said to Myself, Who Else?, IMMA. Photo: Courtesy of Marie Brett

In November 2015 a short film produced by artist Marie Brett and musician Kevin O’Shanahan was screened at IMMA. Entitled E.gress, the film engages with existential aspects of Alzheimer’s / dementia and subsequently toured at seven venues in Ireland. In May, Ciaran Smyth, Vagabond Reviews was commissioned by Marie Brett and Helen O’Donoghue (IMMA) to ‘map the tour’ via critical engagement with its material traces (audio clips, video clips, writings and commentaries). The commission culminated in the essay I Said to Myself, Who Else? presented at the closing event for the tour in July at IMMA.

The closing event, entitled The Blanks and the Trap-Doors, combined a screening of E.gress with a Decompression Room and a series of performative responses to the film. Working with artist Suzanne Walsh an extract from the full essay text was adapted for the spoken word. In the first of a series of performative responses, that adaptation was presented by Suzanne at IMMA on 14th July.

Irish Museum of Modern Art
14th July 2016

I Said to Myself, Who Else?. [ PDF ]

E.gress website

Begin Anywhere 3rd Level Forum

Photo: Courtesy of IMMA

In April Vagabond Reviews presented perspectives on navigating the post-art college world at Begin Anywhere, a 3rd level forum organised by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Art & Research Collaboration (ARC).

Inspired by the words of John Cage, ‘begin anywhere’ invited third-year and fourth-year BA art students from all over Ireland to participate in an artist-centred conversation about the possibilities of artistic practice after art school. Presentations explored the practices of artist-led spaces, independent curators and resource organisations and provided opportunities for students to exchange ideas, pose questions and make connections.


Audio Link: Begin Anywhere – Part 3, Panel 2: Culturstructiuon, Vagabond Reviews, RGKSKSRG

March 2016 – Proposition: An Art of Ethics Symposium

Image Courtesy of David Burrows and Plastique Fantastique

In March Ciaran Smyth presented a Vagabond Reviews perspective for Proposition: An Art of Ethics. This two-day symposium took place at the Burren College of Art (Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March 2016). The event was co-organised by Michaële Cutaya, Katherine Waugh and Conor McGrady, Dean of Academic Affairs Burren College of Arts.

This symposium gathered together artists, theorists and curators for two days of research and experimentation. Contributors were invited to engage through their practice with ideas relating to a conception of ethics which differs substantially from dominant notions of morality. The starting point of the symposium was philosopher Gilles Deleuze's reading of Spinoza, given Spinoza's extensive influence on recent artistic practice and thought around the 'ethical' in art. For Deleuze, Spinoza's ethics was a long affair of experimentation’ which re-conceptualised the relationship between life, thought and practice. The symposium set out to foster such an ethos of experimentation in its content and structure, proposing ethics as a methodology in contrast to the rigid principles of morality.

Other participants included Iain Biggs, David Burrows, Vivienne Dick, Maria Kerin, Glenn Loughran, Seamus McGuinness, Aislinn O'Donnell, Susan Stenger and Suzanne Walsh.


Still, We Work Catalogue Online

(In)Visible Labour Factorium Workshop, LetterkennyPhoto: Miriam O’Connor

Still, We Work is an exhibition featuring work by artists Sarah Browne, Miriam O’Connor, Anne Tallentire and Vagabond Reviews exploring contemporary representations of women and work.

The exhibition was commissioned by the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) and curated by Valerie Connor. Over the course of 2015 Still, We Work toured Ireland, presented by five different curators in Letterkenny, Kilkenny and at three locations in Limerick city.

The exhibition catalogue designed by Oonagh Young is now available online and features the full text of the catalogue essay Lockout in the Age of Control by Vagabond Reviews.

Still, We Work Catalogue

2015 – Create Directorship

In January, Ailbhe Murphy was appointed Director of Create, the National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts in Ireland.

Ailbhe says: ‘I believe strongly in the role of the arts in civil society and I’m passionate about the transformative power of cultural engagement and participation.I am really excited to be taking up the helm at Create at such a pivotal time, with exciting commissions coming up. My new role will give me a wonderful opportunity to support artists, arts organisations, our partners and the wider arts sector in further promoting the role of collaborative arts practice both in Ireland and internationally’