Work It.

Wednesday 20 April
Work It. | Wednesday 20 April | Project Arts Centre

Visual Arts Workers Forum presents Work It.

Wednesday 20 April 2011, 10.30am – 5.30pm

Work it. is the second meeting of the Visual Arts Workers Forum, begun in VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow, in November 2010. It aims to bring together arts workers in the visual arts, and to enable the sharing of information, ideas and strategies.

Speakers include Tania Banotti (Theatre Forum), Isabel Nolan (Artist), Valerie Connor (Freelance), Tessa Giblin (Project Arts Centre, Dublin), Sarah Glennie (National Campaign for the Arts), Dylan Haskins (student and Founder, Exchange Dublin), Michele Horrigan (Askeaton Contemporary Arts, Limerick), Finola Jones (Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin), Rosie Lynch (Independent Curator), Mary McCarthy (National Sculpture Factory, Cork), Ruairí Ó Cuív (Dublin City Council), Theo Sims (Context Gallery, Derry) and Mick Wilson (Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin).

Programme for the day

10.30 – 11.00 Morning Glory (coffee and greetings)

11.00 Welcome everyone!

11.10 – 12.15 What’s new Pussycat?

12.15 – 1.00 Chow & Chat (lunch)

1.00 – 2.15 What do we want and how are we going to get there?

2.15 – 2.30 Give me a Break (15 minutes recess)

2.30 – 3.45 Ethical Attitudes

3.45 – 5.00 Open discussion

5.00 – 6.00 Have we met? (drinks and nibbles)

Session 1 – What’s new Pussycat? (11.00am – 12.15pm)

Challenge and innovation: more than ever, visual arts workers are facing the need to change, to adapt to new operating systems, budgets and policies, and to find creative solutions to formidable problems. Often reluctant to accept change, institutions are also undergoing self-inflicted surgery to try to grow artistically while shrinking economically, and to constantly step away from the coal face to consider communications, audiences, and the potential reach of contemporary art. This session aims to bring to light the most prominent problems facing four Visual Arts Workers, and the most creative, inventive, commonsensical or absurd ways forward that might help to inspire all of us working in the sector. Challenge and innovation – sometimes real innovation is born through adversity.

Chair: Tessa Giblin (Curator, Project Arts Centre, Dublin)

Speakers: Michele Horrigan (Curator, Askeaton Contemporary Arts, Limerick), Theo Sims (Director, Context Gallery, Derry), Cliodhna Shaffrey (Board Member TBG&S), Vaari Claffey (Freelance curator)

Format: 10 minute presentations

— Chow & Chat (lunch) —-

Session 2 – What do we want and how are we going to get there? (1.00pm – 2.15pm)

Action and unity: The National Campaign for the Arts kick started in 2010 amidst fear and worry about the financial future of the arts in Ireland. The campaign is lobbying to ensure the arts are on local and national government agendas and recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life. How can visual arts workers respond positively to the challenges facing the arts? Do we need to unite with other lobbying groups or fight our own corner? This session proposes to highlight key questions through debate.

Chair: Sarah Glennie (Director, Irish Film Institute, Dublin)

Speakers: Isabel Nolan (Artist), Tania Banotti (Chief Executive, Theatre Forum, Dublin), Dylan Haskins (student, Founder, Exchange Dublin), Mary McCarthy (National Sculpture Factory, Cork)

Format: panel debate / interview

— Give me a break (15 minutes recess) —-

Session 3 – Ethical Attitudes (2.30pm – 3.45pm)

Contemporary art constitutes a vast, unregulated sector, and although Ireland’s market is still at an early stage in development, the institutional, freelance and self employed arts workers of Ireland have little in the way of codes of best practice or even acceptable limits to guide them in our best to do business fairly. This session aims to prise apart attitudes to fiscal transparency, the use and advantages of contracts, the relationship of the visual arts in Ireland to the international art market, and the problems and pitfalls of working within an unregulated system. If your ethical attitude within the visual arts is of your own making, what do workers today find important to fight for – for artists, for stakeholders, and for themselves?

Chair: Ruairí Ó Cuív (Public Art Manager, Dublin City Council)

Speakers: Valerie Connor (Freelance), Finola Jones (Director, Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin), Rosie Lynch (Independent Curator), Mick Wilson (Dean, The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin)

Format: three 10 minute presentations

For updates on key speakers and information, see or friend us on Facebook.

Ticket charge:

€10 for Independent practitioners

€25 for those institutionally affiliated

Both charges include a light lunch and refreshments.


For further information, email us at:

Wednesday 20 April
Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street
Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 881 9613
Opening hours / start times:
Monday 10:22 - 19:58
Tuesday 10:22 - 19:58
Wednesday 10:22 - 19:58
Thursday 10:22 - 19:58
Friday 10:22 - 19:58
Saturday 11:13 - 19:58
Admission / price: €10 for Independent practitioners, €25 for those institutionally affiliated

Associated sites
Design: iCulture • Privacy and cookies
Follow Dnote on Mastodon!Tweets by dnoting
day before opening reception
day of opening reception
day before open to public
day open to public
day before closing
day of closing

(e-mail addresses are not retained after the reminder is sent)

other sites designed or
assisted by iCulture