Conflict and resolution key themes in projects for 1916 Rising

Nine projects picked by Arts Council include music, dance, film and sound installations

Conflict and resolution are key themes in many of the nine arts projects selected as part of a €1 million investment by the Arts Council to commemorate the 1916 Rising, the chair of the council said.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys, Arts Council chair Sheila Pratschke and its director Orlaith McBride announced the winning projects at the RHA gallery in Dublin.

The commissions include dance, traditional music, poetry and visual arts, and form part of the Government's Ireland 2016 centenary programme for next year.

The projects were selected by an international jury after the Arts Council issued an open call for submissions.


Ms Humphreys said arts and culture had been “an essential element of the movement that led to the events of the 1916 Rising, with the Gaelic and literary revivals helping to inspire a new generation”.

The arts must be central to our exploration of those events 100 years on, she said.

Ms Pratschke said the nine proposals presented a key response to 1916.

“It will be very exciting to watch over the months ahead as they are transformed from idea to reality. I am already confident that these artists, with such vision and ambition, will inspire the nation.”

Arts Council director Orlaith McBride said the organisation had been “overwhelmed and delighted” by the response to the open call, even if it made the international jury’s task of choosing just nine applications from 258 “all the more challenging”.

Irish Writers Centre

The nine projects include ‘In the Shadow of the State’, a collaboration between Dublin-based visual artists Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, exploring statehood from the perspective of the female body.

Also among the projects is ‘A Poet’s Rising’, six poems commissioned by the Irish Writers Centre – one for each day of the Rising.

The poems will be written and performed by six of Ireland's most influential contemporary poets, including Theo Dorgan, Jessica Traynor, Thomas McCarthy, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní­ Dhomhnaill and Eiléan Ní­ Chuilleanáin. They will be filmed and released during the week of the anniversary. An original score will be composed by Colm Mac Con Iomaire.

For the Futuer Histories project, Niamh Murphy and Áine Phillips will curate a dawn-to-dusk live art and video event with 16 acclaimed Irish artists at Kilmainham Gaol.

Other projects among the nine include ‘The Souvenir Shop’, which will examine how the images, objects and themes of the 1916 Easter Rising and conflict more generally become souvenirs.

In a reference to the city centre shops once owned by Proclamation signatory Tom Clarke, artist Rita Duffy will create a shop in Dublin city centre filled with foodstuffs, goods, medicines, with images of the Rising and its protagonists woven into everyday things.

‘Heed’, a public sound work by artist Garrett Phelan in collaboration with groups of Dublin-based young people and with the support of social services providers, is also among the projects.

Others in the final list of nine include ‘The Casement Project’, a choreography project and ‘These Rooms’, a live performance and film installation.

The ‘Visionaries and their Words’ project will explore the writings and ideals of the Easter Rising’s leaders in a concert programme at the 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and Temple Bar Trad Fest.