Exhibition at Farmleigh is a must-see show


ANYONE WHO wonders how Ireland presents itself abroad and who missed last year’s Venice Biennale (which, let’s face it, most of us did) will have a chance to see what the architects showed there at Farmleigh House in Dublin over the next six weeks.

The Lives of Spaces exhibition, which the Guardian rated as one of the top 10 things to see in Venice last September, will be opened at the Farmleigh Gallery on Tuesday next by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen. It will then tour to Kilkenny, Limerick and Belfast.

The Venice Biennale is the most prestigious platform for architecture in the world, and this national tour is part of the commitment by Ireland’s biennale funders, Culture Ireland and the Arts Council, to ensure that as many people as possible here in Ireland get to see the work.

Some of Ireland’s most acclaimed architects are featured in the Lives of Spaces, each one of them collaborating with an artist, photographer or film-maker.

They include Grafton Architects and their award-winning faculty building for Bocconi University in Milan – a must-see project.

Other featured projects include the Brookfield Youth Centre in Tallaght by Hassett Ducatez; a social housing scheme in Cork Street, Dublin, by Gerry Cahill Architects; the Waterford Library by McCullough Mulvin and the Gaeláras cultural centre in Derry by O’Donnell + Tuomey.

One of the most intriguing is artist Dara McGrath’s series of stark photographs of the Maze Prison being demolished. Participants also include Tom dePaor, TAKA Architects, and Simon Walker, who explores the west Cork holiday home of his parents Robin and Dorothy Walker.

Other collaborators include poet Séamus Heaney, composer Jurgen Simpson, graphic artist Peter Maybury and film-makers Bangbangteo, Heathcote Barr, Alan O’Connor and Ealiona Ard na Geise Teo.

The exhibition at Farmleigh runs until June 28th.