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Tondo in the National Gallery of Ireland     September 2011

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On Culture Night 2011 members of the Tondo artists’ Co-operative presented an exhibition of contemporary art in the Ballroom of the The National Gallery of Ireland.  

In the past, Tondo has exhibited in many alternative spaces, including a railway station, a public park and a small crate (!).  This policy has allowed its members the freedom to investigate ideas which might not otherwise arise and it also means that they are continually exploring and experimenting with alternative materials and methods.  Showing in the National Gallery presented a new challenge, but one that the Tondo members relished.  As practicing artists, they feel a natural affinity with the artists of the past and on Culture Night 2011, their intention was to pay tribute to those artists with an exhibition of painting, sculpture and performance that linked the art of the past to the contemporary world.

As well as having 2 small paintings in the show, I did a performance piece which arose out of my experience of previous Culture Nights. I have posted an article about it on my blog - click here - and I include below an extract from the article. 

Waiting — a performance lasting 4 hours

    There was a wonderful atmosphere on the streets of Dublin as people walked from one cultural event to the next,  but I couldn’t help noticing that not all the citizens of our capital city was so carefree that night.  As an artist I feel an empathy with those on the margins of society.  I see my role as observer, my work as bearing witness in some way…  I am interested in exploring how art may produce a deeper and more enduring understanding of the contemporary experience...  

Many of the greatest artists in history lived ‘precariously’ and suffered inordinately for their art.  Even if their financial situation was stable, they often suffered from other insecurities, shifting continually between joy and fear, denial and hope…