Seamus Nolan: Traveller Collection at the Hugh Lane
Date: 22 June – 23 September 2018
Venue: Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Seamus Nolan’s commission investigates the idea of archive, deconstructs ideas on ‘heritage’ and engages with communities of place and of interest, involving Traveller activists and archivists. Artist Seamus Nolan, working with Pavee Point, representatives from the Travelling community and researcher Dr Eve Olney, is engaging in a collaborative process of enquiry with cultural practitioners, activists and archivists in an exploration of contested histories to examine notions of representations of Traveller culture and heritage.
The Traveller Collection project focuses on issues of Traveller visibility within national and private cultural institutions. Locating representations of Travelling people and communities within local and national media, within folklore, fine and decorative arts collections, legislation and policy documents a picture begins to emerge of a people of difference, and this difference is in the fact that they are generally spoken about rather than speaking, painted rather than painting, represented rather than representing.
Traveller Collection at The Hugh Lane is one small manifestation of the material and representation of Traveller culture and identity. The project engages an ongoing collaborative process of enquiry with cultural practitioners, Traveller activists and collectors in an exploration of what a Traveller collection or a Traveller specific museum might be and how it would be managed and maintained by Travellers. The idea to build a Traveller museum or collection is not new, but it is long overdue.
Displayed in Gallery 10 at the Hugh Lane, the material will be scanned and the digitised files then becoming part of an online platform dedicated to Traveller culture TravellerCollection.ie, a website set up by Seamus Nolan as a database pointing to the location of various collections, and offering a repository where individuals and organisations can upload their own items. In addition, a series of films on traveller culture chosen by the artist will be screened. In tandem with this exhibition, a series of handmade ﬂowers made by the women of the Primary Health Care Traveller Project in Pavee Point are on view along with work made by Tinsmith James Collins.
This is a co-commission between Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and supported by the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP), a transnational programme co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
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