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Ireland at Venice: ROMANTIC IRELAND Representation at the 2024 Venice Biennale

Ireland’s Representation at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – opened yesterday, Thursday 18 April. The exhibition, ROMANTIC IRELAND by artist Eimear Walshe, is curated by Sara Greavu with Project Arts Centre. Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council.

Director of Culture Ireland Sharon Barry and the Director of the Arts Council, Maureen Kennelly, opened the exhibition, which presents a multi-channel video installation and an operatic soundtrack housed in an immersive earth-built sculpture. Eimear Walshe’s project explores the complex politics of collective building through the Irish tradition of the ‘Meitheal’: a group of workers, neighbours, kith and kin who come together to build. The pavilion responds to the theme, Foreigners Everywhere — selected by the curator of the Biennale 2024 Adriano Pedrosa.

The video work was shot on location at the sustainable skills centre, Common Knowledge, based deep in the Burren, on Ireland’s west coast. It features a group of seven performers led by choreographer Mufutau Yusuf. The soundtrack is an opera describing the scene of an eviction, composed by Amanda Feery with a libretto by Walshe.

Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, said, “I am very pleased that Ireland in Venice 2024 is now open with the exhibition ROMANTIC IRELAND representing Ireland at the 60th Venice Biennale. I want to wish the artist Eimear Walshe, Curator Sara Greavu, and Project Arts Centre the very best of luck as they represent Ireland at the 2024 Venice Biennale. This is an enormous achievement and opportunity for both the artist and the country. Participation at the Venice Biennale increases awareness of Ireland’s strong visual arts sector and provides the artist with an international platform for their work.”

Ireland at Venice 2024 will build on Ireland’s strong presence at the La biennale di Venezia. In recent years, Ireland has been represented by Niamh O’Malley with TBG+S and by Eva Rothschild in an exhibition curated by Mary Cremin. Project Arts Centre previously presented Jesse Jones’ Tremble Tremble at Venice in 2017, curated by Tessa Giblin.

Following its presentation in Venice, ROMANTIC IRELAND will tour Ireland in 2025 supported by the Arts Council. Recreating elements of the installation in each venue, the Irish tour will enable the Irish public to experience Eimear Walshe’s work. A film documentary of the project is also being made.

More information on the Pavilion can be found at:

(Source: Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media)


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