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Artist-in-Residence: Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023

From left: NMI - Archaeology, NMI - Decorative Arts & History, NMI - Natural History, NMI - Country Life

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI), in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023, seeks to engage an Artist-in-Residence to work with the Museum in 2021/2022.

The over-arching purpose of this scheme is to invite artists to reflect on the collections of one of five partners and the themes of the Decade of Centenaries Programme. Artists are called to create new and imaginative ways to engage the public with these collections. The artist's collaboration with the selected partner should culminate in new and imaginative work. 

The National Museum of Ireland aims to engage an artist who wants to work on a collaborative and socially engaged residency over two years where they will co-create work of depth and ambition with communities, taking inspiration from the NMI collections and the buildings they are housed in, as they relate to the Decade of Centenaries.

The NMI's objectives:

  • To enable meaningful collaboration between artist and those communities sharing interest or place
  • To ensure that excellence underpins the collaborative process and the co-created work 
  • To take inspiration from the collections, exhibitions and buildings
  • To explore the power of the arts as a form of creative expression to interrogate and understand the past
  • To explore the power of objects to stimulate historical empathy
  • To provide a studio space for the artist to work in and to engage with the NMI staff and communities within COVID 19 guidelines and protocols
  • To participate in the evaluation, documentation and sharing of the project

The following principles will underpin this collaborative and socially engaged arts practice:

  • Mutual respect and trust between all involved

  • Group ownership of the work created

  • Excellence of process and work co-created

  • Time for reflective practice and evaluation

  • Commitment to building sustainable and deep relationships with communities

More about commemorating the Decade of Centenaries at the NMI

The NMI has a strong track record of commemorating this complex period in Irish history. Since 2012, we have offered opportunities for a diverse range of audiences to explore and interrogate new perspectives and look with fresh eyes at familiar histories associated with this significant time in our history.

Using the collections and exhibitions as inspiration, we have created opportunities for intergenerational and intercultural dialogue and established forums for people to exchange perspectives and stories related to the Decade of Centenaries. We have done this through a public engagement programme that has included discrete projects and a range of events including conferences, artist residencies, tours, workshops and performances. Examples include the online resources (Proclaiming a Republic) and co-created exhibitions (Our Irish Heritage). Central to this programme was a focus on providing platforms to those unheard of and forgotten voices in the narrative surrounding the Decade of Centenaries.

Themes explored in our public programme to date include the impact of war and conflict on people's lives, the role of memory, and the legacy of this period in our history. 
The NMI is currently planning major 20th Century History of Ireland exhibition galleries, which will be launched in 2023 at the NMI - Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7. These galleries will explore a number of themes related to the political, social, cultural and economic history of 20th century Ireland. We are also collaborating with Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane in the development of an exhibition (due to open in November 2021) based around the events related to the Signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty, 1921.

More about the Museum’s public engagement role and how we collaborate with our communities

We have built up strong relationships with many communities of interest and place over the years and we hope to build on some of these relationships through this residency scheme using new and innovative approaches in socially engaged and collaborative arts practice.  

The work we do with communities, through the Museum’s learning and engagement team, is underpinned by key values of social inclusion, ownership, mutual respect, trust, and a commitment to a people-centred approach where we aim to build sustainable relationships with communities and create the right learning environments for innovative practice and risk taking.

Over the years, we have engaged communities and different audiences and groups in intergenerational and intercultural programmes to reflect many topics and issues related to people's lives, including the Decade of Centenaries, resulting in co-produced exhibitions, programmes of events and projects.

The Education team will project manage the Artist-in-Residence project from concept to completion stage over the two-year period.

Download the application form (Word 112kb)

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday, 19 March, 2021.

Find out more about the NMI’s collections, exhibitions and buildings as they relate to the Decade of Centenaries:

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