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Temporary Exhibition- until 30th June

we make our own histories

Free admission

A Dress for Ramlah (left) and A Dress for Akunma (right), on display in we make our own histories

What does Irish culture and identity look like one hundred years after the formation of the state?

This question is at the heart of we make our own histories, a thought provoking new exhibition open from Friday to Monday each week in the impressive Riding School space at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, until Sunday, 30 June 2024. 

Please note the exhibition is closed to the general public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to facilitate the Museum’s vibrant school programme in collaboration with GOAL Global Changemakers. 

The exhibition is the culmination of artist Anthony Haughey's residency at the Museum from 2021 - 2024.

During his residency Haughey collaborated with more than 500 people across Ireland to create a series of artworks inspired by the Museum’s collections, which explore how we understand and embrace emerging cultural identities.

Curated by Maolíosa Boyle and Jonathan Cummins, the exhibition, in their words, 'highlights the importance of inviting contemporary artists into our cultural institutions to reveal, reframe and engage in ways that allow us to reconsider who we are.'

Through artworks that are in turn provocative, playful, complex and visually beautiful, the exhibition aims to challenge, to question and to engage visitors.  

Highlights of the exhibition include:

A Dress for Akunma
Akunma is a young African Irish woman and member of the Nwanne Diuto African Women’s group who worked with Anthony Haughey to design and make this stunning garment which fuses Irish Ogham script and Nsibidi, a 2000 BCE ideographic script indigenous to the Ejagham peoples of south-eastern Nigeria.

A Flag for Ireland
More than 300 participants were invited by Haughey in a series of artist led workshops to reimagine a flag for Ireland, one hundred years on from the foundation of the state, which might represent people from all cultures and traditions. In the exhibition, visitors can see all 306 flag designs in a series of specially made books, as well as engage with 40 life size flags displayed on flagpoles. Visitors to the exhibition will be encouraged to create their own flag designs on response cards in the exhibition reflection space.

Young People’s Assembly
Haughey worked with young people from five post primary schools from Sligo, Limerick, Belfast, Clare and Dublin to draft their own Manifestos for a Future Ireland. Each school held their own Assembly, in the Ceramics Room of the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology in March 2023. Haughey’s installation features the table at which the Assemblies took place and five bespoke, mobile sculptural monitors showing looped footage of the Assemblies, an exercise in deliberative democracy discussing urgent issues facing their generation.

A programme of events from March to June 2024 includes tours, workshops, talks, and a special conference exploring the role of the artist in the museum on Tuesday, 21 May 2024. 

Follow the link for more information:
Public Programme - we make our own histories | Decorative Arts & History | National Museum of Ireland

About the Artist 
Haughey is a socially engaged artist, photographer, filmmaker, and educator. He collaborates widely with communities of interest to co-create artworks that share a common purpose; to challenge inequality and promote social transformation. His co-authored and solo artworks have been exhibited and collected widely by museums and galleries nationally and internationally. Throughout the two years of his residency, his artist studio at the Museum situated in Collins Barracks was conceived of as a learning lab, where dynamic conversations, workshops, and durational processes resulted in the co-creation of artworks that aim to reflect an exciting time of change in Ireland.

The residency is one of five, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, and Media to mark the latter years of the Decade of Centenaries, in the context of a changing Ireland, 100 years after the formation of the state.



we make our own histories is located at:
Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7
D07 XKV4

The culmination of artist Anthony Haughey's collaborative and socially engaged residency from 2021 - 2024 at the National Museum of Ireland, taking inspiration from the Museum’s collections, as they relate to the Decade of Centenaries. 

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Decorative Arts & History

Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7,
D07 XKV4

+353 1 677 7444