Arts receive €1m funding for 1916 centenary project

Music, poetry, dance, and visual art will feature in projects commissioned as part of the Government’s official Ireland 2016 Centenary programme.

The works announced yesterday are being funded to the tune of €1m by the Arts Council, which selected them from over 250 submissions received in response to a call for ambitious ideas from artists.

Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones will explore statehood from the perspective of the female body through live events in historic spaces in Ireland north and south, and in Britain.

“The 1916 Rising, originally a socialist and feminist movement as well as a nationalist project, remains unfinished for women in Ireland,” says the abstract for their project, In the Shadow of the State.

Kilmainham Gaol will be the setting for a dawn-to-dusk live art and video event with 16 Irish artists, but venues and dates for many projects have yet to be finalised.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys said the arts and culture were an essential element of the movement that led to the Rising, with the Gaelic and literary revivals helping to inspire a new generation, and the works will help us look forward to the next 100 years as well as reflect on what happened a century ago.

The commissions comprise one of five elements of the Arts Council’s contribution to the cultural expression aspects of the Ireland 2016 commemorative programme.

Other projects commissioned include six poems to be written and performed by Jessica Traynor, Thomas McCarthy, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and Theo Dorgan, whose filmed readings will be released on the centenary of each day of the rebellion next April.

Choreographer Feargus Ó Conchúir will lead a team creating a stage performance, festival of dance, and other events based around key figure Roger Casement. A concert programme, ‘1916 — Visionaries and their Words’, will see Lorcan Mac Mathúna attempt to interpret the revolutionaries’ vision through their writings.

Public attitudes to violence, commemoration, and national identity will be questioned in Rita Duffy’s Souvenir Shop project, recreating a Dublin shop and referencing those owned by Proclamation signatory Tom Clarke.

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