10 Apr. 2015

Is this Art?

Is this Art? is a new initiative we are launching at The Model this weekend. Visitors to the exhibitions and activities we host here are invited to answer the question and post their comments on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Posted By

Erin Fox

8 Apr. 2015

Accessibility Auditing Workshop with Carmen Papalia

Accessibility Auditing, a workshop by Carmen Papalia took place yesterday in the B.R.A. (see below for a description of the B.R.A.). Carmen showed us some of his previous projects including the Blind Field Shuttle Walking Tour. Carmen led this project with a group of people who walked with their eyes closed throughout the city of Portland. As part of Carmen’s residency, he re-enacted this accessibility awareness exercise in Sligo.

We got to experience this walking tour for ourselves Sligo style in The Model’s gallery space!

Paired up, we took turns to provide an audio description of the artwork and gallery surroundings to our partner whose eyes were kept shut throughout the experience. As someone who is profoundly deaf, the short experience of walking around the galleries with no vision was exciting as much as it was nerve-racking. With Carmen as my guide, I focused on two things: his voice and what my feet were doing. Without the aid of lip-reading in the noisy environment, focusing on hearing alone proved to be difficult. When I was unsure of what I’d heard Carmen say, feeling the floor beneath my feet confirmed his description. Tuning into other things such as the speed at which Carmen walked told me there was something in the pathway; feeling heat on my legs told me we were in the sunny atrium; the feeling of the floor gave me clues to which gallery we were in.

For those of us who took part in the workshop, we then compared our experiences of being guided. We agreed that even though we were familiar with the building, issues of trust arose. I can only imagine how it must have been taking part in the Blind Field Shuttle Walk around the city of Portland!

You can watch Carmen’s Blind Field Shuttle Walk here Carmen and Kristen Lantz are here in the BRA for the rest of the week conducting a series of workshops. Feel free to visit them and ask about their work.

The Bureau of Radical Accessibility (B.R.A.) is a site-specific intervention in The Model foyer area. Staffed by Model employees and artists-in-residence, the B.R.A. is set up in direct defiance to the closed-off office spaces in order to meet, hold discussions and conduct interviews with the public, colleagues and others.

Posted By

Erin Fox

5 Apr. 2015

Carmen Papalia and Kristen Lantz

Artists-in-residence Carmen Papalia and Kristen Lantz are here at the B.R.A to conduct a series of workshops. Check out what their plans are and feel free to come along to participate!

Tuesday, April 7 – Accessibility Auditing workshop with Carmen
13:00 – 17:00
Open to 15 participants, including Model staff & community members. Feel free to invite your family members, friends and community partners—all ages, embodiments, identities and learning styles are welcome! We’ll be discussing open models for access and will conduct an audit of the Model based on our subjective perceptions regarding what is accessible.

Wednesday, April 8 – “Redistributing your Access” talk & workshop
introduction with Kristin
15:00 – 17:00
Kristin will be sharing the work she has done in the past, the work that informs her practice and what she is currently up to in Vancouver. She will finish by proposing her project for her remaining time in residence—in which she will support staff in redistributing their
institutional access to a community member in a mutual exchange.

Thursday, April 9 – “Redistributing your Access” workshop with Kristin
14:00 – 17:00
Kristin will kick off this session by inviting Portland-based friends Travis Neel and Erin Charpentier to lead an exercise about collaborating with community from their Social Practice Workbook. The second half of this session will focus on the task of mapping your institutional access and identifying collaborators with whom to conduct an exchange.

Friday, April 10 – Individual “Redistributing your Access” project
check-in time with Kristin
10:00 – 17:00
Kristin will be scheduling one-on-one meetings with staff to support them in developing their exchange with a community member.

Monday, April 13 – installing statements from auditing workshop with
Carmen & Kristin
10:00 – 17:00
Write your sentiments on gallery walls and other related spaces with curatorial support from Carmen & Kristin.

Tuesday, April 14 – sharing & goodbye meeting with Carmen & Kristin
15:00 – 17:00

Posted By

The Model

3 Apr. 2015

Interview with Paul Seawright


Image: Paul Seawright (b. 1965), Void 2014, Pigment print 1/3 from an edition of 3 + 1 AP

Making News: Things Left Unsaid, a new exhibition by renowned photographer Paul Seawright opens here at The Model this Saturday, 04 April. I spoke to him this week about his latest body of work, a series of photographs taken in American television news stations.

Much of Seawright’s work reads between the lines of visual narrative. While most photography focuses on the subject itself and what we can see, Seawright’s work looks at things that are not easy to see. He describes this as the opposite of what photography is meant to be about.

“That idea with things being between the lines is also to do with things being inherently invisible, nonvisual, or inherently not easy to see. And that’s the kind of subject I’ve always dealt with,” he told me. “How can photography deal with anything that’s not inherently visual? That’s kind of the starting premise and therefore the project itself is about the things we don’t see or are left out and that would chime with all the work I have done in the past. The thing I’m trying to get engaged with is not actually in the picture.”

Reading between the lines is also what sets him apart from a photojournalist. What Seawright’s work has in common with photojournalism is themes such as conflict, violence and post-war landscapes. The principle difference is the language in which they operate. Seawright says that photojournalism is about providing answers to our questions and giving up the meaning, whereas photography is temporal. Seawright explains “When you look at an editorial photograph you look at it for a very short period of time, 10-15 seconds. In a gallery you are more likely to spend more time looking at it. Therefore, there is a slowness to the experience that is more important to how the work functions, and immediacy is something I’m trying to work against.”

Seawright’s approach and purpose encourages the viewer to ask more questions. So does he think that photojournalism should be more like this?

“To be fair, recently what I think you might call photojournalism is becoming more sophisticated. There’s space now for different kinds of photojournalism particularly because the market for photojournalism is diminishing. So, it’s changing, much more of it is online where you’re mixing different kinds of media together where one moment you could be watching a video and the next you could be listening to an audio piece. That has changed the way people consume photojournalism. I think the people working in that market have developed more sophisticated ways to deal with subject matter than they have in the past so I think that that’s an improved position, and I think artists are also flirting with some of those ideas as well. The boundaries are definitely blurring.”

In terms of his working process, Seawright says his work is not about responding to what he sees. “It’s not about me driving about in a car until I see something like some nice light or something I want to photograph. That is a very photographic way of working but it’s not the way I work.” Instead, his projects begin with a methodology that predetermines the location and the content of his photographs.

All photos featured in Things Left Unsaid were made in television news stations in America. “That of course immediately determines where you’re making the picture and when you get there sometimes there’s nothing to take a photo of. That takes a huge number of factors out of the equation right away.”

Seawright elaborates on this point by referencing the manner in which the media reported on the Gulf War in the early 1990s,
“There were these photographs of journalists outside hotels with all the lights and they might as well have been on holiday somewhere. They were all reporting from outside these hotels in Dubai and Kuwait and they were beautifully dressed, super clean and very false. That was the image of how television news was stuck trying to report that war and I was thinking of doing something with that.” The media tried to visualise something that wasn’t visual which led Paul to think about how the news has a veneer of truth and transparency “…when of course we all know that deep down it’s highly constructed and full of holes.”

Referencing drones, Seawright noted similarities between the technology of drone pilot stations and the technology of a television station. “That made me think there’s really now something to be done about the sheer idea of technology being at the centre of how we consume war from our sofas and being at the centre of war itself.”

While waiting to do an interview about his project, Volunteer, on a TV show in America, a news report about a murdered soldier inspired him to take a photo which would serve as a sketch for Things Left Unsaid.

“The idea originally was that I would wait until they talk about Afghanistan or Iraq and I would make a picture at that moment and so there was more of a performing element to it. That’s what I did, I made this one picture at the moment they talked about Afghanistan and Iraq. I thought that was great and I liked the picture very much and it worked.”

During a visit to a second TV station there was no mention of the war which lead him to think that the project wouldn’t work. “But I thought actually the idea with the technology could still work. Maybe then you do exactly the opposite, you emphasise the idea that they don’t talk about the war and that they’re not talking about the war for a reason.” Three years later when Seawright was making the project he noticed people hardly talked about the war in many cases. Encouragement from a curator further inspired Seawright to make a project out of the idea, “I got a researcher and we spent three months setting up a 6000-mile trip around America. Over five weeks I photographed 39 studios and that’s the project.”

Paul Seawright will join Director of The Model Megan Johnston and journalist Susan McKay in conversation at 6pm tomorrow night at the opening of the exhibition.

Posted By

Erin Fox

26 Mar. 2015

The Model seeks a Building Manager and Technician

The Model, home of The Niland Collection seeks two part-time positions to support the round-the-clock technical needs of the building and programme.

The roles of Building Manager & Technician will facilitate the technical needs of The Model’s art programme and the day-to-day requirements of the building. They will work closely with operations staff to oversee the technical aspects of the building and will also assist programming staff to plan and facilitate the exhibitions, set-up for talks, classes, workshops and hire events.

To apply please email a C.V. & Cover Letter outlining why you think you would be suited to the advertised position to developmentassistant@themodel.ie by 12 noon Friday 10 April 2015.

Posted By

The Model

25 Mar. 2015

Live Music, Good Food & Share The Love Week at this month's Friday Night Social

Friday Night Social is a good excuse to head out after work and enjoy an early evening of good food, culture and discussions. Join us this Friday between 5 – 8pm when we will be joined by Sligo’s own Pearse McGloughlin plus tunes from the vinyl duo from Turn It On, and tasty bites from The Gallery Cafe.


We also welcome Kate Brennan Harding and Donal Adams to our Atrium stage at 6PM for a discussion entitled “We Do” to mark the end of ‘Share the Love Week’ and the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum.

Posted By

The Model, Sligo

24 Mar. 2015

Get Ireland Growing - Model project scoops GIY Award

Sligo Global Kitchen is a socially engaged arts project, initiated by artist Anna Spearman in partnership with The Model, and those living within the direct provision system in Sligo town and others who share a passion for culinary and cultural diversity.

The Kitchen takes place every second Saturday and involves a diverse group who come together to plan, cook and share a meal in the Model. To date, we have eaten meals prepared by cooks from Swaziland, Congo, Nigeria, Venezuela and Cameroon.

We were delighted to hear from the AIB Get Ireland Growing Fund this week that we have been awarded a fund to allow the group, with the help of interested local gardeners, to develop a kitchen garden on the grounds of The Model.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact Anna Spearman at annaspearman@themodel.ie

Posted By

The Model, Sligo

10 Mar. 2015

The Model seeks two positions to support the day-to-day administrative needs of the programme

Curatorial Administration Assistant

Purpose: To provide administrative support to the visual arts programme and to work closely with the Director, Deputy Director and Assistant Curator on all aspects of the facilitation of the visual arts programme including:

• Booking travel and accommodation
• Coordinating fine art shipping and transportation
• Preparing labels and information texts for print
• Collating researched material for volunteer staff
• Sourcing and researching materials and / or goods, and obtaining quotes
• Preparing Artists Contracts and Loan Agreement forms
• Providing support to exhibiting artists
• Managing day to day correspondence
• Maintaining files and other general administrative tasks

The position is available under the FAS community employment scheme and requires nineteen and a half hours per week. The workweek is Tuesday through Saturday unless otherwise notified. Frequent evening and weekend work is required.

Please confirm your eligibility with your local INTREO Office before applying for this position

Education Administration Assistant

Purpose: To provide administrative support to the education programme, and to work closely with the Director and the Education and Learning Team on all aspects of the facilitation of the programme including:
• Maintaining the upkeep of the Education Room and Store
• Preparing Artists’ Contracts for approval by the Director
• Maintaining the Artists’ Pool database
• Liaising with artists working in an education context at The Model
• Maintaining mailing lists for schools and families
• Assisting in workshops if required
• Researching and ordering materials when requested
• Maintaining files, dealing with correspondence and carrying out and day-to-day administrative tasks

The position is available under the FAS community employment scheme and requires nineteen and a half hours per week. The workweek is Tuesday through Saturday unless otherwise notified. Frequent evening and weekend work is required.

Please confirm your eligibility with your local INTREO Office before applying for this position

To apply please email a C.V. and Cover Letter outlining your suitability to the advertised positions to richard.nevin@hawkswell.com by 12 noon Friday 10 April 2015.

Posted By

The Model

10 Mar. 2015

Iiro Rantala at The Model this weekend

Finnish Jazz pianist Iiro Rantala comes to Sligo this weekend to perform a unique solo concert here at The Model. Erin Fox had the chance to speak to him ahead of his performance.

EF: How would you describe your music to fans of jazz?
IR: It’s a mix of European classical tradition, jazz, tango and pop.
Sounds strange but I guess something like this is the outcome, when cousins marry each others for generations.

EF: What influenced you to become a jazz musician?
IR: Freedom. I realised I could use everything I know more freely. That I don’t have to be stuck with some written music, someone else wrote.
Freedom, Chick Corea and Keith Jarret to be correct.

EF: Your album Lost Heroes is dedicated to musicians who have inspired you. Who is your greatest musical influence?
IR: If I would have to choose one and I guess I do, I would say Leonard Bernstein. I think he was just great. A real visionary. Not only a fantastic musician but he worked hard to open up the music for people who have no previous touch with the concert music. An excellent communicator, that’s what he was.

EF: What other genres of music do you listen to?
IR: I very seldom listen music. My days are filled with music anyway. Not only when I practice or perform. There’s a “live broadcast” in my head all the time. Drives me almost crazy sometimes. So, I don’t listen BUT I love to go to concerts to hear live music as often I can.

EF: You’ve performed in groups as well as solo, what is your favourite instrument to play along to?
IR: I’ve dreamed of piano-drums duo for a long time in order to play the bass lines with my left hand. Haven’t found a perfect companion for this one yet.

EF: A lot of emotion and sensitivity has gone into your compositions, what are your feelings when you perform a completed work?
IR: Weird things happen during performance. Sometimes I see myself from a distance playing the piano, while I’m on stage. Usually from the point of the ceiling. I guess that’s as close you can get to an experience of “flow”.

EF: What do you think of Irish music?
IR: It’s uplifting. Sounds actually very funny to me. The Finns love minor and melancholies. Even the wedding waltzes are funeral sad. In Irish music I hear that it’s made for dancing and partying. In Finnish music I hear pessimism and no hope.

Iiro Rantala performs in The Niland Gallery at 8.30pm on Saturday 14th March. Book tickets.

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming

5 Mar. 2015

Easter Holiday Art Camp for Kids

Spend the Easter holidays at The Model exploring the building and the great outdoors! Artist Naomi Draper has planned a week of creativity, exploration and adventure. The Easter Holiday art camp will physically explore the theme of camping throughout The Model. Naomi who worked with the Practice exhibition by Kid’s Own in 2014 wants to create an exciting adventure for children which will allow them to explore and get to know the space at The Model. The group will move beyond the education room to set up camp and claim ownership of other areas of the building. With the landscapes of The Niland Collection as a backdrop, the galleries will become one of the campsites. Inspired by Shared Visions: The Model Collects, there will be a special activity focusing on “collecting” where participants can pack, preserve and consider how their findings and treasures can be presented to others. Shelter building, treasure hunting and storytelling are just some of the activities that will be explored through drawing, sculpture, animation, listening and book making processes. Places are limited to 14 per session and bookings are now being taken.

Next Page

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming