Tuesday, 20 May, 2014: The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, today announced the details of the team to represent Ireland at the 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice in 2015. Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council.

The Commissioner for 2015 is Mike Fitzpatrick who will work with the Curator Woodrow Kernohan to present the work of artist, Sean Lynch. Both the Commissioner and the Curator have extensive experience of presenting high profile international exhibitions. Mike Fitzpatrick, currently Director of Limerick City of Culture, was Commissioner/Curator for the 52nd Venice Art Biennale which saw a very successful exhibition of the work of Gerard Byrne and Woodrow Kernohan is Director of EVA International, Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Sean Lynch, who has just opened his first UK museum exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, has already attracted strong international interest and has exhibited in many public galleries and institutions throughout Europe, as well as being known for several high profile public art projects, including O’Connell Street, Dublin.

The selection was made following an open competitive process run by the Culture Ireland Division of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in partnership with the Arts Council. Minister Deenihan said:

“I am delighted that Sean, who has a growing international reputation, will have this opportunity to present his work at the Venice Biennale which offers an important global platform to showcase the strength of Ireland’s visual arts.”

Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council said: “The Arts Council is delighted to again support Ireland’s representation at the Venice Art Biennale 2015. Sean Lynch’s work is particularly intriguing and unique, finding wonderful pathways for the public into hidden or forgotten histories. Of course, in addition to its commitment to showing Irish artists’ work in Venice, the Arts Council will support the subsequent Irish Tour to ensure that people throughout Ireland get a chance to see the show for themselves.”

Commenting on the selection, Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick stated: “Sean Lynch will represent Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2015 with a unique presentation that will gather disparate strands of our history and locate them in a series of interlocking vignettes. A native of North Kerry, a graduate and lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT, he lives in Askeaton, Limerick and London. His work combines a narrative strength with an incisive ability to discover, research and translate complex cultural issues. Sean has already gained considerable international recognition and utilises his particular strength to forensically explore trails of forgotten stories and contextualize them within the contemporary context”.

Curator Woodrow Kernohan commented: “This is a very exciting project. I’m delighted to have been selected to work with Sean Lynch and Mike Fitzpatrick to represent Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Sean’s work celebrates unwritten aspects of our social and cultural heritage and the Irish Pavilion in 2015 will also be an opportunity to promote the wider Irish art scene to international audiences”.

The 56th International Art Exhibition will be held in Venice from May 9th to November 22nd 2015. It will then tour in Ireland in early 2016.



Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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