Minister Madigan announces funding of €102,000 for two Crawford Art Gallery commemorative exhibitions
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, TD today announced funding of €102,000 for two Crawford Art Gallery commemorative exhibitions under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme for 2020.
Today’s announcement by Minister Madigan builds on the commitment given by the Government at the start of the year to a major commemorative programme in remembrance of the significant events that occurred in Cork City and throughout the county in 1920.
The main focus of the State Commemorations programme during 2020 is in Cork. During the year, the transformative events that occurred 100 years ago are being marked including: the deaths of two of the city’s first citizens, Tomás Mac Curtáin (March) and Terence MacSwiney (October); the Kilmichael Ambush (November) and the burning of Cork City (December).
Crawford Art Gallery Cork will play a significant role in the next phase of the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programmes by focusing on two curated exhibitions which seek to explore the context of the time locally and globally. Throughout the year, the Gallery engages in active civic discourse on concepts of nationhood through the medium of visual arts, forming significant links with artists and institutions.
The two exhibitions are Citizen Nowhere / Citizen Somewhere, curated by Dawn Williams, and a Dara McGrath exhibition, ‘For Those, That Tell No Tales’.
Mary McCarthy, Crawford Art Gallery Director, welcomed the Minister’s support of these two exhibitions which place the historical narratives in a wider geo political context. The Director stated: “We anticipate significant interest and collaboration with other organisations like Cork City Council, Cork Public Museum, Cork City Library and UCC”.
Minister Josepha Madigan said: “I am pleased to confirm this significant funding allocation to the Crawford Gallery today. As the Minister responsible for leading the Decade of Centenaries programme, my role is to support opportunities that encourage people of all traditions to explore the differing perspectives on our shared history in a respectful environment. My aim is to provide a structure that ensures that the very difficult events that occurred during the Struggle for Independence are remembered within communities in a measured and non-partisan manner that promotes respectful remembrance and reconciliation.
The 2020 centenary programme has a broad scope, which acknowledges the military activity during the Struggle for Independence, as well as the many other dimensions interwoven with the conflict, including political, social, cultural and economic aspects. It focuses on the significant democratic achievements of the period, in putting in place a new parliament and the new administrative structures of the State.”
Citizen Nowhere / Citizen Somewhere
23 October 2020 – 31 January 2021
25 October 2020 is the centenary of the death of Terence MacSwiney (1879-1920), Lord Mayor of Cork, playwright and politician. Following his arrest for being in possession of a police cipher, MacSwiney’s seventy-four day hunger strike gripped international press and political agendas. Citizen Nowhere / Citizen Somewhere focuses on the legacy of his hunger strike and death, and the idea of nation as an imagined state to which MacSwiney’s own essays, Principles of Freedom, aspired.
Dara McGrath: For Those, That Tell No Tales
Between 1919 and 1921, almost 1,400 people died in the struggle for the recognition of an independent and free Ireland, including members of the British Forces, the Irish Republican Army and civilians. Cork and its county saw the bloodiest of the fighting, in total 528 people lost their lives directly due to the conflict. Beyond the recognised memorials to the volunteers and major landmarks of significance there are many more sites where men, women, children and members of the British forces lost their lives and are not acknowledged or marked in any way.
Dara McGrath’s photographic focus on these overlooked and unmarked sites give a timely, unnerving presence and look to reassert these lost lives into the history and its interpretation of this troubled time during the Decade of Centenaries.
As with all other national commemorations, the programme is being delivered in partnership between the Government, led by the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and local authorities, in this case Cork City and County Councils. There will also be important contributions from the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, the Office of Public Works and other public service organisations. The planned coordination and cooperation between these bodies has taken on renewed focus and importance in the context of the on-going Covid-19 public health emergency, which is being addressed in the development of all commemorative events under the programme.