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Equivalence Exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

An exhibition based on the results of two different residencies by the artist Terry O’Farrell – one a long-term project with older people; the other a short-term residency with young children – is now open to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition, entitled Equivalence, is organised by the Museum’s Education and Community Department as part of its remit of engaging with the primary school, community and education sectors.

For the past two years O’Farrell has been working with the St. Michael’s Parish Active Retirement Art group, Inchicore, in the Museum’s studios on a project exploring significant themes from their life experiences. Earlier this year she was invited by Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council’s Art Office to participate in their Artist-in-Residence in Schools scheme, which involved working with a group of 10 and 11 year-old children for 8 days over a two-month period in both the Muslim School, Clonskeagh, and in IMMA, to explore the theme of journeys. The older people’s work, Life, and the children’s work, Two Journeys, will include paintings, drawings, photographs and works in clay.

The museum’s education work to date, with primary school teachers and children, is used as a resource for the revised Primary School Curriculum, through the publication in 1999 of A Space to Grow. Its work with older People has been evaluated by the Centre for Adult and Community Education, NUI, Maynooth, and disseminated nationally and internationally through its publications over the past years, most notably by even her nudes were lovely: towards self reliance at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

The staging of an exhibition based on this work serves to underline the importance which the Museum places on making the outcome of such projects available to a wider public. This policy has been endorsed by the level of interest in such projects shown both by fellow museum professionals within Ireland and internationally, and by the general gallery-going public.

Commenting on the exhibition, Helen O’Donoghue, IMMA’s Head of Education and Community Programmes said: “Equivalence draws on two stories in contemporary Ireland, on the one hand the stories of young children who have recently come to live here and on the other, the lifelong stories of older people, many of whom have lived in St. Michael’s parish in Inchicore for over sixty years. Terry O’Farrell has sensitively empowered both groups to tell their stories, explore their dreams and articulate their aspirations. Her skill in drawing from people the essence of what they wish to say is evident in the completed clayworks, each one a metaphor of the lived and wished for experiences of the maker. Terry O’Farrell has a unique practice as an artist who engages with other people’s creativity and facilitates a dialogue, through initial conversation”.

The exhibition continues until 9 February 2003.
Admission is free.
An exhibition guide with an essay by Siún Hanrahan accompanies the exhibition (price €4.00).
For further information and colour and black and white images please contact Monica Cullinane Tel : +353 1 612 9900, Fax : +353 1 612 9999, Email :

18 November 2002


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