Francis Street Boys 1994 from the IMMA Collection at the Presentation Convent, Carlow
The artwork Francis Street Boys 1994 by John Ahearn, from the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, opens to the public on Thursday 17 October 2005 at the Presentation Convent, College Street, Carlow. Francis Street Boys 1994 is the result of collaboration between American artist John Ahearn, the boys of 6th Class, Francis Street CBS, Dublin, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. John Ahearn's practice involves working with community groups whose access to fine art and museum culture is often limited. The exhibition is part of the SPLANC festival and is shown in collaboration with the County Carlow Arts Office.
The process of making the series of portrait busts that go to make up Francis Street Boys 1994 involves a lengthy co-operation between artist and sitters - the development of a trusting relationship between them is central to the success of that process. The boys had to submit to having their heads and shoulders encased in quick-drying latex rubber to make the moulds from which the final plaster casts were made. The resulting portrait group of the 15 boys provides a dynamic record of the class of '94' while it also documents a very real exchange between the boys, the artist and the Museum.
SPLANC is a new festival conceived to enhance the year round programme of cultural activities in County Carlow for young people including visual art, storytelling and literature programmes.
The exhibition is accompanied by a series of workshops with Ballon and Leighlinbridge National Schools and will be facilitated by artist Terry O’Farrell in response to the work Francis Street Boys 1994. Work resulting from these workshops will be exhibited alongside the work from the Collection.
The National Programme is designed to create access opportunities to the visual arts in a variety of situations and locations in Ireland. Using the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and exhibitions generated by the Museum, the programme facilitates the creation of exhibitions and other projects for display in a range of locations around the country.
Francis Street Boys 1994 continues until 28 October 2005.