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Engagement and Learning > Talks, Lectures & Events


Tuesday 14 November 2017, 3.00 - 5.00pm, Lecture Room, IMMA      

CREATE and Common Ground are pleased to partner on this panel discussion which will explore the issue of sustainable cities, land access, food access, and spaces of commoning and public sites in urban space. It will seek to explore the potential of collaborative practice to make critical interventions in the urban landscape in order to reveal alternative futures and propose new forms of collective co-operation among diverse publics.

The event draws on artist, Seoidín O’ Sullivan’s HARD/GRAFT project as part of her Common Ground CITIZEN ARTIST award and her recent experience of the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center and Sweet Water Foundation residency exchange programme with the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Create.

Chaired by internationally renowned artist educator Dr. Gregory Sholette, the panel comprises artist Seoidín O’ Sullivan, artist Fiona Woods with Chicago-based artist architect Emmanuel Pratt from the Sweetwater Foundation situated in Chicago (via Skype).

Both Fiona Woods and Emmanuel Pratts’ respective practices connect urban and rural collaborative practice in Ireland to international initiatives that share innovative approaches to developing inclusive urban and rural ecologies.

The talk event is prefaced at 12.45 by a visit to local community gardens in Rialto, led by Seoidin O'Sullivan. Meeting point is St Andrew’s Community Centre 468 South Circular Road Rialto D8.  This garden visit is restricted and booking is separate to the talk event. Email  to reserve a place.

Gregory Sholette’s visit to Ireland has been made possible through Transactions #2, a 2017 partnership between NCAD, Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Create


Seoidin O’Sullivan was awarded the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center and Sweet Water Foundation residency exchange programme with Irish Museum of Modern Art and Create, connecting Chicago and Dublin through art and activism. Seoidin and her proposal HARD/GRAFT were one of studio 468 CITIZEN ARTIST awards. O’Sullivan will extend HARD/GRAFT as part of Common Ground’s inauguration of its new residency programme in when it takes up residence in the Lodge its new base, at Goldenbridge Cemetery Inchicore Dublin 8.  Listen to O’Sullivan discussing this project on Curious Broadcast.

About Speakers

Gregory Sholette is an artist, activist, and aurthor, who lives in New York. He has developed a self-described “viable, democratic, counter-narrative that, bit-by-bit, gains descriptive power within the larger public discourse.” Sholette is a founding member of Political Art Documentation/Distribution, which issued publications on politically engaged art in the 1980s; of REPOhistory, which repossessed suppressed histories in New York in the 1990s; and more recently, of Gulf Labor, a group of artists advocating for migrant workers constructing museums in Abu Dhabi. In dozens of essays, three edited volumes, and his own Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto Press, 2011), Sholette has documented four decades of activist art that, for its ephemerality, politics, and market resistance, might otherwise remain invisible. He has contributed to such journals as Eflux, Critical Inquiry, Texte zur Kunst, October, CAA Art Journal and Manifesta Journal among other publications. His recent art installations include Imaginary Archive at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania and the White Box at Zeppelin University, Germany. His collaborative performance Precarious Workers Pageant premiered in Venice on August 7, 2015. Sholette is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program in Critical Theory and is an Associate of the Art, Design and the Public Domain program at the Graduate School of Design Harvard University, served as a Curriculum Committee member of Home WorkSpace Beirut education program, and is an Associate Professor in the Queens College Art Department, City University of New York where he helped establish the new MFA Concentration SPQ (Social Practice Queens). Visit artist's website here .

Seoidin O'Sullivan is a contemporary artist and educator. Her art projects are collaborative and focus on people joining together in action to protect and develop an aspect of their local commons. Her practice supports sustainable models within various ecological contexts and addresses issues of land use, lost knowledge, social justice and biodiversity. Creative output includes critical and creative pedagogic exchange, “communing” infrastructures, drawings, video, publications and walks. Her current projects include Hard/Graft (2017) with Studio 468, Common Ground which looks at reproductive labor and collectively grafts trees towards community orchards for Dublin and The Tree Line Project exploring the politics of trees in Ireland. Visit the artist’s website here.

Via Skype / Emmanuel Pratt is an artist who's interdisciplinary approach to regenerative place making on the South Side of Chicago mixes art, architecture, and community and economic development. As 2017–2018 Interpreter in Residence, Pratt hosts a series of intimate dinners across Chicago beginning in Radical [Re]Constructions, his site-specific Threshold installation at the Smart Museum. Each dinner features nutritious, locally grown food from Sweet Water Foundation and examines a different theme connected to Radical [Re]Constructions: housing, work, health, and education. The interdisciplinary series convenes a curated group of diverse individuals around a common table, from the team at Sweet Water Foundation to artists, scholars, practitioners, and civic and community leaders. Pratt and the Sweet Water team will also work with the Smart to organize larger scale programs including a fall Harvest Celebration, a talk produced in partnership with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and UChicago Arts, and other events. Visit Sweet Water Foundation website here.

Fiona Woods  is a visual artist whose practice crosses critical inquiry, artistic intervention and international research collaborations. She works with elements of critical spatial practice, collaborative practice and aesthetics to generate objects, images, discursive events and performative actions. Public space, social situations and the institutional site of art are used as circuits for the production and distribution of works that explore ideas of public interest or what we have 'in common'.  Visit the artist's website here.

This event is hosted by IMMA in collaboration with art organisations, Common Ground and CREATE.

Common Ground is an arts organisation based in Inchicore, in Dublin’s southwest inner city. Since 1999, we work to progress a diverse cultural model that embraces the challenging social and economic realities of our neighbourhood locations in Dublin 8 & 12.  We maximise our local networks and partnerships and seek to embed the role of the arts as a cultural right. We continue to challenge and change how access to the arts should not depend on where you’re born, your wealth or identity. In 2016 we created a new awards programme in studio 468, CITIZEN ARTIST 2016 -2018 that seeks to interrogate our current state of being as a nation and inform new thinking and artistic practices.

CREATE is the national development agency for collaborative arts. A resource organisation for collaborative artists working across artform in social and community contexts, Create offers support through professional development, project opportunities and initiatives such as the Artist in the Community Scheme which Create manages on behalf of the Arts Council of Ireland. In addition Create offers training, mentoring, advocacy and onging project support. Through our national and international programme we seek to create opportunities for exchange and interaction that benefit a wide constituency of artists, sectors and communities, strengthening the contribution of the arts to society, and encouraging artists and communities to create art that reflects and responds to our times.

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-6129900, Email:


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