Galway City

November 8 – 23, 2014

Preview Nov. 7, 2014


Curated by Aisling Prior


Participating artists:
Mark Wallinger, Bedwyr Williams, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Kay Arne Kirkebø, The Domestic Godless, Mark Garry, Jeanette Doyle, Oisin Byrne, Brendan Earley, Katharine Lamb, Steven Maybury, Saoirse Wall, Fergus Martin, Marielle MacLeman, Jennie Guy, Elaine Leader, Keef Winter, Stephen Gunning, Conor McGarrigle, Anita Groener, Cecilia Danell, The Project Twins, Katie Watchorn, Lucy Andrews, Aileen Conroy, Pádraic E. Moore, Laura Angell, Sophie Loscher, Juliette de la Mer, BRANCH & ITSA Collective, Mobile Art School.


Entitled, NEUTRAL, TULCA Festival will showcase work from 30 Irish and international artists, who were selected from over 550 proposals submitted from 10 countries. The artists chosen for TULCA Festival 2014 work in a host of mediums including film and video, sculpture, painting and installation, which will be shown in the TULCA Festival Gallery on Market street Galway, Galway Arts Centre, 126 Artists-Run Gallery, No. 31 Dominick Street, The Niland Gallery and Nuns Island Theatre.

This year’s TULCA Festival is curated by Aisling Prior, Dublin based Independent curator. Aisling  titled the exhibition NEUTRAL in an effort to draw attention to the lure of stillness and of silence in this increasingly digital age where all of us, even those who chose to live in the most remote parts of a country, are known, traceable and expected to be readily reachable. Escape is impossible.

It is the collision of these idylls – picture the brooding quiet of Connemara, in particular, and the lively, social character of the city of Galway. This contrast is the conceptual framework for TULCA 2014. This year the theme of NEUTRAL invites audiences to consider what would happen if the levels of activity increased or decreased: how much silence does a person need? How much noise?

TULCA is a multi-venue, artist-centred Festival of Contemporary Visual Arts taking place in Galway city and county. Since 2002, it is the only festival in Ireland to specifically commission Irish curators who develop a theme unique to the event.

Speaking of this year’s festival Kate Howard, TULCA Festival Producer said, “Each year TULCA Festival of Visual Art aims to engage with the people of Galway and the cultural landscape in both county and city. We are lucky the Galway has a wealth of artists and arts audience that support the festival each November. The festival has now grown to be a highlight on Ireland’s cultural calendar, and has exhibited work from artists from Canada to Carraroe and from South Korea to the Spanish Arch since its beginnings in 2002.”

Josephine Vahey, TULCA Festival, Board Member said of this year’s festival, “In 2014 we have built upon the festivals vital 12 year history and expanded its possibilities with the launch of a new education package for primary and secondary schools and much more.  As always we have developed the festival in close dialogue with emerging and established artists who reflect the complexity of artistic practice today as well as fostering a lively exchange between artists, local community, venues and audiences.”

The festival runs from the 8th-23rd of November 2014.


Jennie Guy

Jennie Guy is an artist and curator based in Dublin, Ireland. Her practice embraces visual, textual, performance, and event-based output, initiating both formal and informal collaborations and participative environments. These situations act as mirrors that destabilize the intent of both the creator and the observer, complicating notions of self, community, and the rituals surrounding artistic production, seeking new modes of observation and response.

Jennie Guy


Mobile Art School

Founded by curators Cleo Fagan and Jennie Guy, Mobile Art School is an artists-schools initiative that aims to expose and connect young audiences to the richness of national and international contemporary art. Mobile Art School runs artist-led workshops and in-school artist residency programmes.

Mobile Art School


Elaine Leader

Born in Dublin in 1970. Selected Exhibitions include ‘The way we live now and then’, The Library Project 2014 (Curated by Mary Conlon), ‘Little King-doms’, Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast 2014 , ‘All that remains to be seen’, Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast 2014 (Curated by Iain Griffin, ‘Penumbra’, Tac-tic, Cork 2014, ‘Underline’, Occupy Space, Limerick 2014 (Curated by Orlaith Tracey), ‘Circulation’, Flood Gallery (Curated by Paul McAree 2013), ‘Eigse’, Visual, 2013, ‘Proposals’, Lyric, Belfast 2013, ‘Production’, Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin, (Curated by Kate Strain, 2012 ), ‘Ncad MFA’s’ at Boyle Arts Festival (Invited – 2012), ‘Ncad Post Grad Exhibition’, Steambox (2012), ‘Transference’, Monster Truck (Curated by Cliodhna Shaffrey & Cliona Harmey – 2011)

Awards include RHA Studio Award 2013, Arts Council Visual Arts Bursury 2012, Arts Council Travel Awards (2000 & 1996); RHA Annual Print Award (1998); Arts Council Arts Flights (2001, 1997, 1994); Arts Council Studio Award (1996); Arts Council Materials Grant (1996) as well as Office of Public Works Per Cent for Art Scheme (2001), Commission for the National Library, Dublin.

Elaine Leader


Sofie Loscher

Sofie Loscher (b.1987) lives and works in Dublin. She holds an MFA in Sculp-ture from NCAD and a BA in Visual Arts Practice from IADT. Recent projects include EVA International, Limerick; a commission of a site-specific work in Killruddery House, Wicklow; a solo exhibition in Tactic Gallery and she is cur-rently undertaking a yearlong residency in UCD School of Physics, Dublin.

Sofie Loscher



Aisling Prior, TULCA Curator 2014, outlines her aspirations for TULCA 14:

‘The most difficult thing to learn is how to dwell, without anxiety’. Richard Sennett. Tweeted by Hans Ulrich Obrist, 18th March 2014.

Galway is a university city on the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Its hinterland, Connemara, is world renowned for its majestic landscape and Gaeltacht heritage. To the east and south of the city are historically rich townlands, best known for music and agriculture.

Aisling is interested in the collision of these idylls – the brooding quiet of Connemara, in particular, and the lively, social character of the city of Galway. This contrast will be the conceptual framework for TULCA 2014.

The exhibition will draw attention to the lure of stillness and of silence in this increasingly digital age where all of us, even those who chose to live in the most remote parts of a country, are known, traceable and expected to be readily reachable. Escape is impossible.

The reverie of the retreat to the wilderness is most famously celebrated in Thoreau’s Walden (1854). Within just a few decades after its publication, Thoreau’s romantic hero was anachronistic. The great malaise of the 20th century – ‘alienation’ – had taken its grip on society. Alienation, the source of all modern discontent, was the fallout from the industrial and subsequent technical revolutions, whose labour saving devices and opportunities for leisure caused a new ennui, and created an insurmountable chasm between man and his/her fellow human beings.

Any yearning for isolation was consequently discredited in the 20th century Western world. It was increasingly incumbent on newly mobile societies to be in constant flux, constant travel, – ‘holidays’ became normal. The attraction of urban life and its advantages were almost impossible to resist. And within this new world of easy communication and sociability, people who sought to be alone became feared, aroused suspicion, were termed a loner, an “odd bod”. And so, the anti-social person became the sociopath.

However, we have seen a backlash against the stigmatisation of solitude. Solitude is seen now as a powerful and necessary anti-dote to the pressures imposed on us in this digital age, which allows no cover for passivity. There is a seeming obligation to be in constant communication, to have an endless appetite for the consumption of information, and to embrace every opportunity to engage in the two-way discourse new social media and the internet affords. Even much contemporary art, the practice known as relational aesthetics, obliges us to fully participate in itself, the creation of the artwork being dependent on our engagement. But the expectation to engage has made us weary.

So it transpires that artists, philosophers, writers, designers, architects and psychotherapists are once again extolling the agency and virtue of non-doing, of contemplation and of quietness. There aren’t many of us who haven’t heard of the benefits of ‘mindfulness’. The Slow Movement which emerged in the last decade or so in the areas of growing food and cooking, has since emerged as a way to see an exhibition. Craft making is seeing a renaissance and the value of the hand-made object or thing is once again duly appreciated.

And the delectable pleasures of simply passing the time, of being bored, idle even, have all been recently lauded in contemporary literature, while the idea of ‘Quiet Zones’ in cities is being researched and implemented by city councils across the developed world.

While artworks that explore the potential of retreat are sought for TULCA 2014, the exhibition will also mount artworks that are unapologetic in their busyness and ‘freneticness’. The exhibition will show work by contemporary artists and designers who experience the most fundamental dilemma of all: how to live, where to live. To live alone or in society. Or to do both.

Alongside the traditional definitions of visual art practice, this year the curator is especially interested in including design; graphic, furniture, textile and domestic scale industrial design in particular, architectural drawings and models, indigenous crafts, web-based work and social media as artform.







No 31 Dominick St

126 Gallery


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