In Sense of Place: Student Select

Monday, 28th November 2016 - Saturday, 28th January 2017

A unique exhibition of iconic artworks selected from the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection and the British Council Collection selected and curated by Drogheda secondary school students.

It was a great opportunity for me to experience art outside of a classroom to see how an art gallery works. - Kotryna Knystautaite St Oliver’s Community College

A pioneering partnership between the 5th year art students of St Oliver’s Community College, Our Lady’s College-Greenhills, Highlanes Gallery and the British Council presents some of the best known names in contemporary art in In Sense of Place. The work of Turner Prize winners Gillian Wearing, Richard Long, Tony Cragg and Jeremy Deller will hang alongside treasures from the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection.

What makes In Sense of Place truly unique is that every aspect of the exhibition has been undertaken by second level students including the selection of artworks, the research, the active talking and thinking about the connections between artwork in collections, the installation, the marketing, social media, and communications.

‘It is always interesting to work alongside other curators. This has been especially so with the young curators from Drogheda who have put together a lively and surprising selection of works across all media to share with their audience at Highlanes.' Aoife Ruane, Director, Highlanes Gallery

These curators have not been intimidated by name, size or medium in their selection of works but have chosen pieces that are significant to them. In doing so they have created an exhibition that will intrigue, puzzle and delight in equal measure.’
Diana Eccles, Head of Collection & Fay Blanchard, Curator Visual Arts British Council

The process began when Highlanes Director Aoife Ruane was approached by Alf Desire of the British Council to work with him on PERSPECTIVES: a programme of exhibitions featuring work from the British Council.

Rather than simply curate the work herself, Aoife felt the exhibition would have more relevance if the artworks were selected by a local audience. With this in mind Highlanes Gallery approached Our Lady’s College and St Oliver’s Community College who immediately saw that the project represented an extraordinary opportunity for their young art students.

To give the students a broader understanding of contemporary exhibition practice a field trip to visit galleries in Dublin was arranged. Museums and Galleries visited included the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and Kerlin Gallery, meetings with the British Council curatorial team of Diana Eccles and Fay Blanchard, as well as on site behind the scenes access with Some thing as a Line curator, artist and lecturer Dr Brian Fay, and Anthony Haughey, artist and co curator of Beyond the Pale: the art of Revolution.

'I got involved in this project so that our students could discover how exhibitions are created, not only do the students get a behind the scenes look at how a gallery works but they are the ones, selecting and curating the show. I wanted the students to gain new experiences outside of the classroom and connect with the larger art community.' - Kieran Gallagher Art Teacher St Oliver’s Community College

In Sense of Place is part of a four part programme of exhibitions featuring work from the British Collection in local regional Irish art galleries. Corresponding exhibitions have already opened in Donegal and Sligo with the last one due to open in Limerick in the new year. As part of this project, each gallery will present artworks from its own collection to be exhibited at the British Council Head Office in London from 28 November to 13 January.

It is also a key exhibition in a year-long programme that marks the 10th anniversary of the Highlanes Gallery.

In Sense of Place is supported by the British Council, Drogheda Credit Union, Drogheda-Bettystown-Trim.
Highlanes Gallery's ongoing funders are Louth County Council and the Arts Council.


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