Mythmaking and Meaning - an online Summer School for Adults

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Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

Parnell Square North

D01 F2X9 Dublin


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An online three-day programme for adults that combines visual art and writing, summoning the spirit of the myth-making artist Joseph Beuys

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Friday 27 August – Sunday 29 August 2021

This live online summer school aims to explore the creative potential of using one’s own biography or identity as artistic material, as well as the work of the seminal artist Joseph Beuys. With artists Asbestos, Michelle Hall, Domino Whisker; writers Deborah Levy, Beth O'Halloran and curator Alice Butler.

This summer school is part of the public programme for 'From the Secret Block to Rosc', an exhibition that marks the centenary of the birth of Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) with a focused exhibition looking back on the artist’s relationship to Ireland.

Facilitated by Kimberly Griffith Walsh.


Friday 27 August

09.45 Welcome, with Education Curator Cleo Fagan

10.00-10.30 Virtual tour of From the Secret Block to Rosc exhibition on artist Joseph Beuys, with Exhibition Curator Logan Sisley

10.40-11.20 ‘The Life of Objects - what objects tell us about our secret selves’ Talk by Writer Deborah Levy

11-20-12.20 Break

12.20 -1 Materials and Myth-Making: Illustrated talk on Joseph Beuys’ work by Artist Michelle Hall

1-2 Groundings and Transits (Part 1) workshop with Artist Michelle Hall. During this two part workshop (see Sunday schedule), participants will create a multi-layered artwork combining drawing, action, auto-fiction and cut-up poetry techniques. Drawing upon astrology, herbology and dreamtime, participants will be led through a series of activities and prompts that explore the bridging of inner and outer worlds, through rituals of harvesting and creating. Through the development of multimedia 'thought forms', participants will create a portrait of “the energy in the middle”, based on Beuys's own methods and concerns, including his explorations of the forces that link spirit and science.

Saturday 28 August

10-10.45 Facilitated discussion with Film Curator Alice Butler on a film relating to Joseph Beuys. Participants will be sent a link to watch this film in advance [film title TBC].

10.50-12.20 Looking to Beuys’ maxim “Thinking is Form”, this workshop will explore writing as a record of thinking. Beuys drew from the intuitive flow of the subconscious to create his often improvisational works. For this workshop we will use a series of prompts which will spark a piece of writing- the literary form it takes is up to you. With Writer and Artist Beth O'Halloran.

12.20-1.20 Break

1.20-2 ‘Remnants’ Illustrated talk with Artist Domino Whisker, on her work.

Sunday 29 August

10.00-10.50 Visual Thinking Strategies session* with Artist Kimberly Griffith Walsh.

11-12.30 Groundings and Transits (Part 2) workshop with Artist Michelle Hall

[for details see Friday schedule]

12.30-1.15 Break

1.15-1-50 Illustrated talk by Artist Asbestos on his new commissioned work Pass Freely, which can be seen at 40/41 O’Connell Street. This work is informed by his interest in the work of Joseph Beuys and his use of ‘persona’.

1.50-2 Wrap-up

2 End

*Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is an enquiry based educational method that can be used for looking at art. It provides an opportunity to come together and practice looking, talking, listening and engaging with art and each other. In VTS, the discussion is moved forward by your ideas and observations.

How to apply:

This course can be applied for through EventBrite. Participants are asked to do some advance preparation for this course. This includes gathering materials and watching a film (title TBC). Some materials will also be posted out and applicants will be asked to supply their postal address as part of the application.

The fee to take part is €40.

Space on this course is very limited.

Contributor Biographies:


Asbestos is an Irish artist creating work on the street in a variety of media since 2003. His current work Pass Freely can be seen on 40/41 O’Connell Street on the side of the AIB building, this work is a collaboration with the Hugh Lane Gallery.

Alice Butler

Alice Butler is a writer, film programmer, curator and co-director of aemi, an organisation that supports and exhibits artist & experimental moving image work. Alice is a member of the Hugh Lane Gallery Artist Panel.

Kimberly Griffith Walsh

Kimberly Griffith Walsh is an art historian, artist and writer based in Dublin. Her current research interests focus on the intersections of modern and contemporary art and culture in Ireland, with an emphasis on feminist and queer theory as praxis.

Michelle Hall

Michelle Hall is a visual artist who works with a variety of media including text, moving image and photography. Michelle is a member of the Hugh Lane Gallery Artist Panel.

Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy’s acclaimed ‘living autobiography’ trilogy series, Things I Don’t Want to Know, The Cost of Living and Real Estate, are published by Hamish Hamilton.

Beth O’Halloran

Beth O’Halloran is a visual artist, lecturer (in the National College of Art and Design) and writer (fiction and non-fiction). Beth is a member of the Hugh Lane Gallery Artist Panel.

Domino Whisker

Domino Whisker is a visual artist who works through the medium of embroidery.

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Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

Parnell Square North

D01 F2X9 Dublin


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