13 Jul. 2018

Imagine to Imagine: A little bit of freedom and some well-organized chaos

This article first appeared in Sligo Now magazine July 2018 edition

Imagine to Imagine was an art camp for artists, students and art enthusiasts that was held in The Model, Sligo. To gain an understanding of this unique workshop, which took place in June, Rebecca Kennedy spoke to facilitating Artist, Lillian Scholtes, and a few of the workshop’s participants. Imagine to Imagine was held as an extension of Future Perfect, an exhibition that saw sixteen contemporary German artists exhibit their work. The show contained a kaleidoscope of mediums, including films, photographs, sculptures, objects, paintings, and collages, so it was a rich well of material on which to base a workshop. Among the artists featured in the exhibition, were prestigious German art-group DAS INSTITUT, Cyprien Gaillard and former artist-in-residence Yorgos Sapountzis.

When entering the room in which the workshop was held, it was easy to see that when The Model advertised Imagine to Imagine as a multi-media workshop, they meant it. Glitter dusts the floor, sheets of lavender and mauve fabrics are draped from the roof beams, and what looks to be a large make-shift boat is assembled in the corner. Scholtes, the facilitator of the group wanders from participant to participant, offering advice and assistance. ‘I do not criticize,’ said Scholtes, who seemed repelled by the very idea of it, ‘I am not here to criticize anyone, I am just a presence in the room that may help if needed.’ And help she does, at one point in the morning, Scholtes could be seen helping one participant wrap another, mummy-style, in metallic gold sheet paper. Scholtes is a seasoned artist who works predominantly with sculpture, but she never misses a chance to facilitate a workshop, as she sees education as an integral facet of her practice. ‘I understand my practice as being educational as well as artistic. My work is set everyday between education and practice, the lines are blurred.’

Imagine to Imagine is what could be called a ‘response’ workshop, meaning that the participants began the workshop by spending some time in Future Perfect, to get inspired before the workshop began. The depth and breathe of work exhibited was certainly reflected in the range of work produced in the workshop, be it 2D, 3D, video or performance, it was represented.

Imagine to Imagine was free-form, so participants could make anything they desired, without the restriction of an objective. Scholtes, who tours along with the exhibition, has held this workshop around the globe and knows what to expect. In order to encourage those who take part in the Imagine to Imagine to break free from their comfort zone, Scholtes advises her workshop to make first, and think later. ‘If you approach with form and not meaning,’ said Scholtes, ‘it’s an invitation to talk. The material just allows you to make whatever is in your head a physical thing, so you can share it. Sometimes a participant might have an idea of what they want to make before they make it, whatever they want, I do not criticize.’

Expression is the key theme in free-form workshops like Imagine to Imagine, which have become increasingly popular since the recent revival of age-old practices like mindfulness, meditation and art therapy. The benefits of an art practice in terms of mental health has long documented history but there are many other benefits for participants, like Maggie Hedge, who had this to say on the workshop, ‘It took me out of my comfort zone in the Ox Mountains, and it presented us with different materials, which is great because I usually just do the gardening. It’s me time!’
Imagine to Imagine also offered its participants the opportunity to build on their own knowledge and improve their skills by picking-up tips from an experienced artist, which was certainly a draw for some of the classes participants, many of whom had been practising some form of art for years. An example of this was Scholtes demonstration of how exhibited art can be read in context with one another. While a piece may conjure a certain frame of thought on it’s own, that frame of thought may be challenged when read in the entirety of the exhibition. ‘We looked at how things are connected,’ said Scholtes, ‘like the work of DAS INSTITUT. Their is work made from many different mediums and they are each made at different times but together, they tell a complex story.’

Others, particularly the teenage members of the workshop were drawn to social element of the workshop. Sometimes, living along the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way can have it’s disadvantages, one being that it can be difficult to find those who have similar interests to your own, particularly if those interests are niche. Workshops like Imagine to Imagine give participants the chance to meet like-minded people who can expose you to new tricks of the trade like: framing ideas, art by artists you’ve never heard of, galleries and museums to explore, and even new music to listen to. There are many fringe benefits in the workshop community. Workshops can also function to rejuvenate any underlying artistic ambitions and motivate those who already practice. After immersing yourself in a busy workshop, many will find a desire to work at that concentrated rate. Many artists report an urgency to dive back into their artwork with a rabid work ethic after a workshop.

This proved true for Shannon Rae, the educational assistant at The Model, who was tasked with assisting Scholtes. Rae found the work of many of the participants inspiring, particularly Maggie Hedges’ work, ‘Shipwreck,’ an installation she created while meditating on the refugee crisis. ‘It’s really captivating because it’s explores so many materials in fleshing out the idea. I think that taking everyone out of their comfort zone proved to be very energizing.’

Imagine to Imagine came to an end after five days, with an offer for the participants to make a short presentation about their work so they could further discuss the ideas that had inspired them. The art camp was a great success, with many participants remarking that they hoped the workshop would be held again soon. We can only imagine that it was the formula of Scholtes workshop that won her class over, perhaps we all need a little bit of freedom and some well organized chaos in our lives.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

13 Jun. 2018

Berlin Artist Nasan Tur to take Residency at The Model

The Model is delighted to welcome German artist Nasan Tur to Sligo for a summer residency. Tur will deliver an artist talk on July 1st, and facilitate a special family day on July 15th at as part of the associated programme for Future Perfect, and exhibition of contemporary art from Germany.

Born in 1974 in Offenbach, Nasan Tur lives in Berlin. In humorous and subversive works he reflects on the relationship between the viewers of an artwork and the work itself in public space. At the interface of art and life, his works often invite viewers to take participatory action.

In 2006, Nasan Tur made a set of “Backpacks”, which is currently being exhibited in The Model as part of Future Perfect. These backpacks can be borrowed by exhibition visitors and used in public space as their wishes, demands, or needs dictate – for demonstrating or sabotaging, for public speaking, for a fan ritual, or just to cook something. Art leaves the museum and can be individually appropriated.

All are welcome to attend the artist talk with Nasan Tur at 5 pm on July 1st.

A dynamic family workshop, which promises to be inventive, humorous and loads of fun on July 15th is for children aged 6+ and their parents/guardians.
Further details are available on themodel.ie

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

3 Jun. 2018

Deepest Condolences

The Model is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend Seán McSweeney. Seán was a true artist and a beautiful soul. Time spent with him in his studio was inspirational and precious. Seán and his beloved wife Sheila were instrumental in the foundation of The Model, and they continued to be wonderful supporters of the organisation. We are fortunate to have several great examples of Seán’s work in The Niland Collection. Our deepest sympathy to Sheila, Orna, Colmán, Sally, Stephen, Tadhg, Hugh and all of Sean’s grandchildren and loved ones.

In this lovely piece of audio from 2011, Sean speaks about the work of Jack Butler Yeats:

Eileen Magner interview with Sean McSweeney and Emer McGarry

Posted By

Emer McGarry

16 May 2018

THE MODEL PRESENTS CAIRDE VISUAL SUBMISSIONS OPEN / DEADLINE JUNE 10TH

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival’s fifth annual open submission exhibition, Cairde Visual, is now accepting submissions from visual artists. The submission forms are available at front of house at The Model or can be downloaded here. Submissions will be accepted up to Sunday June 10th. Cairde Visual will take place at the Model in Sligo from Wednesday the 11th- of July to Sunday 19th August 2018.


Image: Untitled, Anna Spearman 2017. Anna Spearman won the Model Cara Award during Cairde Visual 2017

2018 sees the return of The Model Cara Award, The Hamilton Gallery Award, and the Cosgrave’s Delicatessen Award. Introduced in 2017, the Cosgrave’s Delicatessen Award offers a €500 cash prize to the selected artist. Helen Merrigan Colfer won the inaugural Cosgrave’s Delicatessen Award in 2017.

The Hamilton Gallery, a pioneering contemporary art gallery in the heart of Sligo, offers the winner a solo exhibition in the gallery’s calendar of exhibitions in 2018. Clive Bright was the recipient of this award in 2016 and Daniel Chester was the recipient in 2017.

Recipients of the Model Cara award – a short-term residency in The Model’s artist studio – to date have been Helen Blake in 2015 and both Daniel Chester and Selma Makela in 2016, and Anna Spearman in 2017.

A significant, international open submission exhibition for the North West, Cairde Visual was established in 2013, by a group of Sligo based artists together with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival. The first annual submission took place in The Hyde Bridge Gallery in 2014. The move of Cairde Visual to The Model for 2017 was an exciting development for all concerned. The fourth annual exhibition took place at The Model in 2017 and boasted over 100 artworks from local, national and international artists, featuring a great diversity of media.

The exhibition has, in a short space of time, become a much-anticipated feature in the arts festival’s programme and in the cultural calendar of the region, not to mention an increasingly important fixture for artists all over Ireland and abroad.

Posted By

The Model

Related Programming

24 Apr. 2018

Carbury National School - Punc 1x1

In February, Carbury National School responded to the Punc 1×1 artworks on loan to their school from the Niland Collection. They produced their own artistic interpretations of the Niland Collection paintings through a series of interactive workshops as part of the Punc artist in schools initiative, a new strand to this years programme.

They examined intriguing aspects of the paintings, which were on display in their school recently. While the artist was at their school the students explored paintings of the ever-changing Irish landscape and experimented with perspective drawing.

Their wonderful creativity prompted a whole range of suggested names for the painting that was on display in their school. Below are some of their unique and creative suggestions for what the title could be:

Valley of Hills
Sleeping Giant
Hillside Houses
Hidden Lizard
Reptile Mountain
Gloomy Valley
Clouds Over Country
Frog Mountain
From the Top of the Hill
A Land of Peace
Storm on the Blue Mountains
Hidden Lake
Volcanic Valley

Since visiting the school the 3rd class children continued to engage Niland Collection by visiting The Model for a guided gallery tour of our exhibition Turbulence.

Artist Shannon Re will continue to visit each of the seven participating schools from now to the end of May. If your school is interested in workshops with the artist please phone The Model on 071 914 1405

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

18 Apr. 2018

Digital Transformations – Arts/Digital Technology Conference

Ballina, Co. Mayo

19 – 20 May

Given the major controversy surrounding Facebook misusing personal data from over 50 million users and allowing it to be harvested and exploited by Cambridge Analytica, it is not far fetched to say that our relationship with digital technology has recently fallen under scrutiny. Trusting digital technology and the giant multinational corporations behind it all to cater to nuanced characteristics of human nature may prove a more difficult issue than we could have possibly imagined but there in itself lies the assumption that we take for granted: We expect that technology may change to meet our needs, but what if technology is changing us to meet the demands of technology?

Memory, authorship, productivity, privacy, consumption and other key facets of our human identity are changing. Digital society is transforming our traditional relationship to these concepts, enhancing some and alienating others. The arts, at its core, can be summed up as an attempt to process and translate the human experience. So what role does the arts play in this new digital landscape?

The Digital Transformations conference, held in Ballina attempts to answer just that. The conference, which will take place over the 19 – 20., May will explore a range of issues intertwined with this uniquely modern problem. By inviting leaders from business and technology, education and journalism to share their views on the digital society and the meaning and value of the arts in such a society, the conference will offer some insights into how artists navigate the impact of this society on their work. With key speakers like Steve Woodhall, Paula Kehoe, Cate Field and Sinead Mc Donald, Digital Transformations boosts an array of interesting speakers and food for thought.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

13 Apr. 2018

The Model Blog celebrates its 10th birthday

The Model blog has been entertaining, enthralling and informing the public for an entire decade. The blog, which celebrates its 10th birthday on April 16th, was started in 2008, when The Model’s website was in its infancy. During its formative years, the blog was primarily a resource for keeping the public informed on all things Model but as time ticked by, the blog gradually developed into an innovative space featuring news on new acquisitions, announcements, reviews, event breakdowns, interviews and guest blogs.

Over the years, the blog has featured articles from various contributors including Model marketing team alumni such as Denise Rushe, Erin Fox, Aoife Porter and also, young model members, guest bloggers, work experience students and artists’ in residence. This has provided The Model blog with a multitude of different styles & influences with each voice bringing its own unique flavor to the blog. Time has also seen the blog develop its tone from informative to a more laid-back, informal style.

In 2010, The Model was nominated for Best Arts and Culture blog in the Irish Blog Awards. Sadly, we missed out on the honour but the nomination did cement the weblogs reputation as a celebration of everything arts and culture. The blog has also boosted a slew of famous interviewees including Patti Smith, Elizabeth Price and Sean Mc Sweeney, all of whom were interviewed either by young model members or new members of staff because here in The Model, we believe in allowing everyone to share in an opportunity, no matter their age, origins or point of view.

So in honor of our weblog’s 10th birthday, we’re celebrating you, our followers. Thank you for reading and supporting The Model blog over the years. We would also like to thank everyone who has contributed to our blog, be them budding writers or talented photographers. We hope you join us as we continue to grow, inform and have fun!

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

11 Apr. 2018

Sligo Global Kitchen claims Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community Award + New SGK dates

Last Month, Sligo Global Kitchen claimed the prestigious Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community Award. The Model is delighted to see Sligo Global Kitchen recognised for all their hard work and dedication. SGK was awarded the honour by none other than the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, an organisation that celebrates indigenous food producers and organisations who create, make and share great Irish produce and products while helping to maintain Ireland’s outstanding international reputation in food and drink. We think that SGK are fully deserving of this award and congratulate them for their achievement.

SGK grew out of a simple idea; that people living locally in direct provision might appreciate the use of the arts centre’s industrial kitchen to cook and eat together, given that residents cannot cook their own food whilst living in direct provision. Anna Spearman, a studio artist at The Model, reached out to Mabel Chah to liaise with other residents in direct provision and SGK was born. Since its inception, SGK has seen hundreds of friends and strangers gather together to enjoy dishes from Syria, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ireland, Poland and other countries. These communal dinners function to foster connections between the local community and those living in direct provision. Everyone is welcome and the meals are served for free, although donations are received with gratitude. The donations that are collected are then used to fund future SGK events. SGK has been generously funded since 2015 by the Community Foundation for Ireland. Other funding sources include the Communities Integration Fund. Since it’s inception, SGK has served over a thousand people and The Model is proud to have played host to some of their most memorable events.

Since receiving the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community Award, members of SGK have been having their say on how the win has made them feel. ‘I am very happy for the prize we have received, it is a joy to know that the collaboration of all and teamwork has resulted in this award,’ said Arle Bell Gallardo, a member of Sligo Global Kitchen. Mabel Chah, the project co-odinater of SGK, also chimed in with her point of view on the big win. ‘I think it was very rewarding and more so because we don’t do anything with the hope that we will be receiving awards or national recognition,’ said Mabel, ‘We are grateful for The Model opening it’s doors to us and to Sligo sharing in our meals and to the whole nation for taking us in. We are here!’

The next SGK kitchen event takes place in The Model this Saturday, April 14th. This event will have an added twist; as explained on the FB page: ‘We are calling this event Sligo Global Kitchen “All Men”. The men living in direct provision have asked for the ladies to take a break while the men do the cooking. Since the start of the year it’s been mostly the ladies cooking and the daddies babysitting and eating, so it’s time to flip the switch! The men of SGK are loving the idea of serving up some man-made cuisine to the women of SGK and the rest of Sligo on the 14th of April.’ SGK ‘All Men’ will be serving a range of Venezuelan, Bangladeshi, Zimbabwean & Nigerian cuisine. See you there!

SGK has also announced another event set for 3pm., 19th May. More info on this event will be available soon via our social media platforms and website.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

16 Mar. 2018

Cranmore Youth City Print and Zine Project

Earlier this month twenty children aged between 7-11 years of age, together with their parents and local community representatives celebrated the launch of a very special Zine, designed and produced by the children themselves, as part of a collaboration between The Model and artists from PULLED, a collaborative screen print and design studio.

Cranmore Youth City Zine project, facilitated by The Model in partnership with Cranmore Coop, culminated with an exhibition of children and young people’s artwork which is currently on view at The Model, as part of the Sligo Children’s Book Festival 2018.

The selection of artworks brings together a mix of imaginative and inventive printing styles, unique to each young artist’s own creativity. Speaking at the opening, Marie-Louise Blaney, Education Curator said that ”The Model is delighted with the young artists’ work and is proud to have their work on exhibition in the gallery.”

This unique print exhibition showcases over 100 works by 18 young artists from the Cranmore area. The project is part of the Cranmore Co-Op’s ‘Inside and Out’ project which was launched in February 2017, funded by the International Fund for Ireland and such was the success of the first year of the project, the IFI has provided additional funding to extend the project for a further twelve months.

Funded by the International Fund for Ireland, under its Peace Impact Programme, the ‘Inside and Out’ project is designed to empower people of all age groups in the Cranmore housing estate through capacity building and skills development that will enable their involvement in positive projects that will improve their own quality of life as well as the community at large.

Speaking at the launch Ms. Dorothy Clarke, Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this innovative and imaginative project and in particular the children who participated and achieved such an impressive end result. They should be very proud of the fact that their very special Zine will be on exhibition in this world-class visitor centre for everyone to enjoy.”

Emer McFadden, Community Development Worker for the Inside and Out project said: “On behalf of everyone in Cranmore Co-Op and all our partners involved in this project, I would like to thank the International Fund for Ireland most sincerely for their funding support, without which, we could not have undertaken this project.”

“We are delighted with the huge response from young people to the project over the past twelve months and today’s event illustrates the positive benefits of skill sharing and learning to work together. I have no doubt that this project will leave a lasting positive legacy for the people in Cranmore and its environs.”

All images by Frances Muldoon

Posted By

The Model

28 Feb. 2018

Sligo Children's Book Festival 2018

Three of Sligo’s leading cultural organisations have come together once more to host the Sligo Children’s Book Festival, celebrating family literacy and creativity of parents and young children. The Model, Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership and the Hawk’s Well Theatre have created a month long action-packed festival featuring storytelling, theatre, film, visual art, craft and book-making to inspire and entertain children and parents alike!

Sligo Children’s Book Festival will take place from Friday 2nd to Saturday 31st of March, with lots of book-related fun activities for children to enjoy. Events will take place at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, The Model and schools in Sligo. The festival kicks off from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on Friday 2nd of March, with an action packed evening of Roald Dahl themed fun at the Hawk’s Well. There will be dreadly drumming workshops, fluckgungled face-painting, crodsquinkled craft workshops and a biffsquiggled bookshop to launch the month long festival.

From Tuesday 6th to Saturday 31st of March the Youth City Zine exhibition takes place at The Model, presenting the work of Cranmore’s Youth City. Everyone is welcome to the opening on Tuesday 6th of March at 7pm. On Friday 9th and Friday 23rd of March from 4.30 to 6pm creative seven to nine year olds can join Dympna O’Driscoll at the Hawk’s Well to create their very own fantastical dreams in a Dream Jars workshop.

On Sunday 11th and 18th of March from 12.30 to 2pm ArtTrap at The Model provides the perfect space for children to innovate, explore and experiment, using art and craft-making processes with artists Sinéad O’Hanlon and Ana Faye. On Monday 19th of March at 3pm, enjoy the wonderful anarchic work of children’s favourite Roald Dahl with storyteller and artist Wayne O’Connor as famous fairy tales are re-imagined in a suitably revolting manner at the Hawk’s Well.

Monkeyshine Theatre present The Magic Bookshop at The Model on Tuesday 20th at 11am, 1pm & 4pm and Wednesday 21st of March at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 4pm with performances for schools and families. The Magic Bookshop is an immersive experience for everyone over 5 and audiences are invited to bring a gently used book to swap at the book exchange.

On Sunday 25th of March an Easter special Family Day workshop takes place at The Model from 11.30am to 3pm with artists Sinéad O’Hanlon and Ana Faye helping families to make their own hand-printed Easter cards, followed by a secret screening at 2pm.

From Tuesday 27th to Friday 30th of March at 1pm at The Model, lunch time secret screenings for children take place at a pop-up cinema with a range of films adapted from favourite books. On Saturday 31stof March at 2.30pm, the Hawk’s Well Theatre present their Dahlicious Books & Hot Chocolate Club get-togethers for young readers. Children will take part in a gloriumptious craft-making activity and enjoy an entertaining squishous storytelling session with a lickwishy hot chocolate! Suitable for children aged 7-9 and created this event is nearly sold out.

Many of these events have limited availability so advance booking is advised at the venue. For further information and to book events at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, contact their box office on 071 9161518 or online at www.hawkswell.com. For bookings and further information on events taking place in The Model, contact 071 9141405 or info@themodel.ie

Kids’ Own is on tour to schools in the month of March, bringing their archive to books to class groups across the county of Sligo. Schools are invited to spend a morning with writer Mary Branley and artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward exploring the canon of books by kids for kids, and developing their own work in response. Through this programme, Kids’ Own engage 2 – 3 class groups per day. Schools can contact Kids’ Own on 071 912 4945 or visit www.kidsown.ie for more information.

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