In June 2013 Mayo County Council Public Art Manager, Gaynor Seville facilitated a series of talks and workshops covering the public art commissioning process and proposal writing. An open call to Mayo-based artists was publicised via the local press, Linenhall Arts Centre website and the V.A.I website/e bulletin. The artists’ brief contained an overview of the project, location, budget, time-frame and selection criteria. Marie Farrell (Director of Linenhall Arts Centre) and FIND mentors Alice Maher and Aideen Barry assessed the submissions. Successful applicants were notified in September 2013.
FIND was a public art initiative comprising a series of temporary artworks, installations, and events around the town of Castlebar, Co Mayo. This project was the first collaboration of the Linenhall Arts Centre and the Mayo County Council Public Art Programme, curated by Gaynor Seville. An open call to Mayo-based artists was advertised, and the 6 shortlisted artists (and artistic duos) were Nuala Clarke & Crystal Gandrud, Alice Dixon & Anthony Champa, Joanna Hopkins, Chris Leach, Amanda Rice and Ian Wieczorek.
Artists were encouraged to consider discreet or ‘hidden’ works that would be ‘unravelled’, or revealed, via the event tour, and maps, encouraging the audience to 'search out' the work. The works were installed within walking distance of each other and found via the maps included in the brochure or by attending the guided artist tours. The artists were mentored and supported by artists Alice Maher and Aideen Barry during the development and realisation of their ideas.
The series of temporary public artworks was accompanied by an exhibition at The Linenhall (which functioned as the artists’ studio space for the duration of the project), artist and mentor talks, and a walking tour. FIND’s outcomes encompassed performance, film projection, installation, interactive light displays, historical re-enactment and site-specific miniature cityscapes.
Nuala Clarke & Crystal Gandrud - 'Woven Found'
‘Woven Found’ was an installation of linen flags, installed in Castle Street, celebrating the boom times of the linen industry in Castlebar.
Exterus - 'Between the Raindrops'
Collaborative duo Exterus created a light-based installation that reactivated the façade of an unoccupied building. Visible from twilight onwards, and triggered by passers-by, the piece invited the public to notice the ‘lost architecture’ and engage with it in some way.
Joanna Hopkins conducted archival research into the history of the Star Picture Palace - a silent cinema on Main Street that closed in 1923. Hopkins also commissioned a musical piece by Deirdre Gavin, which was performed in the old cinema.
Chris Leach created a series of miniature paintings featuring aerial views of Castlebar, which he installed in shop windows and public buildings throughout the town.
Amanda Rice - 'Live Tug of War'
Amanda Rice worked with former employees of Western Hats Ltd. (1942- 1981) to compile a body of research on the former company. Following the discovery of a photograph documenting the All Ladies Tug-of-War of 1958, she facilitated a public re-enactment (The Mall, March 29th, 2014), pitting a group of students from St. Joseph’s secondary school against Ireland’s strongest man Paul Roberts.
Ian Wieczorek - 'Everything That Rises Must Converge'
Ian Wieczorek projected his film work ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ in the passageway linking the foyer of the Linenhall Arts Centre with Linenhall Street. The installation presented what appeared to be a disembodied regenerating flame, but was in fact footage of a torrent of water.