Radical ReThink | Conversations in Contemporary Art Practice

Thursday 28th November. 7.30pm

The conversations aim to create dialog and to provoke critical thinking around art and culture and the contested ‘value’ of culture in society. The title of the programme aims to give the artists presenting, a guide to frame the presentation of their work and talk about their art practice and how that connects with the world they live in. It provides an opportunity to talk about their unique approach to their practice, how it has changed and developed. How does the work interrogate the world you live in and what has been the driving force in making work?

The format for the evening of the talk will be two different artists giving a 20 minute presentation; one artist will be from outside the county and the other will be a local artist. Afterwards there will be a discussion with both artists and a Q&A with the audience chaired by Bernadette Hopkins. We will be asking artists from different disciplines to present showing diversity in art forms and practice.


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Brian Maguire

Since the very beginning of his career in the 1970s, Brian Maguire has approached painting as an act of solidarity. He operates a truly engaged practice, compelled by the raw realities of humanity’s violence against itself, and the potential for justice. Maguire’s preoccupations draw him to the margins of the art world—alternative space, prisons, women’s shelters, and psychiatric institutions—making shows in traditional gallery and museum spaces something of a rarity. Maguire’s most recent paintings directly confront issues of migration, displacement and human dignity in the face of the current global unrest. They are some of his most nuanced and ambitious to date, which he has crafted with larger brushes and thinned-down acrylic on canvas. He works slowly, using photographic sources, searching for that point where illustration ceases and art begins. This growing contrast between the seductive painterly aesthetic and the subject matter only adds to the potential impact of these formidable canvases.In 2018 Maguire released his newest publication that displays a substantial new artist monographm surveying his career to date. Maguire has shown extensively in Europe and the US, also participating in shows in Korea, China and Japan.

Current and Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Homelessness, Shirley Fiterman Art Centre at BMCC,City University of New York, New York, USA, (September 2020); From Juarez to Washington / War Changes It’s Address, American University Museum, Washington DC, USA, (June/August 2020); War Changes It’s Address, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA, (February 2020); Scenes of Absence, Rubin Center, Texas University, TX, USA, (26 September– 13 December 2019); Escenarios de ausencia, Art Museum Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, (20 September – 24 November). Other solo exhibitions include War Changes Its Address: The Aleppo Paintings, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, (2018); Concerned, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2018); J’Accuse!, The Void, Derry (2015–2016); The Absence of Justice Demands This Act, Fergus McCaffrey, New York (2015); X Espacio de Arte, Mexico City (2013); European Parliament, Brussels (2012) and Cultuurcentrum de Werft, Geel, Belgium (2012).

Maguire is represented in the collections of Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; Museum of Fine Art Houston, Texas; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands; Alvar Alto Museum, Finland.



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Siobhan McDonald

Siobhán McDonald is an artist in residence in the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin (2017-2019) working with world-leading research facilities such as The European Space Agency (ESA); The JRC European Commission and The European Research Council to explore ecology in light of current ecological concerns. Across these research labs, she pursues knowledge to ask questions about the structure and history of the earth. Her art practice calls on notions of what is still unknown to science, exploring the Anthropocene and the recent consequences of our treatment of nature. She is interested in the changeable nature of landmass, historical events and their interconnection to time. In her studio, she works with a diverse group including historians and scientists. Her works manifest in many forms including painting, drawing, film and sound. 

Siobhan McDonald holds a Masters in Visual Arts Practices from IADT. In 2018 she received the Trinity Creative Challenge Award from Trinity College Dublin. In 2017 she received a Bursary from The Arts Council of Ireland and was the recipient of a Creative Ireland Award and a Culture Ireland, GB18 2018 award. 

Recent and upcoming shows include Hidden Monuments, Limerick City Art Gallery, 2019; The Dutchese Museum, Dresden Shine-on-me; When plants remember; The National Trust-Fox Talbot Museum, UK, 2018; Disappearing Worlds, Taylor Galleries 2018; Crystalline, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, 2017; A Change in the Signal, Highlanes, Ireland, 2017; Core, The Historic Seismic Museum, Germany,2013; Seism, The Dock Carrick-on-Shannon, 2012; Eye of the Storm, The Galway Arts Centre, 2012; Rhythm, The Drawing Project, IADT, 2012; Moon; Messenger, Vangard Gallery, Cork, 2007; The Royal Hibernian Gallery, Dublin, 2000.

McDonald is represented in many collections, both public and private, in Ireland and America such as Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, The Ulster Museum and University College Dublin. Her projects are supported by The Institute of Physics, Culture Ireland, The Arts Council and The European Research Council.



Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny
Admission Free / Everyone Welcome