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Shaping Identities Together

Press Release

Shaping Identities Together at the National Print Museum

Colin Martin – Eoin Mac Lochlainn – Hughie O’Donoghue – Geraldine O’Reilly – Robert Russell

15 August – 13 October (free admission)

Shaping Identities Together is a major celebration of the creation of Irish identity in Europe.

The idea for this exhibition originally came from the gardens of the Irish College in Leuven, now home to the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, where roughly carved letters from the seventeenth-century printing press were discovered under the earth. Five artists were invited to celebrate the history of the Institute, and to explore the importance of Leuven in the dissemination of ideas through words. The artists selected, Colin Martin, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Hughie O’Donoghue, Geraldine O’Reilly and Robert Russell, have all engaged with the idea of the past in their artistic practice. The works which they have created for this exhibition, in print, paint and video, reflect the individual histories of those who lived at the college, as well as the histories and journeys of their books, and the impact which they have had on countless people throughout the centuries.

Books and manuscripts were central to the lives of the Irish Franciscans, who established colleges across Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They compiled the great history of Ireland – the famed Annals of the Four Masters – from the many manuscripts they collected, and in their European libraries, they collected books on topics as diverse as astrology and the history of China. The typeface for printing in Irish was also first developed by the friars of St. Anthony’s College in Leuven. Based on the script of medieval Irish scribes, it is instantly recognizable and completely unique. The book collections of the Franciscans were scattered across the Continent during periods of political and religious upheaval. Some were lost, while others were stored in St. Isidore’s College in Rome, until they were moved to Ireland. In 2000, a collection of rare books and manuscripts was transferred to University College Dublin in a unique partnership between the University and the Irish Franciscans, one of the most significant donations ever made to an Irish university.

Shaping Identities Together opened at the Institute for Ireland in Europe, Leuven in May 2013 and now moves to the National Print Museum, Dublin. It is a result of the collaboration between the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, the Franciscan Order, the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute at UCD and the National Print Museum. It is supported by the Franciscan Order and Culture Ireland, and forms part of celebrations to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

An exhibition catalogue is available for purchase from the Museum Shop.

Notes to editor

The National Print Museum collects, documents, preserves, exhibits, interprets and makes accessible the material evidence of printing craft and fosters associated skills of the craft in Ireland. Opened in 1996, the Museum is a place for printers, historians, students and the public to learn how printing developed and brought information, in all its forms, to the world. The Museum is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht and is fully accredited under The Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland. On exhibit is a representative display of the equipment from the rich centuries-old printing heritage. Museum activities include: exhibitions, tours, workshops, lectures, outreach, demonstration days and other special events.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 09.00-17.00, Saturday – Sunday 14.00-17.00, closed bank holiday weekends.

National Print Museum

Beggars Bush Barracks

Haddington Road

Dublin 4

+353(0)16603770

www.nationalprintmuseum.ie

For more information, artists biographies or images please contact carlamarrinan[@]nationalprintmuseum.ie

Imperfect: Letterpress x 3

Imperfect: Letterpress x 3 is a trio exhibition featuring work from Joey Hannaford, University of West Georgia, Mervi Pakaste, Kansas State University and Jeff Pulaski, Wichita State University. In their letterpress work, they seek to extend their design processes beyond the computer screen. Instead of strictly imposing order, they try to utilize the letterpress medium in ways that encourage interpretation, spontaneity and improvisation. The seductive embossing of the page and textural qualities of the prints add unique qualities to the end results. The physical letterforms become an equal partner in the process as their age and history are revealed. Through this traditional form of printing they tell new stories, in a modern context. Despite working with a common process, each one has a dedication to express an individual voice.

10 April – 31 May 2013
Free admission

 

Imperfect: Letterpress x 3

Imperfect: Letterpress x 3 is a trio exhibition featuring work from Joey Hannaford, University of West Georgia, Mervi Pakaste, Kansas State University and Jeff Pulaski, Wichita State University. In their letterpress work, they seek to extend their design processes beyond the computer screen. Instead of strictly imposing order, they try to utilize the letterpress medium in ways that encourage interpretation, spontaneity and improvisation. The seductive embossing of the page and textural qualities of the prints add unique qualities to the end results. The physical letterforms become an equal partner in the process as their age and history are revealed. Through this traditional form of printing they tell new stories, in a modern context. Despite working with a common process, each one has a dedication to express an individual voice.

April – May 2013

Free admission

Playboys, Paycocks & Playbills

Abbey Theatre poster design from the 1970s and 1980s

 

Playboys, Paycocks and Playbills is a wonderful tribute to the talents of two graphic artists associated with the Abbey Theatre in the 1970s and 1980s, Kevin Scally and Brendan Foreman. The exhibition not only represents a changing time in graphic design and the representation of the Abbey Theatre, but also represents different styles of printing and a broad range of productions, actors, directors, costume and set designers.

The exhibition first went on display at the National Print Museum (Dublin) in September 2008 and continues to tour the country to venues such as the Pearse Museum, Glor, and Draiocht. For information on hiring the exhibition, please contact us.

Analogue

Photographic exhibition by Fionn McCann

The Chapel is one of the Museum’s most valued assets and is made up of active retired printers and typesetters, who demonstrate and maintain the Collection. Analogue is a photographic exhibition depicting members of this Chapel at work in the Museum.

This is a semi-permanent exhibition.

From Colum Cille to Colmcille

17 October – 2 December 2012

This exhibition, curated by Dr Dermot McGuinne, tells the story of the evolution of the Colum Cille type through a selection from the two hundred or more letters on the subject that passed between O Lochlainn and Stanley Morison of the Monotype Corporation. They demonstrate a remarkable degree of detailed design consideration including reference to the possible involvement by Eric Gill in the project, while also providing evidence of the strong friendship that developed between the two men.

The exhibition at the Museum included items on loan from a number of sources including University College Dublin, National University Maynooth, and the Science Museum (London), and was made possible through the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht’s Mobility of Collection Scheme.

Ulysses Strands

13 June -26 August 2012

 

Ulysses Strands is a series of letterpress posters designed and printed by Jamie Murphy and Mary Plunkett at Distillers Press, National College of Art and Design, based on tweet-length excerpts from Ulysses, chosen by Steve Cole. Cole is a volunteer at the Baltimore Museum of Industry’s print shop (Maryland, USA) and creator of LiberateUlysses. Together, their vision was to create a typographical exploration of the richness and complexity of Joyce’s work through variations in type, composition and colour. The exhibition of the handset wood type posters marked the first Bloomsday since the copyright on James Joyce’s works expired earlier this year. Each poster is in a limited edition of 20.

Artists’ Books and Posters

Artists’ Books and Posters from the National Irish Visual Arts Library, NCAD
13 June – 26 August 2012

The Artists’ Books Collection and the Irish Posters Collection are some of NIVAL’s most fascinating and diverse groupings of art work and documentation.  For the purpose of the exhibition, members of Curatorial Committee of the National Print Museum were invited to hand select artists’ books and posters from the NIVAL collection. The Committee Members were naturally drawn to items with interesting print and design qualities such as a Jan de Fouw’s poster Fly Aer Lingus, Britain, (c. 1960) and Mary Plunkett’s award winning limited edition book Night Prayer: a contemporary Book of Hours by letterpress and print (2011).

Ireland: Alphabet Series

A Cork Printmakers Travelling Exhibition at the National Print Museum
24 February – 13 April 2012

This exhibition consisted of 26 prints by 26 artists, each work taking a letter of the alphabet as a starting point. Participating artists were invited to investigate what a specifically Irish alphabet should look like. Artists were encouraged to be humorous, confessional, subtle, ironic, iconic or controversial; and to take on cultural and economic challenges that are relevant to contemporary Ireland. The result is a rich, varied exhibition, executed in a range of styles and printmaking techniques, and tackling subjects such as child abuse, the economic state of Ireland, seminal moments in Ireland’s rich history, as well as more personal histories, while a number of artists concentrated on the aesthetic of the letter itself, it’s very curve and line.  The exhibition first went on display in the Irish Arts Centre, New York.

Contact Us

National Print Museum,
Garrison Chapel,
Beggars Bush Barracks,
Haddington Road,
Dublin 4,
Ireland

T: +353 1 660 3770
E: info@nationalprintmuseum.ie