ASSEMBLIES first and foremost is a gathering or series of gatherings; a number of productive, exploratory, participatory and public intercessions, shaped to reflect upon the disparate elements that make up the cultural community we live in.

They are designed and programmed to unfold later in 2021 when once again will have the opportunity to congregate and converse. These Assemblies may take a variety of forms but can be thought of as intensive, active, participatory, public and inter-institutional ‘town hall’ meetings, led by individuals from the Irish and international artworld, each exploring the fundamental conditions of art making from their own historical perspectives.

The flourishing of art practice in a particular locale – city or region is dependent upon the existence of certain conditions. Some of these conditions are elemental, matters of economics or infrastructure; some relate to education, or even simple geography, but in almost all cases there is the unquantifiable human element.

We wish to bring people together as a way of investigating these territories for art production both publicly and inclusively. We want to create opportunities for discourse and conversation after a year of isolation and remove, and at its heart ask questions about what our futures might be.

Assemblies Live Panel Discussion & Launch held on Weds 16th Dec 6:00pm


Cecily Brennan – Artist & Activist
Matt Packer
– Director of EVA International
Joanne Laws
– Writer and Features Editor of The Visual Artists’ News Sheet
Siobhán Geoghegan
– Director of Common Ground

Four esteemed Irish art practitioners, experts in their relative fields of practice took part in this panel discussion on Weds 16th dec 2020 helping us to unpack what constituents might be necessary for an active, critical and creative community under four fundamental conditions or rubrics –

  • Artists & Making
  • Galleries & Institutions
  • Judgment & Criticism
  • Art & the Social

After the four presentations there was a chaired discussion held by Dobz O’Brien where the attendees were folded into the conversation through their invited questions

Assemblies will being in full throughout 2021 where the full Programme will be announced.

More about our Assemblies Panelists

Cecily Brennan’s career has spanned three decades. She has made work in a wide range of media painting, sculpture, printmaking, sound and film. In step with her art practice and often overlapping it she has agitated for fair treatment and payment of artists and the vindication of women’s reproductive rights.
Brennan was Director of the Project Arts Centre between 1983 – 86, She was one of the founding members of The Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment with Alice Maher, Eithne Jordan and poet Paula Meehan. She has been a member of Aosdána since 1991.

Matt Packer is the Director / CEO of EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art. Previous roles include Director, CCA Centre For Contemporary Art Derry-Londonderry; Associate Director, Treignac Projet; Curator of Exhibitions & Projects, Lewis Glucksman Gallery.

He was part of the selection committee for the British representation at the Venice Biennale 2017 and is an advisor on the What Could / Should Curating Do? educational programme in Belgrade. He is co-founder of Occasional Groundworks – a network of biennials that are rethinking the biennial model – and contributes a regular column on themes of internationalism for the Visual Artists’ News Sheet.   

Joanne Laws is an arts writer, researcher and editor based in County Roscommon. She is Features Editor of The Visual Artists’ News Sheet – Ireland’s main printed publication for the visual arts – where she oversees the commissioning of new writing for an Irish arts readership. Joanne is a regular contributor to a range of Irish and international publications, including Art Monthly, ArtReview and Frieze. She was Assistant Editor of the Derek Jarman monograph, Protest! published in 2020 by the Irish Museum of Modern Art in partnership with Manchester Art Gallery and Thames & Hudson. Joanne is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and has previously developed extended essays, research reports and policy documents for numerous galleries and arts organisations.

Siobhán Geoghegan is the Director of Common Ground an arts development organisation based in Inchicore, Dublin. Siobhán was employed in 1999 to set it up with other local activists. 

Common Ground advocates for new cultural models of equality. It’s artistic practice and programming range from music to the visual arts in studio 468 and across Dublin 8 in local community settings in collaboration and partnership with community development projects, artists, youth projects, after schools and other cultural partners. In 2019 Common Ground moved into a new organisational base with a live/work residency programme in the Lodge House at Goldenbridge Cemetery, Inchicore.