An Post announces GPO Witness History Public Art commissions.


An Post has announced that the recipients of the GPO: Witness History Public Art Commissions are Dublin Dance Festival - which will develop six new dance solos titled ‘Embodied’ - and a visual arts collaboration between artists Alanna O’Kelly, Brian Hand and Orla Ryan - who will produce a contemporary art work titled ‘Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall’.

Through an Open Call earlier this year, individuals and organisations across the Arts were invited to respond to the 1916 Proclamation and its contemporary resonance.   Barney Whelan, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs thanked everyone who took part in the Open Call process.  “The commissions now move into the development phase and we look forward to sharing them with visitors to our new GPO: Witness History Centre from April next year,” he added.

GPO: Witness History, currently under construction in the eastern courtyard of Dublin’s GPO will be an engaging, interactive visitor attraction bringing history to life through technology, video and authentic artefacts.  Opening at Easter 2016, its special effects, soundscapes and heartfelt stories of real people in extraordinary circumstances will captivate visitors of all ages and interests.

‘Embodied’ by Dublin Dance Festival is a series of six new dance solos by female choreographers Jazmín Chiodi, Sibéal Davitt, junk ensemble (Jessica Kennedy & Megan Kennedy), Liv O’Donoghue, Jessie Keenan and Emma O’Kane.  These ‘physical proclamations’ will be performed in the GPO and will be directed by leading choreographer Liz Roche. Photographer Luca Truffarelli will work with the choreographers to document the dance works for an exhibition.

Benjamin Perchet, Director of Dublin Dance Festival said: “We are honoured and excited that Dance has been given the opportunity to respond to this seminal moment. We are delighted that the selected female artists will present their unique and contrasting interpretations of the Proclamation to a diverse audience. We would like to thank the team at An Post and the GPO: Witness History for this important public art commission.”

‘Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall’ is a collaboration between visual artists, Alanna O’Kelly, Brian Hand and Orla Ryan. The project comprises a series of art works that will include performance, sound and artists’ publication.

Orla Ryan, on behalf of the collaborating visual artists, said about ‘Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall’: “Our collaboration begins with the symbolism of the Stormy Petrel, the world’s smallest seabird, as a metaphor for someone who is an avatar of change and whose appearance announces an oncoming storm. In 1916 the stormy petrel was an international symbol of revolution and the anti- colonial imagination. We are looking at the role of women couriers as ‘human telegraphs’, who memorised the Proclamation on their journeys out of Dublin on Easter Monday morning. Once the rebellion had started, getting back to Dublin was not straightforward".

An Post appointed curators Ruairí Ó Cuív and Valerie Connor to advise and manage the GPO: Witness History Public Art commissions.

GPO: Witness History

Opening Easter 2016, An Post’s GPO: Witness History centre at the GPO will be an engaging, interactive visitor attraction bringing history to life through technology, video, sound and authentic artefacts.  Its special effects, soundscapes and stories of real people caught up in extraordinary circumstances, will captivate people of age-groups and interests, from the curious, young, international visitor to the well-informed history enthusiast. 



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