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Home » News » Contemporary Irish Art Exhibition Curated by Kristin Dowell Opens January 25 at MoFA

Contemporary Irish Art Exhibition Curated by Kristin Dowell Opens January 25 at MoFA

Published January 5, 2024

Associate Professor Kristin Dowell is the curator of Talamh agus Teanga: Land and Language in Contemporary Irish Art, which will be on display at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts from January 25th to May 18th, 2024. The first exhibition of Irish art at MoFA, Talamh agus Teanga (pronounced “Tall-uv awe-gus tain-gah”) means “Land and Language” and is a way for the community to see how artists engage the Irish language in contemporary creative practice to reflect on our interconnected worlds. This multidisciplinary exhibition considers relationships between people, language, land, and sea, through the work of ten Irish artists. Gathering artists who are both native speakers and learners of Irish, the exhibition explores the ethos of fite fuaite, the Irish phrase meaning “interwoven or inextricably connected,” through visual art, dance, film, installation, and performance.

Dr. Dowell is a proud speaker of the endangered Irish language with family ties to the townland of Gallach/Castleblakeney in County Galway. This exhibition is the culmination of two years of curatorial research involving numerous virtual and in-person studio visits with artists, research in archives and collections in Ireland, including the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Irish Visual Arts Library, and immersive language work on the beautiful island of Inis Meáin. Curated with the ethical approach of meitheal, the Irish word referencing collaborative work on a project, Dowell has worked alongside each of the artists as well as MoFA staff, including Curatorial Assistant Annie Booth (MA in MCHS alumna 2018), to create this exhibition.

Once on the cusp of being lost, today, the Irish language is experiencing a powerful resurgence. Talamh agus Teanga honors the language and artists who are part of this resurgence through a celebration of the rich vitality of Irish language, art, and culture. The exhibition includes Irish translations of all object labels as well as QR codes that visitors can scan to hear Jane Ní Luasa, native Irish speaker from the Muscraí Gaeltacht in West Cork, reading the Irish language labels.

Artists featured in the exhibition: Kari Cahill, Ceara Conway, Liadin Cooke, Dorothy Cross, Miriam de Búrca, Katie Holten, Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín, Méadhbh O’Connor, Éimear O’Keane, and Kathy Scott, The Trailblazery.

Please join us for an opening reception at MoFA on January 25th, 2024 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, free and open to the public with light refreshments provided.

For a full list of events and programming connected to the exhibition visit this page.

Images, TOP: Méadhbh O’Connor. Studio shot, 2023. Preparations of Biosystem ahead of the forthcoming exhibition at MoFA. CENTER: Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín and her father Pádraig Ó Duinnín in rehearsal for Bád Shiobhán (2021). Photographer Claire Keogh. BOTTOM: Miriam de Búrca. The Land Remembers for You. 2018. Acrylic ink on watercolor paper. 12.5 inches x 9.5 inches. Installation view courtesy of Dr. Kristin Dowell.

This exhibition is sponsored by the State of Florida through the Division of Arts and Culture, the FSU Council on Research + Creativity, Culture Ireland, FSU’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Center, the Department of Art History, and an Emigrant Support Programme Heritage Grant through the Government of Ireland’s Global Irish Program. Additional funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.