The Hugh Lane’s ‘Street Singer’ hits right note at Pavee Point

The sculpture ‘Street Singer’ by renowned Irish sculptor Jerome Connor (1874-1943) was visited by Travellers, artists, curators and members of the public at Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre today.

The art work is on loan from the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and is the first time that such a loan has taken place.  The exhibition is part of ‘Traveller Collection’ a collaborative art project.

 “It’s great to see this artwork here,” said Pavee Point Co Director Martin Collins “And shows that Traveller organisations have a strong role to play in promoting Traveller culture.”

“The exhibit highlights an aspect of Traveller culture – singing – that is still very much alive today.  We know from the Dept of Folklore, UCD that Traveller singers and musicians have made a huge contribution to Irish traditional music.  Traveller Mary Collins kicked off the event by singing a traditional song.  And Imogen Gunner kindly treated us to some music and singing.

Artist Seamus Nolan
Imogen Gunner

Seamus Nolan, one of Ireland’s foremost artists working in collaborative arts practice, was inspired by the recognition of Traveller ethnicity by the Irish government last year for this socially engaged commission.  “With the recognition of ethnicity I though what that might mean – as a culture that is marginalised and excluded how does Traveller culture now become visible?”

Rosaleen McDonagh speaks about how the history or racism against Travellers must be included in a Traveller archive.

Rosaleen McDonagh, artist and Traveller, who spoke at a discussion in Pavee Point today about the project said: “Travellers have always been an integral part of the cannon of Irish art and literature.  Historically the space between art and allegory is ambiguous – resistance, representation has been part of our Community’s narrative.”

‘Traveller Collection’ also includes an exhibition at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane that runs until September.  This exhibit features paintings by Mick O’Dea from Pavee Point’s Martin Folan collection.  It also unveils archival material from Irish Travelling People: a Resource Collection borrowed from the Special Collections of Ulster University.

While on display in the Gallery, the material will be scanned and the digitised files then becoming part of an online platform dedicated to Traveller culture  Films on Traveller culture chosen by the artist will also feature.

Attendees from CAPPs #Practice and Power conference

Jessica O’Donnell Head of Education and Community Outreach at the Hugh Lane said “It will be fascinating to see how the idea of an ongoing collaborative process of enquiry will be activated during the exhibition and manifested far beyond this.”

Traveller Collection runs at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane until the 22nd September and online at WWW.TRAVELLERCOLLECTION.IE

‘Street Singer’ arrives at Pavee Point. It’s the one in the box!