Find: Mayo County Council
Produced by Mayo County Council in partnership with the Linenhall Arts Centre, FIND was an exciting artistic venture presenting a series of temporary artworks/installations/events in and around the town of Castlebar. The Linenhall Arts Centre acted as a central focus for participating artists and audience alike.
March 2014 saw the launch of this public art programme, created by six County Mayo based artists, including a performance and re-enactment of a tug of war that used to be an annual event for workers at the Old Hat Factory in the town. The artist searched out descendants of the hat factory to take part, along with students from a local school. Other artworks to be found included a series of miniature drawings in business environments, an outdoor film projection, a building that lit up and interacted with passers by, a side street crammed with flags and text relating to the old Linen industry and the old Castlebar Star Cinema rediscovered and represented in a very unexpected way via innovative visual technology.
Local artists were encouraged via an open competition to consider and propose discreet or ‘hidden’ works that will be ‘unravelled’, or be revealed, via the launch event tour and maps encouraging the public to seek out the works.
The Mayo artists who were selected for the commissions are Nuala Clarke (with Crystal Gandrud), Alice Dixon (with Anthony Champa), Joanna Hopkins, Chris Leach, Amanda Rice and Ian Wieczorek. As well as the support from the Public Art Coordinator and Linenhall, the artists were mentored by high profile artists, including Alice Maher, during the process of developing the work.
An accompanying exhibition at The Linenhall exposed the studio work and processes behind the production of these artworks. The gallery space in effect became a living installation of artist’s studios during the month of the exhibition and audience members throughout April had the opportunity to observe and meet the artists working in the space.
FIND won the 2014 Allianz Business to Arts award for Best Commissioning Practice in Ireland. Full details of the project, the artists and their artworks are available via www.findartproject.com