Artworks 2023 - Remembering the Future - VISUAL

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art &
The George Bernard Shaw Theatre

Artworks 2023 - Remembering the Future

VISUAL Carlow and Carlow Arts Festival's Open Submission and Art Award

08 Jun - 27 Aug 2023

11am - 5.30pm Tues - Sat, 2pm - 5pm Sun
Tuesday - Sunday

Admission: Free

VISUAL Carlow and Carlow Arts Festival's Open Submission and Art Award.

This year’s edition of Artworks takes the title Remembering the Future. This impossible proposition is designed to raise questions about time and reality, and how these two abstract concepts might be utilised to reflect the world as we see it, or other worlds as we might imagine them. Included are works that address real and imagined histories and futures, using, among other methods: speculative archaeology, mourning processes, traditional crafts, and engagements with the natural world.

The exhibition includes by the first large scale exhibition in a visual art context of the Irish NAMES Project quilts, a series of works made in the 1990s in Dublin to commemorate victims of the AIDS crisis. At this time, in Ireland and elsewhere, there was significant stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. The making of the quilts provided a way of the loved ones of the victims to mourn through making in supportive environment, while honouring the lives and memories of their loved ones. By showing this work now, we remember the work and experience of a community at a time when societal attitudes were less tolerant and ask how we can learn from that history. In the centre of the main gallery is a video featuring the late Mary Shannon, who initiated the Irish NAMES Project in 1990, talking about the history and context of the work.

In the centre of the main gallery is an ongoing embroidery project by a group of local participants under the title Amend an End, which was initiated in response to the Irish NAMES Project. Their collectively decorated tablecloth will be further developed over the course of the exhibition. Visitors are invited to contribute their own patches which will be sewn into the final piece. More information on this project is available in the central space.

Alongside the Irish NAMES Project quilts, a new commission of work in Sinéad Kennedy’s ongoing Grand Land project also utilises craft methodologies as a way of telling stories through textiles. Grand Land is a speculative world building exercise whose inhabitants pass down histories through banners and flags. In the Link gallery, Kennedy’s curtains swathe the gallery in a new light; objects from another world. In the Studio Gallery, Kennedy’s flags are paired with Brianna Hurley’s paintings of the fantasy planet Castalia, an world that acts as the backdrop of the fight for freedom of an oppressed people, with the artist as their ally.

The exhibition includes work from a diverse range of local, national and international artists working in a variety of media drawn from the Artworks open call. Together, these works highlight the importance of both remembering the past, and imagining the future.



Annabel Konig

Amend an End

Brianna Hurley

Irish Names Project

Sinéad Kennedy

Selected from open call:

Áine Byrne

Amna Walayat

Banbha McCann

Barry Fitzgerald

Bonnie Kavanagh

Caoimhe Kilfeather

Cathy Hayes

Clíodhna Ni Anluain

Coilin O'Connell and Michelle Doyle

Daniel Caulfield Sriklad and Siranee Caulfield Sriklad

Eva Lynch

Ishmael Claxton

John Conway

Lauren Conway

Maria Tanner

Mayumi Nakabayashi

Mette Roche

Michelle Hall


Neva Elliot

Olivia Normile

Pat Curran

Roisin McGuigan

Ruth Clinton and Niamh Moriarty

Saidhbhín Gibson

Samar Nezamabad

Stéphane Béna Hanley

Tom Fitzgerald

Vanessa Donoso López

William Bock