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Sinners and Citizens

Sinners and Citizens

October 15, 2021 @ 11:00 am October 24, 2021 @ 11:00 pm IST

Virtual Arts Exhibitions featuring artworks created as part of the State of the Art: Nation State as Both Violator and Protector of Human Rights project. This exhibition runs for the duration of the festival, from 15 – 24 October. Hosted by Smashing Times.

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Smashing Times are delighted to launch the Sinners and Citizens online exhibition, hosted on the Smashing Times Virtual Gallery.  ‘Sinners and Citizens’ is taken from a quote from Seamus Heaney:

“As writers and readers, as sinners and citizens, our realism and our aesthetic sense make us wary of crediting the positive note. The very gunfire braces us and the atrocious confers a worth upon the effort which it calls forth to confront it.”

This virtual exhibition features artwork created as part of State of the Art: The Nation State as both Violator and Protector of Human Rights, a  project implemented by Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality and supported by the Arts Council. The project brings together fourteen diverse artists to engage in creative practice and research on national and international best practice examples of arts and human rights from across Europe,  linked to sociological and anthropological standpoints and a study of ‘art as activism’ from the personal to the political. 

The  artists have created a series of showcase artworks to be presented for the 2021 Dublin Arts and Human Rights festival both live – at the Chester Beatty and dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum – and virtually as part of this visual art exhibition and film installation screened via the new Smashing Times Virtual Art gallery. The artworks are inspired by the theme State of the Art: The Nation State as both Violator and Protector of Human Rights and by the UN Declaration of Human Rights,  intersecting with equality, human rights and diversity and created under the framework of ‘Art as a Place of Performative Remembrance’ and ‘Art as Activism and Transformation’.

Artists have met online and in person  throughout the year to take part in Artist Exchanges  where they engaged in a variety of activities  as well as giving presentations on their own work, as well as sharing their inspirations and meeting with representatives of a variety of human rights organisations and government officials, including Front Line Defenders, ICCL, INAR, former Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu and Cllr Carly Bailey.

The online exhibition features  artworks by visual artists Amna Walayat, Hina Khan, Noelle McAlinden and Sinead McCann, dance performances by John Scott, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, music by Elkin (Carla Ryan and Ellen O Mahony), writings by Féilim James, Mary Moynihan and Geraldine McAlinden and artworks from theatre and film artists Mary Moynihan, Geraldine McAlinden, Áine O Hara, Michelle Costello,  Michael McCabe and Pamela McQueen, exploring themes of  gender equality, migration, racism, feminism,  disability rights, fragility, resilience, and more. Experience a kaleidoscope of visual art, theatre, dance, poetry, creative writing alongside responses by artists to key themes.

The exhibition features An Agreement of Silence by Sinead McCann

An Agreement of Silence is a new video artwork created and directed by Sinead McCann. It explores women’s experience and the alliance of the church, the state and the broader community in the confinement, exploitation and abuse of women in Magdalene laundries in Ireland. Monologue by writer Féilim James, movement direction by Kate Finnegan with dancers Vitor Bassi, Siobhán O’Connor and Mufaro Gambe, voice over by Michelle Costello, original composition and music by ELKIN.

State of the Art: Nation State as both Violator and Protector of Human Rights

State of the Art: The Nation State as both Violator and Protector of Human Rights is a year-long project curated by Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality with a range of artists and partners, funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.

The State of the Art project brings together fourteen diverse artists through six collaborative artist exchanges and ongoing artistic engagement. Artists come together over one year, January to December 2021,  to explore, share and engage in  creative arts practice for human rights and to create a showcase of new work to be presented to a public audience. The artists include visual artists, theatre and film makers, dance artists, poets, writers, multi-disciplinary artists,  musicians and singer-songwriters.  Artists share, support and inspire each other in creative arts practice for human rights, equality and diversity –promoting experiential professional development and creativity.

The artists are:

Mary Moynihan, writer, director, theatre and film maker, Artistic Director of Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality

Pamela McQueen, dramaturg

Carla Ryan, actor, singer-songwriter

Noelle McAlinden, Visual Artist, Creative Advisor, Mental Health Campaigner, Curator and Cultural Broker

Áine O’Hara, visual artist, theatre maker

Geraldine McAlinden, writer, actor, director

Hina Khan, visual artist

Michael McCabe, actor, director, drama facilitator

Féilim James, writer

Amna Walayat, visual artist

Michelle Costello, actor, visual artist

Sinead McCann, visual artist

John Scott, dancer, choreographer, Artistic Director of Irish Modern Dance Theatre

Ellen O’Mahony, singer-songwriter

Read the artists biogs here.

Organisations and Funders

Venue Information

Link to virtual gallery launches on 15 October.