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Mairéad McClean appointed as new Beyond 2022 Artist-in-Residence under the Decade of Centenaries Programme

23 April 2021 - The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin T.D. has announced 5 selected artists-in-residence under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Programme.

Mairéad McClean has been appointed as the artist-in-residence in partnership with the Beyond 2022 project at Trinity College Dublin and based at the Trinity Long Room Hub.

Beyond 2022 is an all-island and international collaboration which will create the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland, a reconstruction of the Record Treasury destroyed in 1922.

Combining historical research, archival discovery and technical innovation, the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland will offer a lasting and meaningful legacy from the Decade of Centenaries, democratising access to invaluable records and illuminating seven centuries of Irish history.

Mairéad’s film project aims to look at the value and importance of the people who reclaim the records and the process of restoration of the archives, and how this “can help advance our thinking, our creativity, in order to build a better and more inclusive future.” Further to capturing “fragmentary snippets” of the salvaged material, she is also hoping to include the parts of the archive that might never be fully recreated or wholly restored and to include in the film the memory of those lost records.

Born in Beragh, Co. Tyrone, Mairéad works across film, video, sound and photography using material from a diverse range of sources. Found footage, historical and family archives, filmed performances and televisual media, appear in many of her single screen films and multi-media installations produced over the past 25 years. Her work often features ordinary people as they cope with forms of control. Whether the camera follows actual events or follows enactments by a performer, people are seen to challenge or circumvent authority or to improvise with their own actions. Memory, and how and why we remember has been explored in many of her short experimental films.

She has received a number of awards for her work in the UK, Ireland, France and Russia. She was commissioned by The Wapping Project, London in 2018 and The National Museums of Ireland in 2015.  Her video work No More (2013), exploring questions around the introduction of internment without trial in Northern Ireland in 1971, won the inaugural MAC International Art Prize in 2014. No More was acquired for the National Collection of Ireland by The Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2017.

Announcing the 5 selected artists, Minister Catherine Martin said:

“As we embark on the final, most sensitive phase of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023, these artists can bring some of our rich primary source material into the public domain in engaging and imaginative ways. Artistic and creative endeavours under this partnership and others will have an important role in encouraging people of all traditions to explore, reflect on and debate challenging and difficult issues arising over the remaining three years of the programme”.

Dr Peter Crooks, Founding Director of the Beyond 2022 Project welcomed the announcement today:

“The Decade of Centenaries artist in residence scheme is an exciting opportunity for Beyond 2022 to re-imagine Ireland’s deep history with the benefit of a creative gaze. We look forward to welcoming Mairéád and working together with the Trinity Long Room Hub to explore how our national archival tragedy a century ago can inspire creative arts practice to engage new audiences today.”

Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub added:

“The opportunity to host such a wonderful artist in collaboration with the Beyond 2022 project is a privilege for the Trinity Long Room Hub. This residency is full of potential and we look forward to supporting Mairéad and seeing her representation of the fascinating archival work of Beyond 2022.”

Find out more about Beyond 2022, the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland here.

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