It’s Very New School

4 March - 22 April 2017

Group Show

Gallery One & Two

John Beattie, Sarah Browne, Ella de Búrca, Priscila Fernandes, Mark O’Kelly, Maria McKinney, and Sarah Pierce. Curated by Jennie Guy.

This exhibition addresses a crisis.

The arts component of the Irish Leaving Certificate curriculum has remained largely unchanged for over 30 years. Students emerging from this program are effectively isolated from the language, modalities and potential of contemporary art. Thinking outwards from the parameters specific to this isolation, this exhibition advocates for change within much broader sites of education, producing a contagious effect that forces us to reconsider larger institutional deficiencies.

Participating artists have been asked to create work that considers these themes within the context of this gallery exhibition. The Art School platform often functions by staging artists within schools, so that the school itself becomes the site of production.

It's Very New School is different; we are working outside of the school, bringing these themes from the school into the gallery.

Some of the goals of It’s Very New School are:

  • To provide sites for artists to explore their relationship (in some cases as yet unchartered) with non-tertiary education.
  • To demonstrate to children and young people (both directly and indirectly) that there are different perspectives about how (and what) we learn.
  • To create a sharp focus on artistic research in order to encourage more active involvement from young audiences.
  • To create a multi-faceted ‘project’ that is legible in longer-term international dialogues about art and education.


It's Very New School gallery Brochure

The Student Body by Maria McKinney


John Beattie
Beattie’s work centres on interrogating historical and contemporary representations of the artist, and the location of the studio. His practice explores new cultural meaning in the context of the social and private space, which the artist and the studio embodies. Beattie is originally from Co.Donegal and currently lives and works in Dublin. He has been artist in residence at Fire Station Artists’ Studio, Dublin, 2006-2009; Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), Dublin, 2010; Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin, 2011; and The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin 2011.

Ella de Búrca
Ella De Búrca creates visual juxtapositions between action and language, treating language as an object, and objects as languages. She works with subversion to unearth the subjectivity of memory and interpretation. De Búrca is currently in residence at The HISK in Belgium. She was the recipient of the 2016 Next Generation Artists Award. Recent exhibitions include: ‘Post Peace’ Kunst Verein Stuttgart, Germany, 2017, ‘Coup de Ville Triennale’ Belgium, 2016, ‘My Brilliant Friend’ TBG&S, Dublin 2017, and ‘Alternativa’ WYSPA, Poland, 2016.

Sarah Browne
Sarah Browne is an artist based in Ireland. Her research-based practice investigates knowledge and invisible structures of power and how we experience both. Browne’s sculptural practice includes writing, publishing, performance and public projects, encountered both within and outside gallery environments, as well as extensive collaboration.

Priscila Fernandes
Priscila Fernandes (1981, Portugal) is a visual artist based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. For the past few years, her installations, videos and paintings have been informed by an interest in art education and play, as well as 20th century artistic practices, such as neo-impressionism and the development of abstraction in art. Recent exhibitions include 32nd São Paulo Biennial with the installation Cuckoo Land and Other Futures; The Book of Aesthetic Education of the Modern School at Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Back to the sandbox: Art and Radical Pedagogy, Rekjavík Art Museum, Iceland; Playgrounds, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; PIGS, Artium Basque Museum, Spain; Learning for Life, Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; 12 Contemporaries, Serralves Museum, Porto; and This is the Time, This is the Record of Time at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam.

Mark O’Kelly
Mark O’Kelly lives and works in Dublin and Limerick. He is a lecturer in Fine Art at Limerick School of Art and Design. He is a graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art and of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Exhibiting paintings, vitrines and installations, his work is the outcome of a practice of image research that explores the space between the photographic document and the cosmetic image.

Maria McKinney
Maria McKinney is a visual artist based in Dublin. She recently completed a significant body of work that considered the use of genomics in modern cattle-breeding, resulting in a solo exhibition titled Sire in the RHA (Dublin) and funded by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council of Ireland.

Sarah Pierce
Sarah Pierce lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Pierce holds a PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London and an MFA from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and is a past participant of the Whitney Museum ISP in New York.

Jennie Guy
Jennie is a curator and artist based in Dublin. Guy’s practice embraces visual, textual, performance, and event-based output. She is interested in the rituals surrounding artistic production, seeking alternate modes of observation and response.

Guy is the founder and director of Art School, a platform that establishes new interfaces between contemporary art and sites of education. She develops workshop and residency programmes that unite artists, students, and educators in substantial research exchanges and partnerships, both nationally and internationally. Her projects generate collaborative art-works, exhibitions, screenings and publications, while remaining primarily invested in exploring artistic process and decisive interventions within educational curricula. Art School has initiated projects with Wicklow, Kildare, Roscommon, and South Dublin County Councils, as well as with the Grangegorman Development Agency in Dublin. In 2016 she also co-initiated Artists’ Exercises featuring the works of over 50 international artists