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Lauch of new publication on seven-year Mapping Art Project

PRESS RELEASE

An important art publication is launched in IMMA on a visual arts programme – the first of its kind in Ireland - with children from disadvantaged areas of Dublin.

The book, launched by the Ombudsman for Children, also argues that every child has a right to lead a creatively rich and active life.

A new publication detailing a unique visual art programme involving community youth projects in the Bluebell, Inchicore and Rialto areas of Dublin will be launched on Tuesday 21 November 2006 by the Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). The publication, Mapping Lives, Exploring Futures, is written by Charlie O’Neill, playwright and arts consultant. The book provides a fascinating record of the seven-year Mapping Art Project.

The book also contains an innovative manual, sharing this original new model of art provision.

Commenting on the project Emily Logan said; “It’s clear that the project had an extraordinary effect on the children’s artistic and creative development but it also had an enormously positive impact on them as people. This is every child’s right - the right to express themselves in whatever language they choose. The language they chose here was the universal and transformative language of art. The evidence presented in this beautiful publication suggests that their mastery of this language allows them to live full and creative lives not only as citizens, but also as artists.”

Jim Lawlor of Rialto Youth Project said; “Mapping Lives, Exploring Futures is a celebration of some of Ireland’s youngest and most important imaginations. In this powerful body of work they are creatively insisting that they as people are important - but so is their art. The key to the project was professional artists and youth workers standing shoulder-to-shoulder with these children. This is what helped them unlock their own personal potential. It also helped them become vital contributors to their communities.”

Three of the young participants – representatives from each area – will speak at the launch. Transcripts of their contributions will be available on the day.

The Mapping Steering Group (representatives from the three youth projects, Common Ground, IMMA and artists) believes the publication Mapping Lives, Exploring Futures is a landmark and unique resource. It is offered as an inspirational reference book and practical guide for Irish and international artists, youth workers, community organisations, art institutions and galleries, resource organisations, policy makers, cultural commentators and funders.

The Steering Group believes that the programme is a persuasive argument to the decision-makers, on behalf of all children, to put in place the effective infrastructure and resources to allow our youngest citizens to liberate the artist and life-mapper bursting inside them. This book provides the arguments, the evidence and the tools to do just that.


In the book’s conclusion, author Charlie O’Neill makes the point: “Mapping did children a great service. It helped them to declare several personal republics of potential. And Mapping did art a great service. It was in fact an important mini art movement all to itself.”

ENDS

For more information or interviews, contact Steering group members:
Jim Lawlor, Rialto Youth Project, 01 4531638
Siobhan Geoghegan, The Common Ground, 01 4531861 mobile 087 2830583

20 November 2006

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-6129900, Email:
info@imma.ie