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IMMA celebrates Culture Night with the opening of a major retrospective by Portuguese artist Paula Rego; an exhibition from the IMMA Collection showcasing the Kerlin Gallery Donation; and a full day of cultural events

IMMA is delighted to celebrate Culture Night with the opening of two major exhibitions, Obedience and Defiance is a major retrospective exhibition by the renowned Portuguese artist Paula Rego; and Ghosts from the Recent Past an exhibition of over 80 artworks from the IMMA Collection, introducing works from the major donation of the Kerlin Gallery Collection to IMMA in 2018; alongside a day long programme of Culture Night events.

For Culture Night IMMA is taking a blended approach offering online and physical events. Visitors to IMMA will have the opportunity to see the newly opened exhibitions for free, a new site-specific work Club Chroma Chlorologia by Niall Sweeney in the grounds, as well as a live workshop, Embodiment and Mark Making in The People’s Pavilion and a walking tour on the biodiversity of IMMA. The online programme begins with an Armchair Azure, a dementia-inclusive live Azure tour delivered via Zoom available to people living with dementia, their families, friends and carers. This is followed by the launch of the fifth film work to be presented as part of IMMA Screen, Helen Cammock’s The Long Note, 2018. From 4pm join us for virtual walking tours on the biodiversity of the IMMA gardens and the hidden history of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham broadcast on our website; a family art workshop for you to do at home; a cookery demonstration with Peaches Kemp from the Kemp Sisters Café and lots more. At 6pm, IMMA’s Director Annie Fletcher will broadcast the launch of Culture Night and celebrate the opening of our new exhibitions. For those who do not have the chance to see the exhibitions in person on the day, our curators and visitor engagement team will be presenting a selection of the works to our audiences online. A full programme of events is available here.

Obedience and Defiance is a major retrospective by one of Europe’s most influential figurative artists Paula Rego. The exhibition spans over 50 years of Rego’s international career, from the 1960s to the 2010s and includes more than 80 works, including paintings never shown before and works on paper from the artist’s family and close friends. Rego is celebrated for her intense and courageous paintings, drawings and prints and for her outstanding and suggestive story-telling abilities.

Rego’s work explores moral challenges to humanity, including political tyranny, gender discrimination, abortion, female genital mutilation and the death of civilians in war. Other works in the exhibition begin with her Portuguese roots and lived experiences, or respond to current affairs and stories from literature, cinema, folklore, mythology and art history. Rego often works from life, exploring conflicting emotions experienced in intimate relationships – such as affection and resentment – and behavioural codes within society at large, whilst her work reveals a distinct form of feminism.

Ghosts from the Recent Past explores how urgencies of the recent past continue to inhabit the present. Framed by key political events of the past 40 years, both in Ireland and further afield, the exhibition presents artworks from the IMMA Collection from the 1980s onwards. These works tell stories of colonisation and contested borders, of human relationships to the environment, of radical self-representation in the face of oppression and of love.

The exhibition looks at how artworks carry the language of resistances, waywardness, joys and subversions, which continue to resonate and agitate. Given the Irish context and this moment of global reckoning, the impact of contradiction, duality and paradox abounds. The placement of artworks in the galleries plays with these tensions, highlighting that opposing forces are not always easily disentangled: love from hate, fear from hope, protection from invasion. These forces are akin to lingering atmospheres or “ghosts” from the past which play an active role in structuring the conditions of the present.

Featuring artworks from IMMA’s Collection together with international collections, the exhibition debuts works from the major donation of the Kerlin Gallery Collection to IMMA in 2018. Ghosts from the Recent Past includes 44 artists and over 80 artworks and paves the way for IMMA’s 30th anniversary in 2021 in which the IMMA Collection will take centre stage.

14 September 2020

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For further information and images please contact: Monica Cullinane E: [email protected], Patrice Molloy E: [email protected]

Additional Notes for Editors

Culture Night Programme

11am – 12pm – Armchair Azure
Are you living with dementia, or do you know someone who is? Why not try IMMA’s Armchair Azure, an online experience designed for people living with dementia and their families and friends. During Armchair Azure, you will explore a selection of artwork from IMMA’s Collection with a facilitator who has received special training in dementia-inclusive arts programming. This experience is ideal for family members or friends to do together. Places are strictly limited and booking is essential. For more information and to place your booking, please contact Bairbre-Ann or Ciara via email at [email protected] or phone 01 612 9955. ONLINE via ZOOM

11am – 1.30pm – Embodiment and Mark Marking workshop in The People’s Pavilion
Join us for a multi-sensory experience involving movement, dance, music and life drawing. We will explore the relationship between embodiment and mark making through guided movement, sketching and drawing to the sound of music from all over the world. The workshop will be facilitated to suit all levels of practice, no previous experience of dance or drawing is required. Booking required. THE PEOPLE’S PAVILION, IMMA

From 11.30am to 8pm – Visit an Exhibition – Book your ticket in advance
From 11.30am visit Ghosts from the Recent Past; Bharti Kher, A Consummate Joy; IMMA Collection: Freud Project; IMMA Archives: 1990s, From the Edge to the Centre.
From 4pm visit Paula Rego, Obedience and Defiance
Please book your Museum admission ticket at GALLERIES, IMMA

From 11.30am – Club Chroma Chlorologia by Niall Sweeney
Come and see Club Chroma Chlorologia by Niall Sweeney, a site-specific work in the gardens and around The People’s Pavilion. Club Chroma Chlorologia is the first stage in a gradual outdoor extension of the recent exhibition CHROMA from the galleries to the grounds of IMMA. CHROMA was originally installed in the museum’s Project Spaces from 2019 to 2020 and explored themes of the body in relation to colour and space, identity politics, cultural blindness, forced anonymity and the theatrics of visibility and invisibility. GARDENS/THE PEOPLE’S PAVILION, IMMA

12noon – IMMA Screen: Helen Cammock, The Long Note
We are delighted to launch the fifth film work to be screened as part of IMMA Screen, Helen Cammock’s, The Long Note, 2018. IMMA Screen is an online screening series showcasing film and video works from the IMMA Collection. ONLINE

3pm – Exploring the Green Cube – Biodiversity Tour
A conversational biodiversity tour of the meadow and formal gardens led by Sandra Murphy, a member of IMMA’s Visitor Engagement Team and an amateur wildlife photographer and birdie. Sandra is the author of three blogs for the IMMA magazine, discussing the bio diversity of birds, butterflies and wild flowers found on our 48 acre site. Booking required. THE PEOPLE’S PAVILION, IMMA

4pm – Explorer at Home, Family Workshop
Explorer at Home: Culture Night Special will explore ideas of collecting and archiving, as seen in the exhibition IMMA Archive: 1990s, From the Edge to the Centre. This Explorer at Home art activity will invite you to make and decorate a card container for the things that you collect and archive. ONLINE

4.40pm – Exploring the Green Cube
A conversational biodiversity tour of the meadow and formal gardens led by Sandra Murphy, a member of IMMA’s Visitor Engagement Team and an amateur wildlife photographer and birdie. Sandra is the author of three blogs for the IMMA magazine, discussing the biodiversity of birds, butterflies and wild flowers found on our 48 acre site. ONLINE

5.15pm – Exploring IMMA’s Hidden History
A walking tour exploring the hidden history of the site of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham with IMMA’s Barry Kehoe and Stephen Taylor. Discover some of the rich and fascinating layers of history from within the buildings and grounds of IMMA, from the lost cherubs of the famine Queen to the final resting place of the original warhorse. ONLINE

5.50pm – Make your own Guinness Brownies with Peaches Kemp
Join Peaches Kemp, from the Kemp Sisters Café, to make your very own very yummy Guinness Brownies in this cookery demonstration. Including tips on making the perfect chocolate chips. ONLINE

6pm – Introduction from Annie Fletcher, Director, IMMA
Annie Fletcher welcomes you to IMMA’s Culture Night 2020, a year like no other, introducing two new monumental exhibitions Paula Rego, Obedience and Defiance and Ghosts from the Recent Past and looks forward to celebrating IMMA’s 30th Birthday in 2021. ONLINE

6.05pm – Curators in Conversation on Paula Rego, Obedience and Defiance
With a message from artist Paula Rego from her studio, join IMMA’s Head of Collections Christina Kennedy and the Curator of the exhibition Catherine Lampert, for a conversation on Rego’s newly opened exhibition Obedience and Defiance. Christina will introduce the themes and concepts behind the exhibition and highlight some of her personal favourite artworks. ONLINE

6.35pm – Curators in Conversation on Ghosts from the Recent Past
Hear from the curatorial team of Rachel Gilbourne, Janice Hough and Claire Walsh as they reflect on the driving themes of the exhibition Ghosts from the Recent Past. This exhibition paves the way for future IMMA Collection displays and showcases the recent donation of works from the Kerlin Gallery. Members of IMMA’s Visitor Engagement Team will highlight key works within the show. ONLINE

7.05pm – Curators in Conversation on Bharti Kher, A Consummate Joy
A Consummate Joy is an exhibition by Indian/British artist Bharti Kher, originally programmed to open in March, it has been a beacon of hope as visitors have returned to IMMA. Following a message sent from Kher in her London studio we will hear from the exhibition curator, IMMA’s Head of Exhibitions, Rachel Thomas as she describes the exhibition and discusses some of her favourite works. ONLINE

7.35pm – Outlandish Theatre Platform presents Women on Women / WoW, with an introduction by Helen O’Donoghue with Maud Hendricks and Bernie O’Reilly
Helen O’Donoghue, Head of Engagement & Learning, IMMA, introduces the WoW project which is one of the community projects that The People’s Pavilion is supporting as part of its access and inclusion policy. Outlandish Theatre Platform creates inter-disciplinary theatre and inter-media projects with local communities in Dublin 8 and beyond, exploring who we are within perceived cultural, national and global narratives. Women on Women | WoW is a project by women on women, it addresses issues of gender equality in a diverse and multicultural Europe, through a historical and contemporary perspective. Outlandish Theatre Platform will present five short videos of WoW Stories. ONLINE

7.50pm – Yes, But Do You Care? Dance Performance
Bairbre Ann Harkin, Curator, Art & Ageing, IMMA will introduce this dance work by visual artist Marie Brett (E.gress, Torpedo, Amulet) and chorographer/dance artist Philip Connaughton (Assisted Solo, Mamafesta Memorialising, Extraterrestrial Events) who are making a new collaborative, cross-medium art piece exploring how issues of capacity, autonomy and dementia care-giving are raising dilemmas amid Ireland’s new capacity legislation. ONLINE.

8.15pm – #IMMAINSIDEOUT Collective Project
During the lockdown the #IMMAInsideOut Collective Project allowed us to share art, ideas and our experiences. We asked our followers on social media to share their art and lives with all of us in a collective effort to combat social isolation and boredom using the hashtag #IMMAInsideOut. View our image gallery as a digital exhibition, a reflection of our shared experience of these exceptional times. The image gallery comprises work shared by our audience from March to July 2020. ONLINE.

Paula Rego, Obedience and Defiance
18 Sept 2020 – 3 Jan 2021

About Paula Rego
Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1935, Dame Paula Rego trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Rego is celebrated for her bold and intense paintings, drawings and prints, which intertwine the private and the public, the intimate and the political, the real and the imagined, combining autobiographical elements with stories from literature, folklore, and mythology, references to earlier art, and observations on the contemporary world.. Rego lives and works in London and has exhibited widely in Britain and internationally. Since 2004, major retrospectives of her work have been held at Tate Britain, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.

Exhibition Details
Paula Rego, Obedience and Defiance is curated by the distinguished art historian and former director of Whitechapel Gallery, Catherine Lampert. With thanks to Paula Rego and family and to the Marlborough Gallery.

The exhibition organised by MK Gallery, Milton Keynes with the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh and IMMA, Dublin.

€8.00 / €5.00 Concession (Senior Citizens and Unwaged)
Free Admission for IMMA Members, full-time students and under 18’s.
Free Admission for all every Tuesday. Please book tickets before your visit at

Please note that this exhibition addresses challenging subjects and includes images of a suggestive and/or graphic nature. Parental and carer discretion may be required.

Ghosts from the Recent Past
19 September 2020 – 2021

List of Artists:
Janine Antoni, Boyd & Evans, Gerard Byrne, Nina Canell, Helen Chadwick, Phil Collins, Joshua Compston, Barrie Cooke, Dorothy Cross, Vivienne Dick, Willie Doherty, Patrick Hall, Siobhán Hapaska, Patrick Jolley, Isaac Julien, Michael Landy, Les Levine, Brian Maguire, Tim Mara, Mónica Mayer, Niamh McCann, Stephen McKenna, William McKeown, Tom Molloy, Janet Mullarney, Asako Narahashi, Isabel Nolan, Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland, Mairead O’hEocha, Mark O’Kelly, Garrett Phelan, Sarah Pierce, Jack Pierson, Kathy Prendergast, Veronica Ryan, Margaret Salmon, Norbert Schwontkowski, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kara Walker, Robin Warren, Elinor Wiltshire, Bill Woodrow, Suné Woods.

Kerlin Gallery Donation
In 2018, IMMA received the donation of the Kerlin Gallery Collection through Section 1003 to join the National Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. This donation comprises sixty works by twenty-six artists including paintings, sculpture, photography, film. It is a compilation of some of the most significant developments in Irish art practice of the 1990s and early 2000s. The range of works overlaps and reflects patterns of extraordinary social, cultural and political change in Ireland while also connecting to distinctive developments in contemporary international practice of the time.

While IMMA Collection had already held certain works by many of the artists, each of whom are leading figures in Irish art of this period, the Kerlin Gallery donation enables IMMA to more comprehensively chart the careers of those artists’ practices and evidence how they have reached the stature they now occupy.

New to the IMMA Collection are works by Jim Lambie, Maureen Gallace, Mairead O’hEocha. Tal R, Norbert Schwontkowski, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Tony Swain, all highly significant artists in their fields.

Artists in the donation are Gerard Byrne, Phil Collins, Dorothy Cross, Willie Doherty, Mark Francis, Maureen Gallace, Liam Gillick, Siobhán Hapaska, Roger Hiorns, Callum Innes, Jaki Irvine, Jim Lambie, Elizabeth Magill, Brian Maguire, Stephen McKenna, Isabel Nolan, Mairead O’hEocha, Kathy Prendergast, Tal R, Norbert Schwontkowski, William Scott, Paul Seawright, Seán Shanahan, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tony Swain and Andrew Vickery.

Exhibition Details
Ghosts from the Recent Past is co-curated by Rachael Gilbourne, Janice Hough and Claire Walsh, Assistant Curator’s, IMMA. Steered by the vision of Annie Fletcher, Director, IMMA.

Exhibition design by Emma Conway.

Admission Free. Please book tickets before your visit at