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IMMA is proud to present Paula Rego at IMMA, a two-part film by director Gar O’Rourke that capture and explore the major retrospective Paula Rego: Obedience & Defiance, curated by Catherine Lampert and shown at IMMA from 18 September 2020 to 25 May 2021.

Born in Portugal in 1935 during the authoritarian dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar to anti-fascist parents, Paula Rego’s work is highly personal and politicised. An uncompromising artist of extraordinary imaginative power, Rego redefined figurative art and revolutionised how women are represented.

The first film, Paula Rego at IMMA: Obedience and Defiance, is a journey through the exhibition at IMMA led by the museum’s Senior Curator, Christina Kennedy, and Paula Rego’s son, filmmaker and producer, Nick Willing. In the film, Christina Kennedy guides us through the exhibition revealing some of the principal themes behind Paula Rego’s stunning works, whilst Nick Willing offers us a rare insight into the artist’s personal life, which ultimately informed her work.

The second film, Paula Rego at IMMA: Experienced, invites you to experience the exhibition through the eyes of IMMA’s visitors. Shot in a fly-on-the-wall style, the film gives a unique glimpse into the personal impact of Rego’s work on those who view it, and shows us why she continues to be one of the most important artists working today.

The motivation to commission this film project was led by IMMA’s desire to share this seminal exhibition with our audiences, who – due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – could only visit the galleries in limited numbers. In this way, the films not only act as an archive of the exhibition itself but also contributes to the institutional memory of IMMA during this pivotal time in our shared history.

During the lockdown in late 2020 IMMA worked with Gar O’Rourke on the short film While Waiting which was also shot within the Paula Rego exhibition. These films represent the beginning of a new initiative by IMMA to commission film-makers to collaborate with the museum in capturing, interpreting and translating what happens at IMMA, past, present and future, with cinematic vision.

Obedience and Defiance



The Director

Gar O’Rourke is an award-winning Irish filmmaker based in Dublin. He has directed projects with organisations and brands such as Screen Ireland, Netflix, Sony, CBS, Patagonia and IMMA. His award-winning debut short film, Kachalka (2019) – funded by Screen Ireland – was selected to compete in over 20 Oscar-qualifying film festivals internationally in 2020. The film went on to play across 300 TV channels in USA on the highly acclaimed Oscar and Emmy award-winning program ‘POV’ (PBS) – executive producers of this show include Werner Herzog, Errol Morris and Brad Pitt. Alongside this, the film was acquired by MUBI, Air Canada, Aer Lingus, Aeon, SRF 1 (Switzerland) and Yle (Finland).

During lockdown in late 2020, Gar directed the short film While Waiting, a collaboration with IMMA. The film went on to become one of the most viewed film projects ever for the cultural organisation.

Gar is currently in development on his first feature documentary with Sundance and BAFTA-winning production company Venom Films


Cast – Christina Kennedy
Director & Editor – Gar O’Rouke
Producer – Rachael Gilbourne
Co-producer- Christina Kennedy
Executive producer- Annie Fletcher
Archive- Nick Willing
Cinematographer – Narayan Van Meale
Steadicam Operator – Greg McGuinness
1st AC – Charlie Fleetwood
Sound recordist – Robin Sherry Wood
Music – Artlist
Colourist – Leandro Arouca
Sound Design & Mix – Liam Yelen & Locky Butler
Post-production manager – Chriona O’Sullivan
Post-production – Element

In Partnership with

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Victoria Miro
RTE Supporting the Arts

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Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.