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Kilkenny County Council Arts Office presents Shiftings curated by Aoife Banks as part of their Emerging Curator in Residence Programme 2021

Friday 16th July – Sunday 15th August 2021

Shiftings has been curated and designed to be viewed through the gallery windows and online. This exhibition sees work being exhibited in multiple locations: 76-77 John Street Lower, County Council Offices windows, Online at and on Instagram @kilkennyartsoffice

Shiftings is a group exhibition that brings together work by Kian Benson Bailes, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Ursula Burke, Ruth Clinton, Maeve Coulter, Niamh Moriarty and Katharine West. Shiftings explores the untold stories of Ireland’s colonial past, bringing forgotten histories, contested legacies, and silenced memories to the fore. With artefacts laid buried; communities never remembered and stories gone untold, can we trust that the past is truly knowable at all? Through the act of digging up the past and speculating what could have been, we may unearth knowledge that reveals a collective cultural memory seen anew through queer, feminist, and decolonial perspectives. 


‘The Brazen Head’, Ursula Burke, 2016

Covid-19 has disrupted the perceptual world as a place of familiarity to that of a foreign landscape. We still see the world in terms of its old familiarity, but it is at the same time alienating as we are no longer able to interact with it in the habitual, effortless manner characteristic of the pre-pandemic world we inhabited. The reorienting of self in space and the shifting of perception that has occurred as a result of the pandemic and the resulting safety precautions and restrictions has irrevocably altered our phenomenology of perception. We now see the world through a tilted perspective, but what do we make of it? Can we harness this newfound way of seeing and experiencing to reassess the world that we live in? Shiftings is the first installment in a three-part curatorial project that explores the shifting of perspectives in three chapters: Past, Present, and Future. Positioning othered voices to the fore and providing new lenses with which to view our world, each exhibition will focus on an artist or artists whose work teases out alternative histories, hidden narratives, and speculative futures. 

This exhibition is part of Kilkenny County Council Arts Office’s ‘Emerging Curator in Residence Programme’. This programme is enabling Aoife Banks to gain direct experience in the field of curating exhibitions for the Arts Office in Kilkenny. This opportunity provides Aoife with the platform to further develop her career, expand her artistic and creative networks, and avail of a mentoring programme with curator Eamonn Maxwell.

A podcast will be launched in early August which will platform casual conversation between the curator and exhibiting artists about the exhibition, the artworks and how they respond to the current cultural moment.

The Passenger’, Ailbhe Ni Bhriain, 2015

Ailbhe Bhriain’s video work Inscriptions of an Immense Theatre is viewable online. Please email to request a bespoke link to view this work.

Inscriptions of an Immense Theatre courtesy of the artist & domobaal, London.


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