Temple Bar Gallery and Studios in Dublin
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (TBG+S) is located in the centre of Temple Bar, which is Dublin's designated cultural quarter. With a key profile and on street presence, the current building is a mid-nineties structure designed by Irish architects McCullough/Mulvin. The building contains one of Ireland's leading contemporary visual art galleries. Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is a limited company with charitable status that is artist-led. The voluntary Board is formally elected by the artist membership and comprises four artist members and five external professionals with different expertise and business acumen.
Established by artists and administrators in 1983, TBG+S was one of the first artist-led iniatives in Ireland.
In the early 1980s, TBG+S, an organisation of artists, rented a disused shirt factory from CIE. The early 20th-century industrial building, which extended through a block from Temple Bar to the Liffey quays, provided the framework of spaces for artists to work in, although the conditions were problematic and at times hazardous. The activities of the artists - studios, exhibition space, cafe, sculptor’s annex - influenced the atmosphere of Temple Bar in the 1980's, establishing the area’s reputation as a cultural hub and contributing to its regeneration as Dublin’s Cultural Quarter.
The establishment of Temple Bar Properties in August 1991 spurred the rejuvenation of the area. Group 91, a consortium won the competition for the architectural framework plan. TBG+S was recognised, as a flagship project and it was one of the first cultural organisations rehoused by the Temple Bar Cultural Quarter regeneration.
The shirt factory building was extensively refurbished and custom-designed by leading Irish architects McCullough Mulvin. Thirty artists’ studios in a range of sizes (21m2 to 70m2) over four floors were provided and the gallery at ground floor level was enlarged to twice the previous size. Essential consideration was given to maximising the daylight in the studios with floor to ceiling windows in most studios. TBG+S took occupation of the building on 1st November 1994 with a “Cultural Use Agreement” and a fair rent clause in place with Temple Bar Properties.
Temple Bar Gallery and Studios’ relationship with the Arts Council of Ireland began in the 1980’s and by 1987 the level of funding had risen from £300 to approx. £30,000.
Over this twenty-eight year history of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, many individuals - artists, administrators, directors, supporters and funders have contributed to the story.
Claire Power Studios Development Manager Claire manages and oversees TBG+S and is responsible for delivering a strategy for the continued development of the organisation. Rayne Booth Studios Support and Marketing Officer Rayne supports the operation and management of TBG+S, researches and devises gallery programme as a member of the curatorial panel and develops marketing for TBG+S. Anne Kelly Office Administrator Anne is an integral part of the team in providing support for finance and administration and brings a wealth of ideas and experience from working in the arts.
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (TBG+S) aims for a high standard of public exhibition and events by investing in progressive artistic practices – inclusive of artists who have shown and continue to show potential nationally and internationally. It seeks to support artists whose fresh ideas and risk-taking reflects the nature of this studios-based organisation and encourages artistic practices that foster experimentation and questioning in an active environment.
The gallery presents a high-quality contemporary visual arts experience through platforming artistically ambitious practices and through stimulating new relationships between artists and audiences. TBG+S advocates for a flexible focus to include artists who are at pivotal positions, ‘on their way’, as well as those who have achieved a level of critical success and those who have not yet had their potential recognised.
The Gallery Programme is currently conceived through an independent Curatorial Panel, which includes representation from artists’ membership and their nominees. As such, a clear connection between studio and gallery functions is sought, without curtailing the Panel’s freedom. Each Curatorial Panel will take its own course within the broad remit of the Mission Statement - to articulate a path and to consider the thinking underpinning its twelve-month programme for the gallery.
The artistic programme for the gallery is devised by the curatorial panel fifteen months in advance. The current curatorial panel for the period April 2011 – March 2012 comprises: Rayne Booth (Studios Support and Marketing Officer), Aoife Tunney (TBG+S Curator-in-residence 2010), Mary Cremin (TBG+S Curator-in-residence 2010), Karen Downey (Curator: Belfast Exposed) and Cliodhna Shaffrey (Independent curator and Board member) in a non-voting capacity.
Its exhibition programme covers the range of contemporary art practices: film, installation, sound, photography, painting, performance, and multimedia. The gallery has features both Irish and International artists such as Luke Fowler, Mark O'Kelly, Malachi Farrell, Mariele Neudecker, A K Dolven, Elina Brotherus, Rosalind Nashashibi, Ene-Liis Semper, Lars Arrhenius, Brendan Earley, Clodagh Emoe, Matt Stokes and Mark Clare.
The building also includes 30 artists studios. Originally created with the idea that the general public could randomly visit artists working in an open environment, the studios are now in keeping with modern standards of being an independent group of art practitioners. There is an open application for the studios that takes place on an annual basis. Current artists include Seamus Nolan, Nevan Lahart, Robert Armstrong, Alan Butler, Sonia Sheil, Joe Hanly, Fiona Mulholland please go to the company website for more information.
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is a not for profit registered charity and receives its core funding from the Arts Council of Ireland.
Selected past exhibitions at TBG+S
- Luke Fowler Pilgrimage from Scattered Points (March 2011)
- Marjetica Potrč Florestania (October 2007)
- Paul Nugent – Vigil (September 2007)
- Group Exhibition Risa Sato, Eoin McHugh, Mark Garry Rapid Eye Movement (Summer 2007)
- Matt Stokes Lost in the Rhythm – (January 2007)
- First Irish solo exhibition and live event Sacred Selections – (February 2007)
- Contemporary Organ recital with Matt Stokes, with organist Paul Ayers– Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin
- Group Exhibition The Square Root of Drawing - (October 2006)
- Lars Arrhenius - If Signs had Souls (July 2006) Elina Brotherus -The New Painting (June 2006)
- Group Exhibition A Moment in Time- (Dec 2005 - Jan 2006) Contemporary Painting at TBG+S.
- Garrett Phelan - Black Brain Radio (January 2006) Mark Clare - Know Thyself (August 2005)
- Finola Jones - Artificially Reconstructed Habitats (April 2005)
- Ene-Liis Semper Licked Room & FF/REW plus Father & Shifting Focus by Mark Raidpere (March - April 2005)