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“It is not in the nature of currents to end, as rivers end when they empty into the sea.”
Dallas Murphy, To Follow the Water


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15 - 19 September

Infiltrating the island of Ireland from coast to coast, the country’s waterways are witness to the ecology and built landscape of our rural and urban spaces.

To Follow The Water continues an exploration of these watercourses initiated during 2015’s The Artists’ Armada, when a flotilla of artist-made craft sailed around Dublin’s Gand Canal Dock.

Newly commissioned work from four Irish artists – Olivia Hassett, David Fagan, Mary-Jo Gilligan and Ciara McKeon – opend dialogue around the significance, history, being and sentience of these channels. The locus for these observations was the 73M, the former working ‘Guinness’ cargo barge built in 1936.

Over a weekend in September 2016, the invited artists used performance, sound, object making, and psychogeography to pose questions around the phenomenological and ontological nature of water, the social history of the canal and the organisms inhabiting its depths.

Schedule of Events

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Thursday 15th September

Opening Night Performances on board the 73m barge (access via Waterways Ireland Visitor’s Centre to pontoon jetties)

6pm Olivia Hassett commences her progressive episodic performance of  ‘A Cumulative Sampling’, taking place over four days.


7pm Curator Anne Mullee performs David Fagan’s work ‘He withdrew the bung and tipped the barrel’.


Friday 16th September – Culture Night


12pm Olivia Hassett continues her progressive episodic performance of  ‘A Cumulative Sampling’, taking place over four days.


6.30pm Talk: Changing Spaces, A Sense of Place Along the Grand with Ruth Minogue
Based on the Waterways Ireland-funded project ‘Landscape Character Assessment of the Grand and Royal Canals’, this talk explores the changes to the landscape and townscape of the Grand Canal. It explores its influence on the people and places of Dublin City using a variety of photographic map and documentary sources. A fascinating insight into Dublin’s industrial past with ecology and environment consultant Ruth Minogue.(40mins) Free, no need to book.


Saturday 16th September

12pm Olivia Hassett continues her progressive episodic performance of  ‘A Cumulative Sampling’, taking place over four days.


12-3pm Ciara McKeon – Waiting to break. McKeon performs on the deck of the 73m barge.


12.30 & 1.30pm Mary-Jo Gilligan – The Gathering Gates
The Gathering Gates is an immersive site-specific outdoor artwork delivered via pre-recorded audio text. This absorbing ephemeral participatory work by artist Mary-Jo Gilligan invites the audience to engage with the compelling action of the sea locks that provide passage between the river Liffey and an entry point to the Irish canal system at Grand Canal Dock.  Headphones required. Information on how to download the audio in advance of the event wil be send to ticket holders. Some Mp3 players and headphones will be provided for those without smartphones. Places limited.  Free, booking essential.

3.30-5.30pm Cis O’Boyle & Rachel of idle women in conversation. With Q&A. 
Cis O’Boyle and Rachel Anderson are founders of idle women (on the water) and caretakers of the Selina Cooper, England’s first floating arts centre for women. Constantly moving, it hosts a series of artists-in-residence, workshops, and events, providing both a visiting arts venue and resource centre for women as it navigates the canals and waterways across Britain. Throughout 2016 they are based between Blackburn and Barrowford on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal, working in partnership with Super Slow Way. Curator Anne Mullee will lead a post-talk discussion about the genesis and ambition of this exciting project. Free, booking essential.

Sunday 18th September

12pm Olivia Hassett completes her performance of  ‘A Cumulative Sampling’

12.30 & 1.30pm Mary-Jo Gilligan – The Gathering Gates.
Part psychogeography and part choreography, this ephemeral participatory work takes the form of an audio-guided engagement with the spectacle of the operation of the thundering sea locks operating between the river Liffey and Grand Canal Dock. Free, but booking essential.


Olivia Hassett completed a Masters of Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2012. Hassett is the inaugural artist in residence in the Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Department of Trinity College Dublin. In 2015 Olivia Hassett and Professor David Taylor hosted Endo/ Exo, an exhibition of their collaborative project in Trinity College Dublin. Other one person shows include; In | Between, deAppendix, Dublin, 2014 (part of a three month residency), Somatic reassemblage, Newbridge Arts Centre, January 2014 and Anamorph, Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, June 2013. Recent solo performances include Screened I, MART, Dublin, 2015 and Screened II, PAB Bergen, Norway, 2015. Olivia Hassett was awarded an artists bursary from the South Dublin County Council in 2014.

David Fagan currently lives and works between Glasgow and Dublin. He is interested in time, distance and the human desire to overcome them and connect. This leads to the prominent use of consumer electronics such as televisions and phones in his work. These items play temporary host to often found live and recorded media. The works attempt to harness elements such as the familiarity of these devices, to create intimate experiences, patching together a feeling of presence in locations foreign to the viewer. Using inanimate systems to frame evermore- precise simulacra of human connection, he is aiming to understand the biological & emotional through the technological. I think when these attempts inevitably fail; they ultimately speak to a more fundamental questioning of one’s ability to connect to another. Recent solo exhibitions include I have nada so far but I remain optimistic curated by Aoife Power at Tactic in Cork and He saw the world and was left wanting curated by Emer Lynch

Mary-Jo Gilligan is based in Dublin and Oxford where she works as an artist independently and collaboratively. Work manifests in live events, performance, installations, workshops, publishing and exhibitions that create encounters and situations to explore how we relate to environments, bodies, architecture, and each other. Typically site specific and performative Gilligan’s engaging practice is deeply influenced by interests in public art, somatic practice, improvisation and relational processes. Since completing studies in the University of Ljubljana and NCAD Dublin, Gilligan has worked with the following commissioning bodies; Portlaoise County Council, Out Of Site, RGKSKSRG, Culturstruction and Dublin City Council. She has also undertaken residencies with Roscommon County Council, ID11 Netherlands, The Performance Corporation, VOID, Fís and Greenstar and IMMA. Recent activities include solo show Fathom and Span at Broadcast Gallery DIT and This Listening Field for Foaming at the Mouth, Phoenix Park Dublin.

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