VISUAL is one of Ireland’s leading facilities for the presentation of local, national and international contemporary visual art as well as housing a magnificent theatre comprising 290 seats, a restaurant, bookshop and bar. Developed by Carlow Local Authorities with the aid of a significant grant from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism under the ACCESS Programme, VISUAL is strategically located in the grounds of Carlow College on a site generously donated by the Trustees of the College. The building has been designed by renowned architect Terry Pawson and contains both one of the largest and most sympathetic spaces for presenting contemporary and modern art in Ireland and a series of other spaces, one of which is specially designed for presenting audio-visual and digital work. The centre has opened with a major programme of exciting exhibitions and performances of local, national and international calibre.
The VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art is one of the most exceptional galleries in Ireland. For 2013 VISUAL takes on a diverse series of exhibitions and events featuring national and international artists. For the spring season Edifice Complex,a body of work by Tadhg McSweeney takes on the Main Gallery with a large scale installation. Its composite parts combine to create a delicate web of structures, landscapes and framed viewing points.
Tacita Dean’s Manhattan Mouse Museum, a 16mm film follows the artist Claes Oldenburg as he carefully tends to the precious elements of his own work. Denis Roche takes up a residency at VISUAL, as the gallery supports his on-going project, Panchaea: in search of an equal utopia and a willing suspension of belief.
For the summer programme the galleries partner with Carlow Arts Festival and Carlow Local Authorities Arts Office to deliver Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,a group show curated by Stephen Brandes and featuring the work of Ben Long, Gareth Phelan, Isabel Nolan, Stephen McKenna and Polly Morgan.
Three other exhibitions run concurrently – Extinction examines eight groundbreaking Irish illustrators such as Niamh Sharkey, Steve Simpson and the Project Twins; a commission of a sculpture in wood from 22 collaborating artists from all over the world; and an Open Submission, selected by Stephen McKenna and Amelia Stein, including work from Dorothy Cross, Richard Gorman, Gary Coyle and Eithne Jordan.
Autumn brings a work by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, The Forty Part Motet, which has to date travelled the world and captivated audiences with its version of Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis. This will be the first sound installation to fill the Main Gallery at VISUAL. At the same time artist Cora Cummins will make a body of new work inspired by the locality.
and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre 2013….
This spring brings three unmissable theatre productions to Carlow – the stage adaptation of the No. 1 International bestseller, Tuesdays with Morrie; the hit biopic Oliver Reed – Wild Thing which wowed audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe and the hilariously funny and lovely The Man in The Women’s Shoes starring the acclaimed Irish actor Mikel Murfi (The Commitments, Intermission.) Music offerings include Carlow’s own Derek Ryan who appears in April and The Fureys and Davey Arthur back in the autumn.
For the comedy enthusiasts Colm O’Regan brings us Ireland’s Got Mammies. The George Bernard Shaw Theatre is one of the most impressive auditoria in the country, and its programme hopes to give Carlow people and its visitors a good reason to go to the theatre every week. Visit www.gbshawtheatre.ie for what’s on this week.
Visual won The Civic Trust Award, which is one of the most foremost Architectural awards in the UK and Ireland.
Further more, Visual had also been listed by the Irish Times, as one out of “Top 10 Irish Treasures” to visit. Please click here
VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art & The George Bernard Shaw Theatre has won “Best Cultural Building” in the RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2010. To view details of award please click here
To download Brochure please click here
HOW TO FIND US: In the centre of Carlow Town, adjacent to St. Patrick’s College.
OPENING TIMES: Gallery and Box Office Opening Hours; Tuesday – Saturday 11.00am – 5.30pm daily. Sunday; 2.00pm – 5.00pm.
Box Office is also open 1 hour before all events.