In order to encourage collaboration between the research and arts communities, the Irish Research Council and Arts Council have come together in a new partnership.

A new collaboration between the Irish Research Council and the Arts Council  will see the two agencies working together over the next three years.

Commenting on the partnership, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Irish Research Council, said: “The Irish Research Council is committed to supporting research across all disciplines.  Half of the 280 awards we announced recently under the Government of Ireland programmes are in the arts, humanities and social science disciplines.

“Cultivating strong research within the arts sector cannot be achieved by working with academia alone. By collaborating with the Arts Council, we hope to jointly develop a better understanding of how and why people engage with the arts, and the outcomes and impacts that arise. This in turn can help us develop better public policy around the arts and invest public funds more strategically.”

Chair of the Arts Council, Sheila Pratschke said: “I’m delighted the Arts Council has joined forces with the Irish Research Council as our strategy commits us to new working relationships within and beyond the arts.

Research helps us to better understand people and places, supporting us to reach new communities, as well as helping us plan more strategically for the future. Curiosity, enquiry and discovery are driving impulses behind practitioners in the arts and in research. This three-year collaboration is important to the Arts Council. Understanding how the arts develop and impact on people’s lives requires on-going evaluation and research.

Researching the arts 

Examples of postgraduate researchers in the arts sector currently funded by the Irish Research Council include:

  • Kerstina Mortensen who is researching Nordic symbolist art. Her work explores how European pessimism at the turn of the 20thcentury contributed to the darker depictions such as illness, death and the psychological self.
  • Margaret O’Brien who is examining the theme of repetition in the work of several contemporary artists including Jenny Baines, Seamus McCormack, Lorraine Neeson and Fiona Reilly.
  • Susan Campell who is focusing on the art of Richard Tuttle, an influential American practitioner with a 50-year career that is still growing in its international reach. She is exploring key examples of Tuttle’s work, through the prism of the textile, to gain original insights into the artist.

About the Irish Research Council

The Irish Research Council was launched in 2012.  It is an agency of the Department of Education and Skills, and operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority.  The core function of the Council is to support excellent frontiers research across all disciplines and all career stages.  It places a particular focus on early-stage career researchers and promotes diverse career opportunities for researchers by partnering with employers.  The Council also has a particular role in supporting research with a societal focus, and has established partnerships across government and civic society.  Further information: www.research.ie.

Arts Council

The Arts Council is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. It works in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life.


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