New funding worth €1.5 million has been announced to acquire contemporary artworks for Ireland's national collection.
The funding - which was today (Monday June 13) announced by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin - is expected to address "significant gaps" in the collection.
New works inspired by issues such as climate change, diversity and global migration will be acquired by the Crawford Art Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).
Minister Martin said, "As we emerge from the worst days of the pandemic, we can now shift our focus from supporting artists through a time of national emergency toward more thoughtfully and more strategically re-building the National Collection. This funding will ensure that the collection is more reflective of the multiple identities and varied perspectives in Ireland today.
"I look forward to visiting both the Crawford Art Gallery and the [IMMA] to enjoy the new works that they will acquire for the National Collection. It is critical that our institutions keep pace with new developments in our culture and this fund will enable them to present challenging works in new media that tackle head-on some of the most important issues today, including climate change and representation.
"Our National Cultural Institutions provide a vital space for open expression and discussion, which I am delighted to support."
The new acquisitions will also include multi-media works and installations that reflect recent developments in contemporary artistic practice.
Director of the IMMA, Annie Fletcher, called the funding "truly momentous".
She said, "We can now begin again to invest in building and expanding IMMA’s collection of modern and contemporary art for the nation. The scale of the grant shows that our department is as ambitious for Ireland’s National Collection as we are and this is to be welcomed. We are delighted to re-engage with our colleagues in the Crawford in developing world-class collections in Ireland."
Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, Mary McCarthy, said, "This major investment by the Minister and the department recognises the significance of the visual arts and the National Collection within the department’s priorities.
"It represents a real opportunity to engage with contemporary artists and create new conversations within the Crawford Collection across the centuries. It is an important commitment to building significant collections for the public to enjoy now and into the future."
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