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Mayo Arts Service

I Am What I Am

I am What I am

A Celebration of Queer Art


I Am What I Am is a nuanced celebration of queer artists who work with gender, sexuality, identity and queer politics. Curated by Sinéad Keogh, this adventurous exhibition within Ballina Arts Centre will bring together artists from all backgrounds to unite in a diverse exploration of queer art in Ireland today.

The title hails from the song finale in the 1983 Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles written and composed by queer writer Jerry Herman. The song was covered by Gloria Gaynor that same year and has been an empowerment anthem for the LGBTQ+ community ever since. I Am what I Am is a stronghold in the form of resistance against adversity in an ever evolving and dissolving world.

Sinead says of the work; 'The curatorial process was to engage, understand and listen to the vast array of cultural practitioners and members of the community involved in the programme. It provided the opportunity to talk to them about their historical relationships and one another, the state and indeed their own relationship with art and to bring them all together with a sense of unity. To celebrate and enrich the lives on one another through the creative process of making and experiencing art'

The exhibition runs from June 05th to July 31st.

View the accompanying exhibition catalogue I-am-What-I-am


Saturday June 19

12 – 1:  Curator Seán Kissane online lecture on Queer Histories and 20th Century LGBTQ+ art

2 - 3.30:  A special online tour for OutWest, their friends and family

Monday June 21

An audio tour for people who are blind or visually impaired will be released on

A video of The LGBTI+ Living Archives Project (NMI) will be released on

Saturday June 26

 12 – 2:  Sara R. Phillips online talk Irish Trans Archive - The History of the Trans Community in Ireland 2016 to today. 


Saturday July 24th

12 - 12.50: Preview of Glisten (2021) - A live performance and discussion with the artist Isabella Oberlander 

2 - 3.30: Panel discussion on Inclusivity and Intersectionality in the Arts

Thursday July 29th

6 - 7.30: Origins Eile  TONGUES discussion -  The importance of creating our own spaces, worlds and modes of working within “white” spaces.

Saturday July 31st

Official Closing Ceremony

2.30 - 3: Performance of The Crossing by Esther Raquel Minsk

3 – 3.10: Curator introduction by Sinéad Keogh 

3.10 - 3.15: Poetry reading of Precious Rainbow by John O' Brien .

3.15 – 3.25: Reading of Salthill by William Keohane 

Booking for all events at

For queries contact 

Further events will take place throughout the month of July and further details will be available in due course.

 This award is an initiative of Mayo County Council in partnership with the Arts Council of Ireland with support from the Creative Ireland Programme

Image: Esther Raquel Minsky Photo Credit: Egidio Pandoldo

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