Artist Commission 2023 - 2024
Art in the Landscape: Artist Commission in North Mayo
Offaly County Council, Mayo County Council and Visual Artist Ireland are delighted to announce that the international artist Hardeep Sahota has been selected for an art commission in North Mayo and at Lough Boora Sculpture Park in Offaly. Hardeep Sahota will be collaborating with the photographer Tim Smith on this project. As part of their research and community engagement they will be facilitating workshops and community engagement in North Mayo.
Curator Helen Pheby
The partners are delighted to be working with Helen Pheby, Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, who has been engaged to curate the artists commissions and overall curatorial direction of the project. Helen Pheby is Associate Director, Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). Her career was inspired by a school visit to YSP and the cultural heritage of West Yorkshire. She has curated numerous artist projects in the UK and overseas including ‘Art by Email’, in partnership with ArtRole, which gave a platform to artists in areas of conflict. Helen was an advisor to the Arts Council Collection, England (2016-17) and Chair of UP Projects (2019-22). She is a Co-Investigator of an AHRC-funded research project initiated by the University of York Centre for Applied Human Rights, asking whether ‘art can save human rights’.
Hardeep Sahota - lead artist
Hardeep Sahota is a multidisciplinary artist and academic widely known for his work in the field of Bhangra. His much-acclaimed book, Bhangra: Mystics, Music and Migration, explores the origins of this folk song and dance from the Panjab in South Asia and its development into part of modern British culture in the hybrid soundscape of British Bhangra and beyond. Hardeep is also a secondary school teacher of art, and an Affiliate Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, in recognition of his research and work within the local community. For his exhibition, ‘Bhangra Lexicon’ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park he collaborated with photographer Tim Smith to capture dance, body movements and gestures associated with Bhangra, using coloured lights and long-exposure photography. He continues to study this life-long fascination with dance through the ephemeral qualities of light-painting and other creative explorations.
Tim Smith is a freelance photographer who combines editorial and commercial work with exhibition, publishing and mixed media projects. He is based in Yorkshire. The region and its diverse communities have provided the inspiration and acted as a springboard for national and international projects which have resulted in dozens of exhibitions toured in over twenty countries worldwide, and showcased in eleven books. Much of this work explores the links between Britain and people and places in other parts of the world. He’s a member of Panos Pictures. This renowned London-based agency represents photojournalists worldwide who document issues which are under-reported, misrepresented or ignored.
Art in the Landscape Project
This artist commission is part of Art in the Landscape, a project led by Offaly County Council in collaboration with partner organisations Bord Na Móna, Lough Boora Sculpture Park, Mayo County Council and Visual Artist Ireland. The project takes its inspirations from the Tír Sáile Sculpture Trail in North Mayo and Lough Boora Sculpture Park in County Offaly; the two largest sculpture trail/ park in Ireland. This phase of the project will return to the local context, focusing on aspects of Art in the Landscape that are specific to each locality, through artist-led projects and in person events. It will include an artist commission in North Mayo and at Lough Boora Sculpture Park, County Offaly, the Festival of Ideas in 2024 and Visual Artists Ireland Get Together October 2023. This project is funded by the Arts Council’s An Invitation to Collaboration Scheme.