Sunday, 10, September 2017

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The River Lee

My Life in Cork with Tadgh Crowley

At the Glucksman Gallery

My life in Cork

If there’s one thing you can be sure of in Cork, it’s the passion of those who live there for their city. Corkonians are renowned for their loyalty when it comes to their home turf, and are always quick with a suggestion for a visitor, or a top tip for a great bar or restaurant. Tadhg Crowley is the Curator of Education at the  Glucksman Gallery, a renowned institution in the city. We chatted to him about his work and what he loves to do in Cork.

"I’ve worked here at the Glucksman for over 6 years now… wow, how time flies! I began as an intern before being offered a role as part of the Information Desk Team, then progressing on to Assistant Curator and now Curator of Education. One of the main objectives within my current position is to ensure that everyone who visits the Glucksman has the best learning experience possible, regardless of your age, background or knowledge of art. Our diverse programme of exhibitions and events ensure there is something for everyone, from our free weekly family art workshops to Art Club Senior courses or the Artist Talk series and much more.

My Life in Cork

It is hard to describe what I might be doing on a daily basis. I might be meeting community partners, planning projects, installing exhibitions, teaching or drawing up a funding application (as I’m meant to be doing now!) and it’s the variety of work here in the museum that makes it such an exciting and enjoyable place to work.

Life in a contemporary art museum can throw up all types of situations and experiences, as I’ve learnt over the past number of years. This variety means that my highlights are both distinct and many – listening to Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer regale children at the opening of their exhibition ‘Once Upon a Place’ in 2016; witnessing the powerful artistic performance by students of UCC’s Certificate in Contemporary Living in the Glucksman Forecourt in 2017; working on the installation of The Sacred Modernist (Josef Albers) exhibition back in 2012; giving my first guided tour at the Glucksman in 2011 (nerve-wracking and exhilarating); or enjoying DJ Stevie G and rapper Outsider YP performing at the opening of our Navigating the Urban Landscape exhibition earlier this year. But above all these there was a moment back in late 2015 after months of planning and preparation that we finally welcomed the first children living in Direct Provision into the museum for a project called Our Place. That first day when they ran through the museum doors in a burst of energy and excitement was one of those pivotal occasions. The subsequent workshops and projects that we have held at the Glucksman re-shaped my understanding of what impact the museum could have on this particular community and society more widely. To see how the creative activities impacted on the children and teenagers in terms of building self-esteem and confidence was nothing short of incredible. 

Cork is renowned for its food and drink and rightly so, we are spoilt for choice here on Leeside with so many wonderful restaurants, cafes and pubs. I could list so many but here are a few - 

My Life in Cork

Alchemy for a warm welcome and tasty coffee.

Miyazaki for the most incredible Japanese food.

English Market for unique tastes, smells and sounds.

In the evening, for me nowhere beats the Abbey Tavern for a great pint and friendly atmosphere.

My favourite thing about living in Cork has to be the people! I’m very lucky to live and work in the city where my family and friends are from. I’ve spent time living in other countries but have always been drawn back home!

I’ve begun to explore the city all over again since my daughter Alice was born about a year and a half ago. You’ll see us walking along the Mardyke, through Fitzgerald’s park and down to Paul St, stopping off at Ali’s Kitchen for a coffee or popping into The Long Valley for a sandwich. Alice is always content once there is ice-cream at the end of the walk! Spending time with my family in my city, that’s pretty perfect!

Here at the Glucksman we are currently working on a project called Arriving Into View with teenagers who are living in the Direct Provision system. This is one of many projects the museum has undertaken with young asylum seekers, refugees and migrants over the past number of years. Arriving Into View is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and has invited a group of 16 teenagers from the four centres in Cork to create a large-scale mural for public exhibition. The mural which looks at ideas of identity and personal journey will be unveiled to the public on Culture Night in Fitzgerald’s Park. An exhibition of prints, paintings and drawings by the group will run in the Glucksman from the 22nd September to 8th October. We are continually blown away by the talent, creativity and positivity of these young people who have endured and suffered so much in their short lives. This is a must see if you are in Cork this Autumn. You have to come and visit!"