Participatory Artist in Residency

Artist in residence Michael McLoughlin

Over the coming weeks a year long visual art project will start in Drogheda called ‘Cumann’. This project is a partnership between Droichead Art Centre and artist Michael McLoughlin. This ambitious artwork will involve people from all over Drogheda and will result in a major piece of work in Droichead Arts Centre and around the town during Drogheda Arts Festival in 2016.

The word “Cumann” tends to be associated with politics and party branches. The word translates as society, as association, as club, as community, as friendship, as company. Cumann reflects that idea of togetherness that this body of work aims to represent. It celebrates connection between people, which has such importance to the wellbeing of us all.

This new artwork looks at this in the context of active citizenship and belonging.

“I’m really looking forward to starting into this piece of work and particularly exploring the wonderful networks of clubs, groups and associations in the town. The work is people centred, specific to Drogheda and it celebrates community.” says McLoughlin.

For Cumann, Michael will record audio conversations and connections between people representing society in its broadest sense. He aims to celebrate friendships, bonds and connections between communities of interest in Drogheda, within it’s surroundings and explore the potentials relationships between them.
Cumann will result in a series of immersive multi-channel spacial sound installations in Droichead Arts Centre, with 80 to 100 sound sources, creating a forest of suspended speakers that accurately map and recreate stories and conversations.

McLoughlin’s arts practice involves soundwork, drawings, sculptural objects, video and installations. A recurring element in the work he has made over the last 20 years has focused on what brings groups of people together, what is the connection that drives them, where does the balance between personal relationships, friendships, ideas, ideals or common goals lie. What is the actual common bond? This project has been generously funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

More about the artist Michael McLoughlin

Michael McLoughlin has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally, with exhibitions in France, Finland, Norway, Great Britain and the US. Previous work includes: It’s nice to see our friends once in a while, The LAB 2010; I only come here cos it’s free, Limerick City Gallery of Art 2008. Welcome Back, Breaking Ground, Ballymun 2006-2007; Audience (1) Waltzers with Mary Nunan, various venues 2007-2008; Bypass/Shared Designs Limerick City Gallery of Art, 2003. His artists book of drawings, I am here because I know you will be too (2014) has just been published by Dublin City Council. He curated Soundings, the inaugural exhibition at dlrLexicon, Dun Laoghaire, (2014-2015) in partnership with Dun Laoghaire Lifebooats (RNLI).