Participatory Artist in Residency

Artist in residence Michael McLoughlin 2016

Over 2016 a year long visual art project took place in Drogheda called ‘Cumann’. The project was a partnership between Droichead Art Centre and artist Michael McLoughlin. The ambitious artwork involved people from all over Drogheda and the result was a 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.

The new artwork looked 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 recorded audio conversations and connections between people representing society in its broadest sense. His aim was to celebrate friendships, bonds and connections between communities of interest in Drogheda, within it’s surroundings and explore the potentials relationships between them.  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 was generously funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.