Curator’s Notes, Ruth Carroll, RHA Curator:
Futures, An Anthology opened in the winter of 2015 and served both as a re-examination of and an ending to the second iteration of the Futures Series, and included artists from the 2011 to 2014 exhibitions, 21 artists in total, working in a myriad of ways, each showing a modestly sized work that were spread throughout the main gallery and the Petronella Browne space. Futures usually takes the form of large solo bodies of works within a group show, the numbers in this anthology made for a more playful and open curatorial style, along with the open gallery space without the usual architectural divisions, creating curious dialogues between artworks.
Of these 21 artists, 40% live off the island at the time of writing, leaving for various opportunities, MA study or residences, economic and other reasons. This group were hit by the recession of recessions, lack of studio infrastructures and a decimation of the production budgets of most public funded and commercial spaces. Yet, many went on to commercial representation, here and abroad, successful public exhibitions and commissions, publications and performances, all markers of a successful art career. Three had major solo exhibitions with RHA, Vera Klute (2017), Neil Carroll (2020) and Barbara Knezevic (2021). All are still making work in one guise or another.
Sadly one artist, Emma Donaldson, died in 2020 and I’d like to express my condolences to her family and friends – she was an extraordinary artist, her internal demons drove her astonishing art. Rest well Emma.
The second series of FUTURES, concludes with FUTURES, Anthology 2011 – 2014, an exhibition of a compilation of artists selected from this series and will include work by Helen G Blake, Jenny Brady, Peter Burns, Alan Butler, Neil Carroll, Anita Delaney, Emma Donaldson, Eleanor Duffin, Adam Gibney, Aoibheann Greenan, Tracy Hanna, Caoimhe Kilfeather, Vera Klute, Barbara Knezevic, Maggie Madden, Shane McCarthy, James Merrigan, Ed Miliano, Sheila Rennick, Jim Ricks and Stephanie Rowe. FUTURES, a sequence of exhibitions that endeavours to document and contextualise the work of emerging artists, around whom exists a growing critical and curatorial consensus, annually showcases up to seven early career artists.
Artists are selected by RHA Director Patrick T.Murphy and RHA Curator Ruth Carroll from a number of sources, including artist-led initiatives, studio visits and group exhibitions and gives the visitor an exceptional view of different artistic practises that have emerged in recent years.
This years FUTURES will include painting, sculpture, print, video, digital media, sound and installation work.