VisArts to welcome world renowned artist Michael Craig-Martin

Trinity’s Visual Arts society, or VisArts, is welcoming the world renowned artist Michael Craig-Martin to Trinity today, November 23. The talk, which will be held in the Emmet Theatre, is set to be an enthralling one.

From his beginnings in Dublin, his learnings in Yale University and his teachings in London, Craig-Martin has had many influences on his acclaimed contemporary art, since his first independent exhibition in the Rowan Gallery, London in 1969. Since then, Craig-Martin’s artwork has been presented on the walls of some of the world’s most iconic museums, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, and Centre Pompidou, in Paris to name but a few. Craig-Martin will certainly prove to be a captivating speaker.

Speaking to Trinity News, Chair of VisArts, Sophie Mulcahy Symmons expressed her anticipation for the upcoming event. “It is a great opportunity and privilege for VisArts to work alongside TRIARC, the Irish Arts Research Centre in Trinity, to host Michael Craig-Martin. He is a world renowned contemporary artist, born in Ireland. He has exhibited all over the world. Famous for his piece, ‘An Oak Tree’, he will discuss Duchamp’s influence on his work and his own unique style developed from there. He was also a well-known teacher in the Goldsmith College, London, having taught the likes of Damien Hirst, and Tate Trustee in London for many years.”

This year marks the centenary of Marcel Duchamp’s renowned ‘Fountain’. In 1917, Duchamp shook the foundations of the contemporary art world when he invented the artistic idea, ‘Readymade’, where an artist would take an everyday, ordinary object, and put them out of their usual positions, and present them as artworks. An example of this is Duchamp’s “Prelude to a Broken Arm”, which is a snow shovel, and the first ‘Readymade’ sculpture by Duchamp following his move to the United States of America. Following the talk, Craig-Martin will take questions from the floor, and there will also be time for discussions. The talk will be launched by Prof Linda Doyle of Engineering and Arts, with an introduction of the event to be given by the Director of Trinity’s Irish Art Research Centre (TRIARC), Dr Yvonne Scott. Closing comments will be made by the Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Sean Rainbird.

Speaking prior to the event, Dr Scott said: “It is difficult to overstate the contribution of Michael Craig-Martin to visual art in recent decades. Not only is he one of the most significant Irish visual artist to be recognised on the global stage, he is appreciated also as a gifted communicator, not just through his distinctive art which is at once engaging and challenging, but also his renowned capacity for communication with his students at Goldsmiths College; notably, through his advice, insights and encouragement, he engendered in them the confidence to express themselves and reach towards their potential.”

VisArts is a hidden gem within the packed society scene in Trinity. Since 1966, the society has been bringing students together to appreciate the wonders of the artistic world. Throughout its sixty years, the society has celebrated artistic culture, and provides an outlet for students who may not be able to give much time to their creative side otherwise, given the bustling and busy lifestyle of a student. From modern art to Romantic sculptures with blockbuster movies in between, it seeks to cater to all who appreciate art and would like to meet like minded people. The Craig-Martin talk may prove to be one of the highlights of the society calendar, and is one for all art aficionados not to miss. Though you will not have to spend a cent to attend the event, any anticipating spectators should aim to arrive at the Emmet Theatre early, before the launch at 6.30pm, in order to snatch a seat.

Seana Davis

Seana Davis is a fourth year Geology student and News Editor of Trinity News.