The Souvenir Project by Rita Duffy

Thu 25th May - Sat 17th June
11:00 am - 5:00 pm

On 24th April 2016 artist Rita Duffy opened The Souvenir Shop on the ground floor of one of the extraordinary Georgian buildings in 13 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1, situated close to the site of Proclamation signatory Thomas Clarke’s tobacconist on Parnell Street, bringing the tenement and the big house traditions into one.
Drawing on the idea of Clarke’s shop as a place of exchange and ideas, visitors were able to buy surreal, openly provocative art works by Duffy, made with the support of the Cavan County Council Arts Office and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA). Together they created a range of everyday products that are surreal and poignant, absurd and humorous.  Finally, the made-in-Cavan installation has come back to Cavan via Dublin Paris and New York, giving locals the opportunity to visit the Townhall Arts Space and see for themselves an art project that has won international critical acclaim.
Soften the Border is Duffy’s new project that will begin with the opening of this exhibition. If you are interested in taking part in a large scale public artwork planned for the bridge at Blacklion and Belcoo call into the Townhall 11am – 5pm Wednesday to Saturday, running until Saturday, 17 June. There are planned workshops and creative direction available for all those interested in collaborating on the project. Call in for a cup of tea and learn more.
About the Artist
Rita Duffy was born in 1959 in Belfast. She received a B.A. at the Art & Design Centre and a M.A. in Fine Art at the University of Ulster. She is one of Northern Ireland’s groundbreaking artists who began her work concentrating primarily on the figurative/narrative tradition.
Her art is often autobiographical, including themes and images of Irish identity, history and politics. Duffy’s work has grown and evolved but remains intensely personal with overtones of the surreal. Homage is paid to the language of magic realism and always there is exquisite crafting of materials. She has initiated several major collaborative art projects and was made an Honorary Member of the R.S.U.A. for her developmental work within the built environment. She is an associate at the Goldsmiths College, London and is currently working on an artistic exchange with Argentina and N. Ireland, looking at the role art has in post conflict societies.
Her Belfast studio practice continues to develop and her public art projects are increasingly preoccupied with international themes. Currently she is developing a series of new works for the Public Records Office of N.I. which is designed into the new building. Duffy’s work is being increasingly collected at home and abroad with work in numerous public and private collections
A good painting always makes me think longer and deeper thoughts.