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In Conversation:
Inside Creativity

Filmed at the Irish Architectural Archive - January 2023

While the outcomes of creativity are easily observable, understanding how creativity works is much less clear. In this panel event we draw on the knowledge and experience of a wide variety of experts to explore creativity; how, where, by whom and for what purpose it is employed - not only in areas such as art and science, but how we all use creativity to navigate and interpret our environments.

Roberto Gómez de la Iglesia is an expert in creative economy, consultant, manager and cultural mediator. He holds a Degree in Economics, specialising in Regional and Urban Economics from the University of the Basque Country, and a Master’s in Business Management from the Autonomous University of Madrid + Otalora Centre of the Mondragon Corporation. He founded and was director of the Xabide Group for 25 years, where he led the art and business innovation platforms Divergentes and Disonancias, the latter recognised as one of the best practices in the promotion of creativity and innovation in Europe. He was also the founder and is currently the director of Conexiones improbables, where he has conceptualised and developed its methodological framework and has led hundreds of cultural, innovation, communication and public awareness projects for more than 30 years, promoting the social economy and entrepreneurship in many different sectors, especially cultural and creative. He is also one of the creators of Kultursistema, a methodology for mapping, analysing and interpreting cultural and creative ecosystems and president of the Artehazia Cultural Innovation, Arts and Society Association. 

Amanda Jane Graham was born in Scotland but has lived most of her life in Ireland. Her artworks emanate from the sociological gaze. Her practice is autobiographical and autoethnographic; she narrates her story through a reflexive practice by delving into personal history and excavating memories, experiences, and emotions, some of which are challenging but rigorously scrutinised and almost always, humour emerges. Since leaving the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2011, Graham has had fifteen solo and twenty-seven national and international group shows. Her most recent solo exhibitions include 'Stage Left' at The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon 2018/19, and 'A Tribute to The Irish Community Butte Montana 1916-1919' at RHA Ashford Gallery 2017. In 2019, she completed an MLitt in interdisciplinary research in the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University. She receives numerous awards and commissions, including the Platform 31 Bursary 2022 from the Association of Local Authority Arts Officers and the Arts Council, and Arts Council Awards 2021 and 2020. 

Damien McGlynn is the Director of Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts where he is responsible for core programming and strategic and organisational development and partnerships, nationally and internationally. He has worked in the cultural sector across Ireland, the UK and Europe for 15 years, including as Ireland Director of Creative Lives and as part of the ARTIST ROOMS team at Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, delivering youth engagement projects across the UK as part of a touring collection of work. Damien was born in Dublin and studied Fine Art (Sculpture) at NCAD.

Professor Kerstin Mey is President of the University of Limerick. After studying for an MA equivalent in Art and German language and literature at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and obtaining a PhD in Art Theory and Aesthetics there, Kerstin held academic positions in universities in Germany and the UK. Before she joined the University of Westminster as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of Media, Arts and Design, and Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory in 2013, she was Director for Research and Enterprise at the University for the Creative Arts, UK. From 2009–2013, she led the research strand Art and its Locations in Interface: Centre for Research in Art, Technologies and Design at the University of Ulster and was Director of the Research Institute of Art and Design there. Kerstin’s research is concerned with contemporary art in relation to identity formation, digital literacies, cross-disciplinary connectivities, documentation and archives. She gives consideration to participatory and socially engaged creative practices and public pedagogies more generally. 

Dr Jonathan Price is Lecturer in Creativity and Enterprise at University of Leeds and an independent consultant in arts management and policy with over 25 years of experience in the cultural sector. His early career was in theatre, journalism and music promotion followed by several years in arts development and cultural regeneration for local government before moving into academia and consultancy. Jon's doctoral and postdoctoral work has explored the theory and practice of cultural leadership examining the discourse that has emerged in the past 20 years around the concept of cultural leadership and the circumstances in which art is produced and culture shaped. As well as teaching at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds, Jonathan regularly acts as an advisor to European Commission programmes, most recently advising on the development of the Music Moves Europe initiative.

Dr Declan Long (Chair) is Head of Doctoral Studies and Co-Director (with Dr Francis Halsall) of the MA/MFA Art in the Contemporary World. He writes regularly on contemporary art and related subjects for a range of publications including Artforum International and Source Photographic Review. He is the author of Ghost-Haunted Land: Contemporary Art and Post-Troubles Northern Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2017): an in-depth analysis of art made in response to changing conditions in the north of Ireland during the two decades following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. While art from Northern Ireland has been a key area of research interest over recent years — with the work of Derry-born photography and film artist Willie Doherty a particular focus — he has also written extensively on art from Ireland more generally, and from other parts of the world. Recent work includes texts on the history of Ireland’s exhibitions at the Venice Biennale (Journal of Curatorial Studies, 2021) and essays for publications on the work of Dorothy Cross, Eva Rothschild, Emily Jacir and Merlin James.

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