2016 will be a significant year for the State when we acknowledge the Easter Rising in 1916 as the moment that set us on a path to independence. The role of artists in the Celtic Revival and in the events leading up to the Rising cannot be underestimated. They challenged and provoked a different narrative that sought to imagine a different Ireland. In the century since the Rising, artists have continued to be the great signifiers of our island. Their work, created in hope and obstinacy has been the enduring imagination of what Ireland can become. Irish artists once created a body of work inseparable from the Rising. Now in 2016, through a unique artistic programme developed by the Arts Council, they continue to create work that will be forever inseparable from its centenary.
Launch of 1916 Open Call projects - RHA Dublin, 6 August 2015.
Celebrating the centenary of the Easter Rising 1916 in art and ideas, the State has again turned to its artists. In steps of dance, in notes of music, in the cadence of literature or the sensory experience of visual art is an opening to life beyond the ordinary. Art never conforms. It surprises. Art is an answer to cynicism, it is a comfort in fear and it is a source of hope. This is the purpose of the Arts Council's Ireland 2016 Programme.
In remembering 1916, we begin by renewing. We have called artists to share their vision with the republic, to allow others see as they do, that things can be different, not the same. This is our open call to the Irish imagination. We look forward to sharing the response over the year.
Launch of 16 x 16: Next Generation bursaries, Áras an Uachtaráin,16 December 2015.