GMIT Contemporary Art Practice students collaborate on Achill arts project

Monday, May 16, 2016 Press Office
Press Release

New Level 7 part-time course now accepting direct applications

Students on the new part-time BA in Contemporary Art Practices at GMIT Mayo recently took part in a very successful book-binding workshop with Red Fox Press, the fine art screen-printing and artists’ book publisher based in Dugort, Achill.

Such was its success, a second workshop on building a printing press and an introduction to letterpress printing took place, with the students constructing a press together using timber, bungee cords and a hydraulic car jack, the materials for which cost a grand total of €50. The students printed materials using wooden type and blocks from a variety of sources, including some from the former printing works of the Western People  premises.

According to Denis Farrell, one of the art lecturers teaching on the course, “This is just one of the many kinds of activity taking place on the course, and we’ll have loads more workshops happening next year.”

Hazel Walker, another of the lecturers on the course explained, “The BA in Contemporary Art Practices programme is designed to integrate the three strands of fine art, community engagement and the creative industries with a theoretical understanding of contemporary art in the rural context.”

As part of this, in the autumn, the students will take part in a week-long module called ‘Representing the West’ which will look at representations in visual culture of issues of landscape, identity and community in the West of Ireland. The week will include lectures and seminars as well as field trips and working in the landscape. This module is also available to people who are not taking the four year course, but want to deepen their understanding of visual culture and the West of Ireland.

The BA in Contemporary Art Practices is a four-year part-time course and runs over one day and one evening a week. It is taught through studio workshops, demonstrations, lectures, field trips, seminars and group critiques, and is currently looking for new students to begin year 1 in September. It is currently just finishing its second year, and will gradually replace the existing six-year part-time BA in Art & Design – whose final year students will be opening their graduate exhibition in St. Mary’s Hall on Friday 27 May.

The new programme is unique in Ireland, offering a BA in art at the end of four years part-time. For anyone interested in joining this exciting art course, the closing date for new applications is Friday 3 June, to be followed by interviews on Friday 15 June. For further information, please contact Mary Nestor or John Mulloy at the GMIT Mayo campus in Castlebar, tel. 094 9043137/3156 or email