Monday 19th April 2010 in Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

The aim of this symposium was to consider the form and content of the visual art publication, VERGE. The publication was intended as an alternative to urban-based visual arts publications and contained articles from writers, artists and poets on issues relating to rural arts and profiles of pertinent projects.

Each speaker had particular knowledge to bring to the discourse- visual arts practice, art history, sociology, agriculture, heritage and critical theory. It was intended that they would bring an external perspective to the publication and stimulate an open interrogation of the direction and dissemination of future research at the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). The symposium aimed to inform the focus of future trans-disciplinary and practice-led research at GMIT.

Research already developed at the institute fed into a module on Art and Heritage in Rural Contexts. A significant proportion of students studying at GMIT are from rural backgrounds. At a time of accelerated socio-economic, cultural and environmental change, the particular challenges of all forms of visual art practice in rural public spaces was a subject of ongoing research within the institute.

The symposium was preceded by a presentation by UK based artist Georgina Barney, on her project Great British Farming. At the time the artist was undertaking a PhD through practice at Grey’s School of Art Aberdeen.


  • Jay Koh, Artist
  • Megs Morely, Artist/Former Public Arts Officer Galway City Arts Office.
  • Pat Cooke. Director of the MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management (UCD)
  • Michaele Cutaya, Freelance Writer/Artist.
  • Dr. Anne Byrne School of Political Science and Sociology (NUIG)
  • Dr. Aine Macken Walsh, Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre
  • Jenny Haughton Public Arts Policy Advisor, the Arts Council
  • Catherine Marshall, Art historian.

Chair: Deirdre O’Mahony, Artist/Lecturer (GMIT)