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Posted: 21 March, 2022

Announcing the Carlow Arts Festival and VISUAL Carlow Annual Open Submission and Art Award

For the last 43 years Carlow has been proud to host one of Ireland’s largest open submission visual art exhibitions and art prizes. Emerging in 1979 as part of the Eigse Carlow Arts Festival, ARTWORKS has, since 2009, been successfully co-produced by Carlow Arts Festival and VISUAL Carlow, and presented in the extraordinary galleries at VISUAL. It has a firm place in the arts calendar and continues to develop as one of the country’s most important cultural events.

The deadline for submissions is 31 March.

This year’s ARTWORKS Open Submission invites submissions by artists who are examining questions of communication, language, the body and the speculative. Titled after a short story by speculative fiction writer Octavia Butler, Speech Sounds invites submissions that consider communication under a speculative lens, investigating disabled, modified, fictional, historical and non-human subjects as sites of reimagining communication and language.

Artists are invited to submit existing work in any medium for selection. The 2022 exhibition Speech Sounds will be presented in the galleries at VISUAL from 9 June – 31 August 2022. ARTWORKS 2022 is open to visual art in all mediums and all artists selected will receive an artist’s fee. The deadline for submissions is 31 March.

Verbal, written, signing and digital communication is at the heart of creating shared visions of the world, our sense of self, community and how we relate to each other. Speculative fiction, a type of storytelling which depicts realities other than our own, often deploys unconventional forms of communication to show new ways of relating to human and non-human subjects.

These stories often utilise bodily difference, modification or disability as devices to test the limits of language, creating situations that expand and rip apart our understanding of the body and how it functions. Speech Sounds will build on these themes to explore how artists adopt the strategies of the speculative in how the body contains and transmits communication and language.

The Artworks 2022 selector panel is made up of representatives from VISUAL, Carlow Arts Festival, guest curator and external panellists. The exhibition is curated by Iarlaith Ni Fheorais and VISUAL Carlow and stems from Ni Fheorais’s Speech Sounds programme undertaken as Curator in Residence at VISUAL in 2021.

For more information visit Visual Carlow’s website

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