In 1974, Project settled in the former Dollard Printing Works at East Essex Street.
Three years later, with the financial assistance of The Arts Council of Ireland, Project purchased the site and remained there until 1998. The venue at East Essex Street consisted of a theatre/performance space, gallery and cinema. In 1982 fire destroyed part of the premises, forcing the closure of the cinema and the loss of the foyer and of ce accommodation.
In 1991 the Board of Project instigated a programme of redevelopment to improve the venue and facilities. This culminated in the temporary closure of Project’s long-term base at East Essex Street in 1998. Artist-in-residence Maurice O’Connell’s Demolishing Project marked this event in February 1998, by inviting people to literally mark Project with a message or thought on the notion of Project and the old building.
The new Project building was developed by Temple Bar Properties Ltd. and funded under the Operational Programme for Local Urban and Rural Development of the EU, and by the Department of the Environment, Local Government and Dublin Corporation. It was designed by Shay Cleary Architects and was opened by An Taosieach Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D. on Monday 12th June 2000. The building was introduced to the public with the inaugural exhibition Somewhere Near Vada, curated by artist Jaki Irvine, who was commissioned to select artists’ works using the moving image.2
‘On Monday 12th June 2000 Project will open its new building back in Temple Bar. Project has played a major role in Dublin’s cultural life since 1966. In the past, Project has been a relatively nomadic arts centre, moving from an engineering premises in Lower Abbey Street to a disused factory in South King Street and finally, in 1974, to the former Dollard Printing Works in East Essex Street. Now, for the first time, Project will have a building custom designed to suit its needs. The opening will be a landmark occasion for many people, artists and the general public alike, in Dublin, Ireland and beyond. The new four-storey building, designed by Shay Clear Architects, is the physical embodiment of Project – a place that invites participation and risk. From the outside one sees a modern, industrial façade. Inside the spaces are flexible and fluid with three formally programmable spaces – the Cube and Gallery on the ground floor and the Space Upstairs on the first floor. But nowhere is out of bounds. The breezeblock walls and the concrete floors are functional, allowing room for artistic invention and intervention. The new building is completely unique and current but, standing as it does on the same footprint as the old, it also has a strong relationship with Project’s past. The back wall of the old theatre still stands; the ‘burnt out space’, destroyed by fire in the early 1980s, has been reclaimed; the industrial nature of the old building is reflected in the aesthetic of the new. The return of Project is the last stage in the redevelopment of Temple Bar. Project was the first artistic inhabitant of the Temple Bar area in the 1970s. It is entirely apt that Project’s new building completes Dublin’s Cultural Quarter.’ 3
First show in the new building was ‘Somewhere Near Vada’, curated by Jaki Irvine, an exhibition of international artists’ work with the moving image: This exhibition is an acknowledgement of their legacy. Nine artists’ works, on 16mm film, slide and video, will be placed throughout the whole building. The spaces, as yet undesignated by their future functions, will be lit by the ephemeral light of projectors, screens and monitors, the flickering images allowing only glimpses of the space around them. The future identity of each space – as social, administrative, artistic – will not yet be marked through other uses or experiences.
Photography books by
- 2020, Big Art Energy (BAE) (lockdown publication), included Carving Out Space, Vanessa Idediora, photographic series, Project Arts Centre
- 2011, State, Susanne Bosch and Anthony Haughey, Project Arts Centre
- 1989, “One of the publications planned is a book on Robert Ballagh’s theatre designs. This will have contributions by Patrick Mason, Declan Hughes and David Grant, and photographs by Derek Spiers (ROI, Photographer), Tom Lawlor (ROI, Photographer) and Amelia Stein (ROI, Photographer). It will be launched in February 1990”The Irish Times article: ‘Artists put in print’, 25th Nov 1989, Project Press, a division of Project Arts Centre have published the first in its series of short books “to promote artists in the medium and long term” –
- Project Arts Centre April – June 1978 issue
Exhibition catalogue: PHOTO SHOW, June 13th – 7th July “This is an important exhibition aimed at centralising the issues for contemporary creative photography. It will include the following sections”
- LASZLO MOHOLY-NAGY (HU), This exhibition has been lent to the Project by the Goethe Institut. It will include his photograms of 1922-26; photomontages 1925-1927 and his photographs 1920- 1939.
- FAY GOODWIN (UK) – ‘The Ridgeway’, This is a series of photographs of the oldest path, the ridgeway in southern England.
- MARTIN PARR (UK) – ‘Beauty Spots’, Beauty spots is the title given by Martin to a series he has been making over the past three Summers and famous beauty spots in Britain. He found that very often when visitors reached their objective it was an anti-climax and they would spend their time loitering, sunbathing and eating.The wit of this photographic survey lies in the observation of often quietly absurd and very British behaviours set against the background of stunningly significant topographical or historical locations.
- ROB SMITH (ROI) – ‘Photocollages’, Rob Smith is a painter who has been working on photocollages for the past few years. He teaches in the National College of Art and Design.
- AMATEUR COMPETITION, We hope to organise an amateur photo- graphic competition sponsored by one of the photographic companies. It will be for 10″x8″ black and white photographs and the subject will be Ireland.For further information please contact the Visual Arts Organiser near the time.
- YOUNG ATTITUDES (ROI), This will include the work of some young Irish photographers who are working with photography. Tony Murray and Tom Grace have both exhibited in Dublin regularly.Their work is primarily concer- ned with people. Tom Grace is particularly interested in ‘Organised Activities’, such as Spring and Horse Shows, Dog Shows, Parades etc. He tries to introduce humour by catching people who have dropped their guard. It is hoped to show the photographs of some fine art students to show the scope of photography in Ireland.
Selected exhibitions featuring lens-based media
2021, Sara Greavu & Ciara Phillips: Open the book at a different page – Derry Film and Video Workshop
- 2021, LUMINOUS VOID: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society
- 2019/20, 22 Nov – 18 Jan, Anna Dauíková, Solo Exhibition,
- 2018, 19 Apr – 16 Jun, Softly Spoken (GE), Agnieszka Polska, video work, Project Arts Centre.
2015, Gretchen Bender, Solo Exhibition
- 2015, 23 Oct – 23 Dec, David Claerbout, Curated by Tessa Gibson, Project Arts Centre
- 2015, 30 Jan – 9 April, A Voodoo Free Phenomenon, Garrett Phelan, Project Arts Centre
- 2015, 11 Jun – 1 Aug, Riddle of the Burial Grounds, Simon Boudvin (group exhibition), Project Arts Centre, Gallery 5. 6. Space Upstairs 19.
- 2012, 23 Aug – 27 Oct, White Washing The Moon, Eleanor Duffin
- 2012, 26 Apr – 26 Jun, Garden, Niamh O’Malley
- 2011, Things, Ceal Floyer Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
- 2011, The Repetition Festival Show, Clemens Von Wedemeyer (GE), Project Arts Centre
- 2010, Repertoire On Selected Films & Screen Savers
- 2009, 7 Mar – 25 April, James Coleman, Curated by Enrique Juncosa, Project Arts Centre.
- 2009, 2 Jul – 15 Aug, The Prehistory of the Crisis (2), Susanne Bosch, Anthony Haughey, Daniel Jewsbury, Sinead McCann, Project Arts Centre and Belfast Exposed.
- 2008, 28 Mar – 3 May, No Words For You, Springfield, Jeremiah Day, The Gallery at Project Arts.
- 2007, Rosa Barba, Jeremiah Day, Aurélien Froment, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan
- 2006, General Ideas, includes work 1994: Felix, AA Bronson, Project Arts Centre. 4
- 2005, 21 Jan – 27 Feb, Communism, group show, Eva Berendes, Lali Chetwynd, Declan Clarke, Susan Kelly, Goshka Macuga, Paul McDevitt, Aleksandra Mir, Seamus Nolan, Veit Stratmann, Klaus Weber.
- 2004, In Repertory, Gerard Byrne, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
- 2004, Europa, Eoghan McTigue, Opening Tue 27 Jan 2004 at 6pm, Screening daily from 11AM – 6PM, 28-31 January 2004, The Cube.
- 2003, general’specific, Ronan McCrea
- 2003, Multiples x 7, Curated by Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt(UK/Author) and organised by Multiples, ‘Multiples x 7’, Artists included: Heather Allen (Mixed practice which includes photography/ ROI), Ross Birrell (UK/ Artist), Jakob Boeskov (DEN/ICL/ Artist), lan Charlesworth (UK/Contemporary Artist) Gardar Eide Einarsson (NOR/Visual Artist), Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir (aka Rafla: Visual Artist/Design / ICE), The Icelandic Love Corporation, Janice Kerbel (UK/Mixed Practice), Simone Landwehr-Traxler (UK / Artist), Camilla Low (NOR/Contemporary Artist), Tor Magnus Lundeby (SWE/Visual Artist), Katrina Moorhead (NI/Sculpture), Toby Paterson (US/Sculpture), Gill Sabjörnsso, David Sherry (US/ Photography), Lucy Skaer (UK/Contemporary), Salla Tykkä (FI/Lens based). || Photography based work: 2001, Envoy, Ross Birrell, lambda print, 1998, Cactus, Salla Tykka, photograph on board, 2003.
- 2003, Permaculture, Curated by Mark Garry (Artist/Curator, ROI), in The Gallery at Project Arts Centre, Artists include: Stephen Brandes, Slavec Kwi, Alan Phelan, Karl Burke, Caroline Mccarthy Garrett Phelan, Robert Carr, Ronan Mccrea Eva Rothschild, Graham Ellard William Mckeown, Bernard Smyth, Mark Garry, Metropolitan, Andrew Vickery, Stephen Gunning, Complex, Corban Walker, Daragh Hogan & Cris Neumann, Walker & Walker, Isobel Nolan, Maurice O’connell, Grace Weir, Stephen Johnston, Paul O’neill, Finola Jones, Mark Orange || Photography based works: 2003, Journey to the Centre of Blanchardstown Roundabout, Alan Phelan, Duratrans photograph with solar powered turning mechanism, PVC, self-adhesive vinyl, paint, video monitor, VHS video player. Bernard Smyth, nine-metre long photograph of the night sky. “This exhibition took as its model the horticultural system called Permaculture where diverse species co-exist in close proximity. Permaculture is a system designed to maximize use of resources within a limited environment. This is achieved by individual units performing multiple functions, overlapping but remaining distinct. Here Permaculture worked as a model, in which artworks connect physically and psychically in a space dense with activity, forming points where meanings converge and dissipate. Taken as a metaphor for Dublin at a specific moment, the exhibition represented a cross-section of the city and examined how many distinct art practices co exist. Permaculture also addressed the manner in which the cultural scene spreads beyond the city’s limits. It included artists who live in the city, work here intermittently, have relocated, or have at some point passed through” “Multiples commissions limited edition artworks from established and emerging artists. The works are sold through established retail spaces, mail order and the internet. The work commissioned is updated every six months providing a varied and affordable way to build a collection of contemporary art”
- 2002, 25 Apr – 6 Jun 2002, Time In Between, Eoghan McTigue (NI, Photography), Project Arts Centre.
- 2001, Stand Fast Dick & Jane, Curated by Alan Phelan and Tom Keogh (OutArt members), Project Arts Centre.
- 2000, 30 Aug – 12 Sept, View, Ronan McCrea, Project Arts Centre.
- 2000, Somewhere Near Vada, Curated by Jacki Irvine, Project Arts Centre. Irish artists included: James Coleman (ROI, Artist), ‘La Tache Aveugle, 1978-90’, 35mm slides, continuous projection. First show in the new building: ‘Somewhere Near Vada’, curated by Jaki Irvine, an exhibition of international artists’ work with the moving image. Project started life with the work of visual artists in a two-roomed gallery in Lower Abbey Street. – “This exhibition is an acknowledgement of their legacy. Nine artists’ works, on 16mm film, slide and video, will be placed throughout the whole building. The spaces, as yet undesignated by their future functions, will be lit by the ephemeral light of projectors, screens and monitors, the flickering images allowing only glimpses of the space around them”
- 1996, Images of Home in the 90’s, Photography based works included: Alma Roche ‘Ideal Homes’, Photographic images with text, installation, “Ideal Homes presents the idea that through our growing preoccupation with interior decoration and DIY, we are encouraged to believe that ‘homes’ can be created by achieving the correct aesthetic balance within a building. It seems that we believe that perfect lives will follow naturally if the perfect living environment can be achieved” Kate Orchard, ‘In Visible Cities’, Photographic/Graphic, installation, “The work comprises two parts: 1. A reconstructed graphic map of Dublin on the exterior wall of the Project Arts Centre. 2. Photographic works presenting five peoples’ views of “Home” and “Homelessness”: Paul Murray, “Flat to Let”; Joan O’Leary, “Love Me But Don’t Spoil Me” – “Don’t Quit”; Linda ‘Nolan, “Gateways To The City”; Chris Quigley, “Word Associations: – Home from Home” – , Fergal Fitzpatrick, ‘Home’, Photography, “Outdoor Ad Site”
- 1995, Home, Brian Fallon
- 1991, 16 May – 22 Sept, In a State: An Exhibition on National Identity in Kilmainham Jail, Project Arts Centre, – out of the 21 participating artists, only one mentions work with photographs, Cork artist Louise Walsh, ‘Out-Laws, In-Laws’, installation with plaster and photographs.
- 1987, September, Irish Artists, Muris Moynihan, Project Arts Centre.
- 1987, July, WAAG, (Women Artists Action Group) photo slide exhibition, featuring 91 women artists. 5
- 1983, ‘New Works – New Artists: Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture, Livework, Installation and Photography’, Artists included: Eithne Jordan (ROI, Visual Artist), Arny Austin, Damien Coyle (NI, Artist), Lynne Davies-Jones (NI, Visual Artist), Fergus Delargy NI, Visual Artist), Willie Doherty NI, Lens-based), Micky Donnelly (NI Contemporary Artist), Dennis Magee (NI, Educator), Julie Stephenson (Photography) and Nick Stewart (Ink Artist), all of whom have close links with the development of the visual arts in Northern Ireland.
- 1984, 24 July, Photographs From The West Of Ireland, Martin Parr
- 1978, June 13th – 7th July, PHOTO SHOW, Laszlo Moholy-nagy (HU), This exhibition has been lent to the Project by the Goethe Institut. It will include his photograms of 1922-26; photomontages 1925-1927 and his photographs 1920- 1939. Fay Goodwin (UK) – ‘The Ridgeway’, This is a series of photographs of the oldest path, the ridgeway in southern England. Martin Parr, (UK) – ‘Beauty Spots’, Beauty spots is the title given by Martin to a series he has been making over the past three Summers and famous beauty spots in Britain .He found that very often when visitors reached their objective it was an anti-climax and they would spend their time loitering, sunbathing and eating.The wit of this photographic survey lies in the observation of often quietly absurd and very British behaviours set against the background of stunningly significant topographical or historical locations. Rob Smith (ROI) – ‘Photocollages’, Rob Smith is a painter who has been working on photocollages for the past few years. He teaches in the National College of Art and Design. Amateur Competition, We hope to organise an amateur photo- graphic competition sponsored by one of the photographic companies.It will be for 10″x8″ black and white photographs and the subject will be Ireland. For further information please contact the Visual Arts Organiser near the time. Young Attitudes (ROI), This will include the work of some young Irish photographers who are working with photography. Tony Murray and Tom Grace have both exhibited in Dublin regularly.Their work is primarily concer- ned with people. Tom Grace is particularly interested in ‘Organised Activities’, such as Spring and Horse Shows, Dog Shows, Parades etc. He tries to introduce humour by catching people who have dropped their guard. It is hoped to show the photographs of some fine art students to show the scope of photography in Ireland.
- 1977, Wed 29 Jun – Fri 15 Jul, Edinburgh Arts 1976 Exhibition, touring in Dublin and Belfast in June/July 1977. Artists include: Angelo Bozzola (ITL, Artist), Paul Neagu (ROI, Artist), Jimmy Boyle (UK, Sculpture), Nigel Rolfe (UK/ROI, Artist), James McGlade (UK, Artist), Alistair Wilson (UK/NI, Sculpture), Frank Flood (ROI, Painting), Eugene Tierney (ROI, Prints), Oliver Whelan (ROI, Painting), Bob Chaplin (UK, Artist), David Leverett (UK, Artist), Rose Finn-Kelcy (UK, Artist) and Tina Keane (UK, Multimedia), Carlo Pezzoni (ITL, Sculpture), Dalibor Martinis (HR, Video/Performance artist). “‘An exhibition containing work by many artists about a journey to discover Celtic Heritage made from Malta to Scotland in Summer of 1976. Presenting: Painting, Sculpture, Prints, Drawing, Photographs, Documentation and Performance Work. Exhibition opened at Project Arts Centre on Wed 29 Jun – Fri 15 Jul 1997”
- 1976, Wednesday 20th Oct – Monday 8th Nov, Physical Architextures, Tony Kirman (AU Conceptual artist based in ROI).
External links & References
- “About” Project Arts Centre https://projectartscentre.ie/about-us/
- “About” Project Arts Centre https://projectartscentre.ie/about-us/
- Launch of Artistic Programme 2000 /// Press Release – 12/06/2000