In recent years, the city of Dublin has become host to a thriving contemporary art scene. To celebrate this, we feature a selection of spaces that offer established programmes to encourage gallery goers and support emerging talent. Institutional and artist-run, these galleries focus on facilitating innovative, challenging and engaging contemporary visual art practice.
The Dublin City Council Arts Office has a dedicated building known as The LAB. This is a gallery and artist studio space largely dedicated to the work of younger artists. The LAB houses meeting rooms, rehearsal spaces and exhibition spaces, and aims to create a range of ways for audiences to engage with critical art practice. This unique institution is based on Foley Street in Dublin’s historic Monto.
The Green on Red Gallery is iconically situated in a warehouse space in Dublin’s city centre. One of the leading Irish contemporary art galleries, Green on Red represents established artists both Irish and international, including Gerard Byrne, Damien Flood and Nigel Rolfe. The gallery programme is based on 10 to 11 solo exhibitions and up to 2 group or thematic exhibitions per year, including public lectures, performances sound events, screenings and off-site projects.
Project Arts Centre started off as a three-week festival at the Gate Theatre in 1966. This festival was a great success and lead to the establishment of a permanent alternative centre for performing and visual arts. The gallery space presents a series of free exhibitions throughout the year and its performance spaces showcase productions from some of Ireland’s most successful companies, alongside the work of new and emerging artists. Project Arts Centre also plays host to a number of productions from local and internationally focused festivals including Dublin Writers’ Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival.
The Temple Bar Gallery and Studios (TBG+S) is a gallery and art studio complex, and was one of the first DIY artist initiatives in Ireland. Started by a group of artists and administrators in 1983, TBG+S was a major part of the establishment of Temple Bar’s reputation as a place for cultural activities in Dublin during the 1980s, leading to its regeneration as Dublin’s cultural quarter in the early 1990s. Its aim is to support upcoming artists and to connect the public with the engaging dynamic of art.
Mother’s Tankstation is located on the fringe of the vast Guinness brewery complex, close to Heuston Station, IMMA and across the River Liffey from the National Museum at Collins Barracks (the ‘Luas’ tram stop Museum serves both). It is named after a disused Guinness storage shed, Tankstation No. 2, and a Depression-era restaurant in New Orleans called ‘Mother’s’. Acknowledging its location, the gallery aims to expand the city’s art scene beyond Dublin’s centre and exhibits six exhibitions a year of challenging international contemporary art in all mediums. The gallery has been rated amongst the top 500 in the world and opens 12-6pm, Thursday – Saturday. See website for exhibition details and summer closures.
Pallas Projects is an artist run organisation dedicated to facilitating artistic production by providing artist studios and curated projects in the city centre. This ongoing project started in 1996, collaborating with artists, curators and writers to engage and develop Irish contemporary art through solo projects by Irish and international artists. Pallas Projects aims to provide a constant space for artistic production and exhibition, searching for and inhabiting semi-permanent locations and temporary offsite exhibition/project scenarios, as well as fighting to maintain them. These have included a four year exhibition programme in a semi-derelict block of council flats, a white cube space in a former milking parlour, and collaborative projects with other major galleries. The project is now based at a long-term studio and project space in The Coombe.