Radical Actions| Melbourne

Irish artists Kennedy Browne (Gareth Kennedy & Sarah Browne), Duncan Campbell, Jesse Jones and Seamus Nolan exhibited existing works at RMIT Gallery Melbourne in September 2016. The exhibition titled Radical Actions looked at how events in recent and distant history, attitudes to rebellion, revolution and agitation have formed societies and National identities.

Revolutions are about antagonism and agitation, and this is above all, true of events a hundred years ago. A dramatic and emotionally driven gesture, the 1916 Rising is rumoured to have inspired revolution in India, Vietnam and many parts of Africa. It was planned by men and women who feared that without a dramatic action of this kind, the sense of national identity that had survived all the hazards of the centuries would flicker out ignominiously within their lifetime.

The 1916 Commemoration should not be a time for soft words or a gazing backwards through a green-tinged prism at an idealised past. There is an urgency for an assessment of Irish identity within broader international and global contexts. Radical Actions questioned the role of the artist in imagining future states and explores the impact this revolutionary period has had on Irish citizens.

Among the works in this exhibition was the film Bernadette by Turner Prize winner Duncan Campbell. One of a trilogy of films, it focuses on female Irish dissident and political activist Bernadette Devlin. Campbell’s film works with already mediated images and writings about her in an effort to do justice to her legacy while also striving for what Samuel Beckett terms, “a form that accommodates the mess”.

Jesse Jones film piece The Other North casts professional Korean actors to re-enact scenes from a conflict resolution therapy session in 1970s Belfast. The sessions were organized by American psychologist Carl Rogers, known as a proponent of psychotherapy, documented and long ago forgotten.

The exhibition also presented Seamus Nolan 10th President Campaign. Recent works include F**K IMMAfor ‘What we call love, Surrealism to now’ in the Irish Museum of Modern Art 2015/16 and What if we got it wrong? Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, while Kennedy Browne, the collaborative practice of Gareth Kennedy & Sarah Browne will be revisiting their work The Special Relationship which looks at Ireland’s position as a neutral State that allows the use of airports as a stop-off point for US military.

RMIT University Gallery is housed in Storey Hall, first built as a Hibernian Hall in 1887 and remodeled in 1995 where its Irish Heritage is referenced in the buildings exterior architecture. The exhibition occupied galleries 1 & 4 of this prestigious space.

Culture Ireland’s international culture programme entitled I Am Ireland is part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.



Linda Shevlin has curated, facilitated and managed both large and small-scale visual arts projects including the 53rd Venice Biennale where she was project manager for the representative artists Gareth Kennedy & Sarah Browne and is Tulca Festival curator for 2018.

In 2017 she was the invited curator for the Hennessy Art Fund, purchasing new works for the IMMA collection and also curated the visual art programme for Bealtaine Festival 2017/2018 where she developed projects, commissions, residencies & exhibitions. with numerous Irish artists including Vivienne Dick, Kathy Prendergast, Kevin Gaffney, Pauline Cummins and Frances Mezzetti.

In 2016 she curated Radical Actions at RMIT Galleries, Melbourne as part of Culture Ireland’s 2016 International Programme ‘I Am Ireland’. The exhibition featured works by Duncan Campbell, Jesse Jones, Kennedy Browne and Seamus Nolan.

Other recent independent curatorial projects include Americana: Future Rural featuring John Gerrard (IE), Brian Duggan (IE), Kim Shively (USA) and M12 Studio (USA) at The Dock, Leitrim and Amharc Fhine Gall X commissioning Ella de Búrca, Ruth Clinton and Niamh Morriarty.

She has been awarded the Arts Council of Ireland’s Visual Arts Curatorial Residency award for three consecutive years (2013 – 2016) and in that time has produced a series of events and exhibitions in County Roscommon including newly commissioned works by Maria McKinney (IE) and Sean Lynch (IE); public art projects by Sean Rafferty (AUS), Ruth E. Lyons (IE) and Deirdre O’Mahony (IE), exhibitions by Martin Parr (UK), Duncan Campbell (IE) & Eamon O’Kane (IE) and a symposium titled The Workers with contributions from Adam Sutherland of Grizedale Arts (UK) & M12 Collective (USA) among others.

Shevlin is currently curator in residence with Roscommon Arts Centre & Solstice Arts Centre.


Linda Shevlin
Tivanagh School
Co. Roscommon
+353 86 605 2571
+353  71 966 4606