Rockingham | Sean Rafferty

Roscommon Arts Centre presented Rockingham, an exhibition by Irish-born Australian artist Sean Rafferty. Sean’s project focuses on the remnants of the former Rockingham Estate, which encompasses Lough Key Forest Park and the farm of his late grandparents.

Rafferty created a monument in Lough Key Forest Park using fragments of the once great Rockingham House now strewn throughout the site of Kingston Hall, the former farmhouse of the Rockingham Demesne. In Rafferty’s words, it was “a gesture that recognises my family history in the context of the history of the area”.

A series of works based on this salvaging process were exhibited in Roscommon Arts Centre.

This exhibition and public intervention were programmed under the curatorial residency awarded by the Arts Council of Ireland.


Sean Rafferty was born in Galway in 1979, and is now based in Sydney. In recent projects he has adopted the role of collector, salvaging fragments from various locations and sources and arranging them according to sets of criteria. His current project focusses on the Australian fruit box as a device for conveying produce, but also for its role as a possible conveyor of meanings about ‘the land’ (in both in agricultural terms and as a landscape), and the people who live and work on it. Rafferty’s interest in the Irish landscape originates from his childhood experiences on the farms of his late grandparents in Co. Louth and Co. Roscommon. Each of these locations is steeped in significant mythologies and/or histories. The fragments he collected from his grandparent’s farm in Boyle, Roscommon, were made into compositions to form the project ‘Monuments of Fiction’, shown in Sydney and Melbourne in 2013. 

Sean Rafferty is currently undertaking a residency at the Fire Station Artist Studios, Dublin and was recently artist in residence with Waverley Council in Sydney. In 2013 he founded Breezeblock in Sydney, a project space that focuses on the exhibition of curated projects and printed material. 



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