The Workers Symposium

Image one: from left: Michelle Browne, Elaine Reynolds, Adam Sutherland. Image two: Fiona Woods & Richard Saxton. Image three: Adam Sutherland. 

Under the curatorial residency in Roscommon, Roscommon Arts Centre & Roscommon County Council in partnership with CREATE, the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts presented The Workers Symposium. This one day symposium reflected on contemporary modes of visual art production in rural contexts and the mechanisms and partnerships available to support them. This symposium provided a platform for reviewing the Art@Work model that has been supported by Roscommon Arts Office for 10 years. The cultural, economical, social and physical landscape of the County has evolved since Art@Work’s inception and this symposium provided the opportunity to explore potential changes to the project. Over the course of the day visual artists discussed and presented their experiences of producing artworks in rural contexts while creators and facilitators of rurally based projects and representatives from International programmes presented case studies.

Speakers included

Katherine Atkinson, CREATE

Chairperson’s introduction

Philip Delamere, Leitrim Arts Officer

Art@Work, it’s formation and progression 

Niamh O’Connor, Art@Work programme coordinator 2011 & 2012, with a panel of past participant artists and businesses including Michelle Browne, Gareth Kennedy, Elaine Reynolds and Declan Molloy from Molloy’s bakery

Fiona Woods & Richard Saxton

In conversation on Collection of Minds #5 project

Deirdre O’Mahony

X-PO, SPUD & Mapping Group projects 

Philip Delamere, Leitrim Arts Officer

On recent Leitrim based projects LOCIS & SPARK

Adam Sutherland

Grizedale Arts, UK

Hollie Kearns & Rosie Lynch

Workhouse Assembly, Callan, Co. Kilkenny

Panel discussion on case studies chaired by Katherine Atkinson

Audience Q&A

Book launch of A Decade of Country Hits

Edited by Margo Handwerker and Richard Saxton



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