Where We Gather 2009

Image 1: Where We Gather. 2009. Two-channel projection with sound.  Image 2: Installation view, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.  Slide 3: Watch film


Where We Gather looks at places where people gather and how these have evolved over time, it is a social history of Irish Culture through the activities communities engage in and how they socialise. The era of the social dances of the 1950’s – 1970’s have often been described as the hay day of Irish Social History and this period is attributed to being the turning point for creating a more liberal society, less governed by the church. Using an abandoned Ballroom in rural County Roscommon as the location, the work is reluctant to sentimentalise the small town culture of old as many of these towns were often locked in economic stagnation and cycles of emigration. These same towns and villages are now once again faced with the familiar local –

global dichotomy. The cultural juncture between old and new, global and local, traditional community and modern society are all questioned in this piece.

The piece was produced to be exhibited as part of “Notions of Capital” at The Dock, Co. Leitrim in September 2009.

The two projection screens are installed at an obtuse angle and floor mounted to create an architectural space that immerses the viewer in the image.

The projection on the right hand screen was shot in an abandoned Dance Hall in Castlrea, Co. Roscommon. Bella Hall, originally a landmark in the town of Castlerea, was one of the first custom built dance halls in the region as a response to the social demand for spaces large enough to hold dances for over 1000 people. Up to this time dances were held in parochial or parish halls, leading to an insurgence of developers responding to this demand building ballrooms and dance halls across the country. One such developer being the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who was responsible for “The 13 Lands” – each ballroom having the word “land” in the title: Cloudland, Fairyland, Meadowland…

The scene shows a local well known showband member, Patsy Haugh, playing trumpet alone on stage without the backing of his band to a hall devoid of an audience, all that remains in this hall is remnants of the owner’s life. Patsy’s appearance in the piece is relevant in that he played in the Bella Hall as a teenager and remembers it in all it’s former glory. The choice of tune to play was left entirely up to him and was decided by him without consultation. Given the fate of this hall which is being encroached upon by progress and developments and who’s days appear to be numbered, he aptly chose to perform ‘One more Sunrise’.

On the left hand screen the silhouette of a couple dancing appears for the duration of Patsy’s performance and fades as it draws to a close.



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