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The World Cafe: Art is for Everybody

Co Author:
Kate Aston
Artane, Ayrfield, Donaghmede and Priorswood & District Men’s Sheds with St Benedict’s Photography Group at our World Cafe Event; IMMA; 8th December; Photo by Kevin Handy (26)
Artane, Ayrfield, Donaghmede and Priorswood & District Men’s Sheds with St Benedict’s Photography Group at our World Cafe Event; IMMA; 8 December; Photo by Kevin Handy

On 8 December 2016 I had the honour of joining members of the Artane, Ayrfield, Donaghmede and Priorswood & district Men’s Sheds; members of St Benedict’s Photography group; and Helen Barry, Claire Halpin, Bridget O’Gorman and Lynn McGrane for a World Café event hosted in IMMA, The Irish Museum of Modern Art.

It was held in the beautiful North Range Boardroom overlooking the stunning historical gardens of The Royal Hospital Kilmainham. I was joined by Helen O’Donoghue (Senior Curator Engagement and Learning, IMMA), Liz Coman (Arts Officer, Dublin City Council), the late Jim Lee, and Tony Fagan (North Central Area Office, Dublin City Council), Sandra Rodriguez, Iseult Byrne and Rowena Neville (Dublin’s Culture Connects). We were treated to an inspiring afternoon of feedback as Aimee Van Wyke facilitated a World Café session in response to the Visual Thinking Strategy Tours that the various community groups undertook with Helen, Claire, Bridget and Lynn.

There was really encouraging feedback about the fantastic resource that is IMMA and huge appreciation for its art, building, history and grounds. It was evident from how the men spoke that the facilitators had created a great space for them to view and discuss the artwork.

I want to share with you some of my favourite comments on the impact the visits had on those involved:

"In the set up here today there was no politicians, no dignitaries, that this is just full of the people of Dublin and I think that's very much what came cross from what people are saying is that they realised from these visits, from coming here that art is for everybody, it's for the people of Dublin and it’s great to see that sense of belonging."

2017-04-10T21:06:14+00:00
"In the set up here today there was no politicians, no dignitaries, that this is just full of the people of Dublin and I think that's very much what came cross from what people are saying is that they realised from these visits, from coming here that art is for everybody, it's for the people of Dublin and it’s great to see that sense of belonging."

"I'd visit more museums now and bring my grandchildren."
2017-04-10T21:00:05+00:00
"I'd visit more museums now and bring my grandchildren."

"It connects generations. I chatted to my grandchildren about it and they are going on a school trip there."
2017-04-10T21:01:08+00:00
"It connects generations. I chatted to my grandchildren about it and they are going on a school trip there."

"Goes beyond verbal language, there is strength in visual language."
2017-04-10T21:02:44+00:00
"Goes beyond verbal language, there is strength in visual language."

"Art helps distract the mind and allows you to relax."
2017-04-10T21:02:01+00:00
"Art helps distract the mind and allows you to relax."

"The most interesting thing was the people attending. Why? Their different views and ideas of the artwork that they had seen."
2017-04-10T20:58:35+00:00
"The most interesting thing was the people attending. Why? Their different views and ideas of the artwork that they had seen."

"It makes me view Dublin a little bit differently."
2017-04-10T21:03:42+00:00
"It makes me view Dublin a little bit differently."

"I will take more notice of art in its different forms in future, it has made me more curious of such things."
2017-04-10T21:04:20+00:00
"I will take more notice of art in its different forms in future, it has made me more curious of such things."

"Getting involved in any aspect of art enriches your life."
2017-04-10T21:02:16+00:00
"Getting involved in any aspect of art enriches your life."

"(Looking at The) Salmon of Knowledge, the contents of the base, everyday objects, allowed me to focus my mind on something other than pain."
2017-04-10T20:58:55+00:00
"(Looking at The) Salmon of Knowledge, the contents of the base, everyday objects, allowed me to focus my mind on something other than pain."

When we came over here from the Men’s shed in Ayrfield we came with trepidation. Art and projects, we ain’t into that, the first day we arrived we did change our minds.
2017-04-10T20:55:27+00:00
When we came over here from the Men’s shed in Ayrfield we came with trepidation. Art and projects, we ain’t into that, the first day we arrived we did change our minds.

"The exhibit we didn’t like created lots of conversation."
2017-04-10T20:59:12+00:00
"The exhibit we didn’t like created lots of conversation."

"It has given me a new outlet for enjoyment."
2017-04-10T21:00:29+00:00
"It has given me a new outlet for enjoyment."

"(The visits have made me) look more closely at things in everyday life, for example Dublin architecture and the Spire, I looked at it in a new light."
2017-04-10T20:59:30+00:00
"(The visits have made me) look more closely at things in everyday life, for example Dublin architecture and the Spire, I looked at it in a new light."

"I was walking up Talbot Street there a while back and at the end of Talbot Street there’s this huge piece of conceptual art, or modern art if you want to call it that. Its called the Spire or the spike and it’s probably one of the most controversial things in Dublin, but it’s probably one of the most beautiful things in Dublin. Now I hadn’t really seen it in an artistic sort of way until I came on the visits here and it made me look around, not just at the spire but at the streets themselves."
2017-04-10T21:05:33+00:00
"I was walking up Talbot Street there a while back and at the end of Talbot Street there’s this huge piece of conceptual art, or modern art if you want to call it that. Its called the Spire or the spike and it’s probably one of the most controversial things in Dublin, but it’s probably one of the most beautiful things in Dublin. Now I hadn’t really seen it in an artistic sort of way until I came on the visits here and it made me look around, not just at the spire but at the streets themselves."

"Here is my chance to teach my grandchildren."
2017-04-10T21:04:01+00:00
"Here is my chance to teach my grandchildren."

"(Our) Preconceived ideas of modern art were changed which is very positive."
2017-04-10T20:57:47+00:00
"(Our) Preconceived ideas of modern art were changed which is very positive."

"I had never been to an art exhibition in my life. I would go again. We discuss it outside of our visits."
2017-04-10T21:00:48+00:00
"I had never been to an art exhibition in my life. I would go again. We discuss it outside of our visits."

"It's a relaxing place to come. We are totally comfortable coming to IMMA and art galleries now."
2017-04-10T21:01:41+00:00
"It's a relaxing place to come. We are totally comfortable coming to IMMA and art galleries now."

"Art is for everybody."
2017-04-10T21:02:29+00:00
"Art is for everybody."

"This experience changed our awareness for when art is portrayed on TV and media (for example I watched Turner Film which I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t done this project). It opens a new door for us in terms of conversation about art, we were able to watch the documentary and discuss it afterwards with the group."
2017-04-10T21:03:20+00:00
"This experience changed our awareness for when art is portrayed on TV and media (for example I watched Turner Film which I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t done this project). It opens a new door for us in terms of conversation about art, we were able to watch the documentary and discuss it afterwards with the group."
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