Mise Éire at the National Museum of Ireland

The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts in Collins Barracks will host a fascinating look at the idea of national identities. The Mise Éire conference will be hosted in the museum on 4 and 5 November and will feature a host of leading design historians, practitioners and academics, who will explore the notion of national identities in Ireland through the lens of design and craft.

Part of the 1916 centenary programme, the aim of Mise Éire is to initiate dialogue and question the impact of global influences, as well as the roles cultural diversity and technology play in shaping national identities in the present and what roles they will play in the future.

The first day of the conference will include panel discussions on topics including; Remembering 1916, the role of the state and how national museums reflect identities through material culture and official collections and the role of design in the future. All are sure to be lively and interesting discussions, with contributions coming from the likes of Dr Lisa Godson, Dr Moya Carey, Joe Hogan, Joseph Walsh and Brian Kennedy.

The keynote address on Saturday will be ‘La maladie de porcelaine: Travels with the Fonthill Vase’, delivered by Edmund de Waal. Best known for his large scale installations of porcelain vessels, De Waal’s work has been exhibited worldwide, including recent exhibitions at Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Kunsthaus, Graz, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills and the Royal Academy in London. His family memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes won several literary awards and he released his second book The White Road last year. He will be on hand for a book signing after he delivers his fascinating keynote address.

The second day of the conference will very much focus on new research papers, with a selection of new papers from researchers, practitioners and graduates that address various themes that will be discussed during the conference. These include; Dr. Claudia Kinmouth’s The Sligo Chair revisited: Ancestry & Evolution, an interdisciplinary approach, Dr. Sorcha O’Brien’s Shining, Clean Machines: The Promotion of Vacuum Cleaners in 1950s  and 1960s Ireland, Mary Ann Bolger’s “Ritual strangulation with regurgitated interlacing:” reimagining the Celtic in modern Irish design and David Smith’s Embracing Cliché: The influence of Kerbstone 52 in the visual identity of Year of Irish Design 2015 – a project study.

The keynote address on Sunday will be ‘Design, Cultural Practice and Identity in Everyday Life’, delivered by Prof. Tom Inglis, who is the Emeritus Professor of Sociology at University College Dublin. He has written extensively about Irish culture, particularly in relation to religion, sexuality, the media, globalisation, love and the meaning of life. He has published numerous articles and books on these topics, including; Moral Monopoly: The Catholic Church in Modern Irish Society, Lessons in Irish Sexuality and Truth, Power and Lies: Modern Irish Society and the Case of the Kerry Babies.

Mise Éire is sure to offer some wonderful insights into national identity and offers the chance to hear a range of interesting and engaging voices. Tickets are available now for this unique conference priced at €60, with concession tickets available at €45 for students, the unwaged and senior citizens.


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