In 2020 Butler Gallery moved to its new location at Evans’ Home on John’s Quay, Kilkenny. This momentous occasion has afforded the gallery the chance to reach out beyond its walls to invite and welcome a vast array of communities and audiences to take part in a new chapter of life for the gallery. June is Pride month and to mark this special occasion the gallery is teaming up with Kilkennny Leader Partnership to programme a series of events and activities which will be just the start of a prolonged process of mutual cultural and artistic engagement with LGBTQ communities across Kilkenny and further afield.
This programme is funded by Kilkenny LCDC through the DRCD Dormant Accounts Fund.
June 21 – July 2
Online and onsite
The work of Stephen Doyle is refreshing and timely in that it recognises and makes visible the sheer diversity of what it means to be LGBTQ in Irish society today. Stephen’s work questions and dismantles stereotyped concepts of what it might mean to be LGBTQ and opens up space for wider queer identities. Stephen is the gallery’s artist-in-residence for Pride and, in addition to creating work that highlights the importance of recognising Irish LGBTQ diversity, will also lead creative workshops with young LGBTQ people from Ossory Youth Services.
Stephen Doyle is a graduate of Crawford College of Art and Design and is the recipient of two International Art Prizes Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize and Sunny Art Prize. Stephen was shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize (2018). Doyle makes portraits of LGBTQIA+ people, and often includes objects in the paintings, a gesture of ‘othering’ the art that mirrors the subject matter it investigates. Their work explores issues of queer identity through the relationship between figuration and the politics of representation.
Month of June
Online Exhibition: View here
In San Francisco during the 1980s and 1990s the photographer Gypsy Ray (1949 – 2020) documented the lives and relationships of people living with HIV/AIDS. These collaborative portraits and the accompanying testimonies of their sitters are not only an extraordinary social record of those times and that epidemic but also of the human capacity to face the daunting challenges of life, of illness and of mortality, of love and of loss; to discover unknown inner strength and the solace of lovers, carers, friends and family. The participants in this series of photographs, on both sides of the camera's lens, show us how, at our shared best, we realise what it is to be human.
Monday 21 June - Friday 2 July
Short film screenings available to view on Butler Gallery website and onsite digital gallery.
Butler Gallery is delighted to screen an array of recently acclaimed and award winning short films representing a cross section of LGBTQ life and creativity from Ireland and overseas. Insightful, poignant, comedic, graceful, these shorts cover a variety of emotions and highlight the power of storytelling through the medium of the moving image.
➔ Johnny (2018)
As a young man from the Travelling community, Johnny Maughan always felt different. Growing up all around Ireland and the UK, he experienced discrimination wherever he went. But as Johnny got older, he began feeling different, even within his own community, as he started to realise he was gay.
Director: Hugh Rodgers
Producers: Zlata Filipovic & Anna Rodgers
In Association with Pavee Point
➔ Frida Think (2018)
A woman walks into a party dressed as Frida Kahlo, only to find that her version of unique has mass appeal.
Writer and Director: Maya Derrington
Producer: Paul Rowley
➔ The Red Tree/ L'Albero Rosso (2018)
A short documentary that tells the little known history of Italian gay men being arrested and exiled to a remote island during Mussolini's Fascist regime. In the film, an elderly man returns to the island of San Domino where 60 years before during the Fascist era he was imprisoned with hundreds of other men for being homosexual. As he walks the island alone, memories come back - of all-male dances in his home town in Sicily in the 1930s, of his beating and arrest, the difficulty of prison life on the island, the suffering of gay men under fascism, and their public humiliation after their return. And of this unique island where all the prisoners were gay, and the seeds of a community were first sown.
Director: Paul Rowley
Producers: Nicky Gogan, Paul Rowley
➔ Novena (2013)
A short documentary which captures what happened when a Catholic priest in Dundalk invited a gay man and lesbian woman to come speak at a Novena mass about being gay in Ireland.
Director: Anna Rodgers
Producers: Anna Rodgers and Hugh Rodgers
➔ I’m Roger Casement (2017)
Shot on location on Banna Strand, with award winning director Dearbhla Walsh, I’m Roger Casement reinforces the connection between Casement’s crossing of identity borders, his embrace of the erotic stranger and the experiences of people seeking to cross national boundaries. The film is one part of The Casement Project, Fearghus Ó Conchúir’s choreography of bodies and ideas that took place across multiple platforms and national borders. As part of the ART:2016 programme commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising and a commission for 1418NOW's WW1 centenary programme, it danced with the queer body of British knight, Irish rebel and international humanitarian, Roger Casement.
Director: Dearbhla Walsh
Choreographer and Artistic Director: Fearghus Ó Conchúir
➔ Expanding Visions of Irish Art and Creativity
Felicia Olusanya (FELISPEAKS) in discussion with Declan Buckley
Wednesday 23 June, 1pm-2pm
Free online event
Nigerian-Irish poet, performer and playwright Felicia Olusanya aka FELISPEAKS has captivated Irish and international audiences with her recent works. As someone who self-identifies as a queer black woman she is a champion of promoting diversity within Ireland’s cultural landscapes. This ‘in-conversation’ explores her ongoing artistic practice and considers how increasingly diverse Irish LGBTQ communities are expanding the creativity of the Irish arts scene.
Felispeaks is a Nigerian-Irish poet, performer and playwright from Co. Longford. As well as being a member of Dublin City Council's Culture Company Advisory Panel she is a member of the Board of Members for Poetry Ireland. Felispeaks was nominated ‘Best Performer’ by Dublin Fringe Festival 2018 for her performance in ‘BOYCHILD’, a co-written play with Dagogo Hart. The African Professional Network of Ireland (APNI) recognised Felicia with a special award in 2017 for her unique contribution to the Irish arts scene.
A familiar face and voice on Irish television and radio, Declan Buckley’s career began in the Dublin club scene of the 1990’s. As Shirley Temple Bar, Declan created the massively popular Bingo show in The George, Dublin, which introduced LGBTQ culture to wider audiences and has been entertaining audiences for almost 25 years. As the host of Telly Bingo on RTÉ1, Declan broadcasts to the nation three times a week and is also a weekly contributor on The Moncreiff Show on Newstalk. He is also a writer and a multimedia content creator. Declan’s parents are deaf and he is a lifelong advocate for deaf issues and Irish Sign Language. He is married and his husband thinks he has too many books.
➔ Supporting the T in LGBT
Rebecca Harold in conversation with Una Mullally
Friday 25 June, 1pm-2pm
Free online event
In January 2020 Kilkenny became a vital place of support for the trans community both within the county and in the wider south east region with the establishment of TransLife Kilkenny. This phenomenal achievement was led by Rebecca Harold, a native of the city. As Kilkenny city changed so too did Rebecca, a journey she shares in this very special talk.
In 2020, Rebecca Harold established Translife Kilkenny with the assistance of Kilkenny Leader Partnership. After coming out as trans, she quickly realised there was limited support structures for adults in Kilkenny and the south east and was determined to change this. She now facilitates support groups in the region, regularly speaks in public about trans issues and is active in national events such Mental Health Week.
Una Mullally is a writer from Dublin, Ireland. As a journalist she writes articles for newspapers, including columns - weekly for the Irish Times, and occasionally for the Guardian. Her articles have also appeared in Granta, the New York Times, and elsewhere. As an author she writes books such as In The Name Of Love (2014), an oral history of the marriage equality movement in Ireland, and the anthology Repeal the 8th (2018), which she edited. As a poet she writes poems, which she and others have performed in various places and at various times when and where poems are called for. As a screenwriter she co-writes films with Sarah Francis, two of which are in development with Screen Ireland. There are other things she does too, most of which relate to organising and contributing to things that appeal to her, with a view to feeling alive.
➔ Creative safe spaces for Irish LGBTQ artists – the role of museums & galleries
Stephen Doyle in conversation with Una Mullally
Friday 25 June, 3pm-4pm
Free online event
Irish LGBTQ communities often find their voices, both politically and culturally, through art and artists. In a post marriage equality Ireland, can we truly say that Irish society has moved from a position of so called ‘tolerance’ to full acceptance? What on-going debates need to be had and how can Irish arts institutions further support these discussions?
Stephen Doyle is the Butler Gallery’s artist-in-residence for Pride 2021.
Una Mullally (see previous)
Saturday 26 June
€5 per person per workshop (plus booking fee)
Venue: Butler Gallery & Barnstorm Theatre
Have you an idea for a play or performance piece that you just can’t pin down or bring some structure to? Or perhaps you have some fully formed ideas and are not sure what to do next? Where does an idea come from? How does it develop from page to stage? Join our masterclasses with playwright Brian Merriman, founder and director of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival and get some tips and advice from a leading figure in Irish theatre, direction and performance. Let's get the creativity flowing and let's write a play together!
Saturday 26 June, 3pm–4.30pm
€5 per person (plus booking fee)
Venue: Butler Gallery Gardens
Every place has its own Yellow Brick Road with good and bad surprises along the way. Join singer/performer Ciaran O’Neill aka Captain Anchor in a fringe cabaret musical as he brings guests on a journey that describes the ups and downs of growing up gay in rural Ireland.
Pradeep Mahadeshwar in conversation with Seán McGovern and Rico Johnson-Sinclair
Thursday 1 July, 1pm-2pm
Free online event
Contemporary Ireland is a vibrant kaleidoscopic ensemble of peoples and cultures. Yet this rich sense of diversity is often absent from both the big and small screen. If film is a medium in which we get glimpses into the lives and experiences of others different from ourselves, then it is an ideal platform for LGBTQ storytelling and representation. Join some of the leading names in Irish and UK film in this special ‘in-conversation’ event to hear about current examples of best practice and how mainstream film can be more inclusive.
Pradeep Mahadeshwar is from Mumbai, India but is now
based in Dublin. He is Senior Art Director at Groupon, is a visual
artist and writer with past exhibitions in Mumbai, New Delhi, London and
Dublin. He is a regular contributor to Gay Community News (GCN) and has
written on the experiences of first and second generation queer people
of colour (QPOC) living in Ireland.
Seán McGovern is the Creative Director of GAZE: Dublin International LGBTQ+ Film Festival. He has previously worked in the Programming team for Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Fest and the BFI London Film Festival and independently in London's Cinema Museum. Outside of film festivals, he is a Heritage Project Manager for the London Borough of Islington.
Rico Johnson-Sinclair is Race Equality Lead for the BFI, working to change cultures and biases in the film industry. After working with Flatpack Festival in Birmingham, he went on to build CineQ (Birmingham's Queer Film Festival that prioritises Queer and Trans People of Colour) which is now in its fourth year. He's also a new BAFTA Voting Member.
Outside of programming and exhibition, Rico consults with organisations around events that focus on Inclusion and Diversity.