July 2, 2018 - August 31, 2018
On a Pedestal: celebrating the contemporary portrait bust in the 21st century

On a Pedestal: celebrating the contemporary portrait bust in the 21st century

The inspiration for this exhibition came from the eighteenth-century interiors of Castletown House, a magnificent Georgian country house near Dublin, and its most famous occupant Lady Louisa Conolly. The house is in the care of the Office of Public Works in Ireland. Hélène from HB Art Consultancy co-curated this exhibition with the senior manager for Heritage Services, Mary Heffernan, and the Milan-based Irish artist Nuala Goodman. Classical portrait busts are a distinctive feature of the decoration of the Long Gallery in Castletown House. These became the starting point of the exhibition which celebrated the contemporary portrait bust and invited the viewer to contemplate the beauty of the human face and how it is represented in sculpture, applied art and design. Over thirty artists from various countries were chosen by the curators to present works at the Long Gallery: they included Tony Cragg, Wim Delvoye, Giulio Paolini and Alessandro Mendini.

In September the exhibition was transferred to the State Apartments of Dublin Castle. As well as curating the exhibition and assisting with the design at Castletown House, Hélène advised on the catalogue entries, which were written by the artists themselves as part of their contribution to this project. Hélène also contributed a critical essay on the influence of the classical on contemporary artists working with diverse media to create portrait busts in the twenty-first century.

Our role: Co-curator
location: Castletown House, Co. Kildare, Ireland
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