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25 September 2013


Wednesday 25th September: President Michael D. Higgins officially marked the 30th anniversary of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (TBG+S) at an event held in the Dublin city centre gallery today. TBG+S is one of the first DIY artist initiatives set up in Ireland, started by a group of artists and curators in 1983, it is credited with playing a major role in the regeneration of Temple Bar.
Speaking at the event President Higgins said “Realising the foundation of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios suggests an  innate instinct, which all artists will recognise the dream and the search to find a creative space, a place of refuge and relief where ideas can take hold, incubate and be brought to fruition. From that deep rooted creative ambition this once semi derelict factory building has grown into a purpose built complex to be used by both artists and those who wish to engage with and experience their talent and work.  It symbolises and exemplifies so much of the spirit of Temple Bar and the vision at the heart of its conception”

TBG+S works to support professional visual artists and to connect with people through art.  It does this by providing affordable studio space to over 40 artists annually and through an eclectic programme of exhibitions and events. Some of the art, artists and the changes that have taken place over that 30 year period have been captured in a specially commissioned book that was presented to President Higgins today.

President Higgins said “ Temple Bar was conceived through a determination to incorporate that which was best about our past into our ever evolving and changing societal needs. The establishment of the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios reflected an equal determination to reject any notion that at a time of economic difficulty we should neglect the arts.”
Claire Power, Director of TBG+S said “We are honoured to welcome President Higgins to our gallery and studios for our anniversary celebrations. The President is a huge supporter of the arts and his presence here today helps us share the story of our development over 30 years from an artist’s work space into an important social and cultural space in Temple Bar that is open and free to everyone to visit.”

TBG+S is currently hosting an exhibition that brings together four artists with different connections to the organisation, and asks them to create new work in response to the 30 year history of TBG+S. The artists involved are Sabina Mac Mahon, Alan Phelan, Sarah Pierce and Michael Boran. The exhibition, entitled ‘False Memory Syndrome’ continues until 26th September.
Artist and Board member of TBG+S Robert Armstrong has had a studio in the building since the company was founded in 1983. He said, ‘It is great to see so much support for TBG+S from everyone here today especially from President Higgins. As an artist, being able to work in the centre of a city and being part of the vibrant Temple Bar community is very important and this is undoubtedly due to the influence of organisations like TBG+S and the contribution of the arts community as a whole to the city”.
The event was also attended by Declan Moylan, Partner at Mason Hayes & Curran who are the main corporate partners of TBG+S 30 year anniversary celebrations. Mr Moylan said “We congratulate TBG&S on this remarkable day and we are delighted to support them. The gallery’s commitment has been outstanding in promoting innovation and accessibility to the visual arts in Dublin.”
Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council, reflected on the 30 year contribution of TBG+S to the Irish arts scene, stating, “On its foundation TBG+S was an almost entirely unique concept for Dublin- studios in the city centre. Today, 30 years on, we can now see that the founders had a vision for the visual arts that has allowed the creativity to thrive. The Arts Council is delighted and honoured to be here today to play a role in these celebrations”

At TBG+S all programmes are free and accessible to everyone with a curiosity about visual art.  The Talks + Events series includes studio and gallery tours, lectures, critical discussions and film screenings for audiences.

Press Contact: 
Media Contact
Sile Murphy
Rayne Booth tel. 00353 1 671 0073 or tel. 087 995 7074 or