Making Connections: Spring School

01 — 22 March 2021, 6.30pm - 8pm

Be inspired and brighten up your year as we move into Spring! Over four weeks, join a positive space of growth and learning, inspired by nature, with artist workshops, talks and studio visits.

The Making Connections Spring School is a free four-week online programme of art activities for adults. Led by TBG+S Studio Artist Sibyl Montague, the Spring School is based on the theme of biomimicry and rhizomatic learning.

Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics systems found in nature as a tool for creation; thinking, looking and doing in art practice. Rhizomatic learning is a form of community-based learning that adopts an interconnectedness of ideas and mindset of unrestricted creative inquiry. It likens learning to the roots of a plant as a model for the construction of knowledge.

Each week will see a different activity, talk, discussion or workshop, facilitated by artist Sibyl Montague, a TBG+S team member and invited guests. The Spring School is an opportunity to expand your ideas of art practice, explore stages of the art-making process, from the studio to the gallery, create your own art and get to know the TBG+S community.

The Spring School takes place online every Monday evening, 6.30pm to 8pm, over four weeks from 1 to 22 March 2021. The programme is free of charge and open to adults. View the full schedule and details below.


The Spring School is an online participatory event of four modules over four weeks. Offering a unique insight into artist practice and Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, it will be a space to learn, engage in conversation and make. Each week we will explore different stages of an art practice in relation to themes of biomimicry and rhizomatic learning through a programme of artist talks, studio visits, workshops and projects. No previous experience needed but a willingness to engage in group work and discussion is essential. The Spring School is free of charge and open to adults. 10 participants will be selected from an open call (details below).

There will be some suggested activities between sessions. Access or use of a smart phone or video is useful but not necessary. Some basic materials will be required throughout.

Monday 1 March, 6.30PM - 8PM

Welcome and Introduction to the Spring School at TBG+S and Studio Visit with Artist Sibyl Montague

The first Spring School session will include a welcome and introduction to TBG+S with Learning + Public Engagement Curator, Órla Goodwin and TBG+S Studio Artist Sibyl Montague. Participants will begin a conversation about biomimicry through a slow look at some key artworks and images. Sibyl Montague will host a virtual studio visit looking at her studio practice and introducing the programme ahead.

Sibyl Montague's practice explores how we regard, hold, and consume objects and experiences within a politics of care. Her work explores trans-disciplinary forms of usability or hand held, making assemblage based works that combine vegetable, textile, digital and poor material sources, with the hacking of commodity goods and media.

Presented as 'tools' or series of assembled objects of use, her work focuses on disruptive, intimate and generative processes of making that aim to remediate and reroot mass material to its base as extractive, sentient and ecological. The outcome of this is ongoing where recent work has evolved physically from the handheld into larger hybrid forms, bundles, blankets, bags or swaddles that can be potentially worn or held with two arms.

Sibyl Montague's (Dublin, Ireland) practice includes sculpture, assemblage, video and installation. Sibyl Montague was Artist in Residence at VISUAL, Carlow in 2020 and recipient of the IMMA 1000 residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2019. Recent exhibitions include The Law is a White Dog curated by Sarah Browne, TULCA Festival of Visual Art (2020); SELF SOOTHERS, VISUAL, Carlow (2020); Profit & Loss, AEMI online (2020); Saplings, Pallas Projects, Dublin, and My Fears of Tomorrow are Melting Away, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (both 2018). Sibyl Montague was co-founder and co-curator of PLASTIK international festival of artists’ moving image in Dublin, and is currently a Three Year Membership Studio Artist at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin.

Monday 08 March, 6.30PM - 8PM

Biomimicry as Process
Workshop and Studio Visit with Artist Maria McKinney

This workshop focuses on biomimicry through sculptural form and the use of craft-based skills and processes as a tool for creation. Participants will meet with TBG+S Studio Artist Maria McKinney for a virtual studio visit and group workshop. Maria will offer insight into her working methods that combine rural and vernacular knowledge with more complex systems of scientific evolution and manipulation. This will be followed by a group activity that engages specific hand skills and transformative techniques with everyday material to produce biomimicry forms.

Maria McKinney makes work through a range of media including sculpture, installation, photography and video. She combines hand-craft with response to context, collaborating with scientists and farmers to produce projects that explore ideas surrounding genomics and agriculture.

Upcoming in 2021 is Totem Yokes, a project reflecting on past and present farming practices in Wexford, a result of the M11 Per Cent for Art Commission. Additionally, she will undertake the Cavan Townhall Scholarship, researching new work in relation to an indigenous Irish cattle breed and the border Drumlin landscape. In 2019, she realised a new off-site project on the island of Jersey including a live sculptural intervention at their annual agricultural fair. She also produced new work in collaboration with genomic researchers at the EU Joint Research Centre in Italy, exhibited on site and then at Bozar in Brussels. Further exhibitions in 2019 and 2020 include a solo exhibition at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading UK and group shows in the Gregg Museum, North Carolina USA, Sunderland Museum, UK, and Pace University Gallery, New York USA. Her work was included in the four person exhibition Somewhere in Between at the Wellcome Collection, London UK in 2018. Her work is part of the collections of the Arts Council of Ireland, the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading UK, Europol, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Office of Public Works and Bank of Ireland.

Monday 15 March, 6.30PM - 8PM

Deep listening: Sound and Vibration
Workshop with Artist Sibyl Montague and Studio Visit with Artist Suzanne Walsh

We will begin with a virtual studio visit and an introduction to the work of TBG+S Studio Artist Suzanne Walsh. Suzanne's practice works with the medium of sound to produce performative lectures, audio/musical compositions and spoken word works that query human/non human relationships and consensus realities. This will be followed by a workshop with Sibyl Montague focusing on sound, exploring aspects of field recording and studio production.

The workshop will explore themes of resonance and vibration as an artwork, as well as practical skills in sound editing. Participants will be directed to collect audio recordings and sounds from the immediate and/or natural environment prior to the workshop. We will then explore experimental techniques through open source software and programs for sound manipulation and editing. The workshop will conclude with a collective 'noise' concert and playback.

Suzanne Walsh is a writer and artist from Wexford, currently working in Dublin. They use performative lectures, audio/musical performances and text-based work to query ideas around human/non-human relationships and consensus reality. This often draws on the scientific world as well as more esoteric sources. They explore performativity and modes of delivery through acting, vocalisation and recitation, and sometimes use video, audio recordings and photography, in addition. Writing is also important, and they’ve published essays, reviews and poetry in publications including Circa Art Magazine, Fallowmedia, gorse journal, and Winter Papers, as well as being commissioned to write texts by AEMI, and Wexford and Fingal Arts Offices, amongst others. They have performed and shown/read work at galleries and festivals including Galerie Michaelastock Vienna, TENT Rotterdam, Phoenix Institute Brighton, Sion Stables in Tyrone, IMMA, Galway Arts Centre, The Model Gallery Sligo, Between.Pomiędzy Literature Festival Poland, The International Literature Festival, and in Tulca 2020. Walsh is currently funded by the Irish Arts Council and is working on a new body of work, based around birds, death, and transmutation.

Monday 22 March, 6.30PM – 8PM

Circadian Rhythms: Curation and the nightlife of an artwork
Talk with TBG+S Programme Curator Michael Hill and Artist Sibyl Montague

This talk will offer a unique insight into curation, using biomimicry as a framework to lead a discussion around curating and programming exhibitions in a gallery space. Michael Hill, Programme Curator at TBG+S, and Sibyl Montague will discuss ideas such as symbiosis of the artwork to its environment; circadian rhythms and programming and the organics of collaboration and its evolution.

Open Call for Participants

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is currently inviting applications for participation in the Making Connections Spring School. Find out how to apply at the link below.

Deadline: Sunday 21 February 2021