Irish Museums Trust
Fundúireacht Iarsmalanna na hÉireann
c/o National Botanic Gardens
Dublin 9

Irish Museums Trust

Recipients | 2021

• Adam Stoneman

Adam Stoneman works at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) as a researcher on the SPICE Project, an EU project dedicated to developing digital methods of Citizen Curation – supporting underserved communities to select and interpret works from the IMMA Collection and share their perspectives. A museum educator with a background in the History of Art, Adam has developed engagement and learning programmes at the Hunt Museum, Limerick City Gallery of Art, the Science Museum and other cultural institutions in Ireland and the UK.

Project summary

The Museum-Technology Working Group is a small group of professionals from a cross-section of Irish museums dedicated to researching and discussing new and emerging technologies in a museum context. From November 2021 to September 2022, the group will interrogate the implications of new technologies, including Algorithms and AI, Biometrics and emotion recognition, Virtual Reality, Gamification, Chatbots and archival digitisation. Guest speakers from outside the museum sector lending expertise and knowledge to discussions. Engaging with critical literature and discussing relevant case-studies, the aim of the group is to unpack the social and ethical dimensions of new technologies, to contribute towards improving sectoral practices, ensuring new technology works to widen access and democratic participation in cultural heritage rather than entrench inequality and exclusion.

The Irish Museums Trust Research Grant supports the publication of a critical primer that will introduce key topics alongside critiques and current debates in order to aid better understanding of these technologies in the cultural heritage sector.

• Brendan Egan

Brendan Egan is an experienced visual artist, teacher of art & design and researcher. Originally from West Clare, Brendan has exhibited in Ireland and in Europe, he has taught at secondary level in Ireland, the UK and the Middle East. He is the current recipient of the Shinnors Scholarship and PhD candidate with LCGA and LSAD researching the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on gallery pedagogy, with the aim to develop a model of learning and engagement for primary schools in Limerick City.

Project summary

Moving With Art is a project developed by Brendan Egan in collaboration with Dance Limerick’s public engagement curator / dance artist Philippa Donnellan. The project aims to explore how to create physically embodied responses to artwork in the gallery space after an extended period of virtual and digital engagement due to social restrictions. Students guide this project with their interpretation of artworks and develop a response through somatic exercises and dance. 

With the grant Brendan was able to obtain a professional documentation of a project he conducted as part of his PhD research with Limerick City Gallery of Art.  The project is called Moving With Art, and the produced video piece and documentation can be viewed here:

• Renata Pekowska

Renata Pekowska is a visual artist and researcher, with a background including architectural studies, craft design, critical art theory, and creative digital media.  She is a member of the Artists’ Panels at the Hugh Lane Gallery, the National Museum of Ireland and the Butler Gallery and regularly contributes to visual arts publications and periodicals.

Project summary

The aim of this research project is to draw comparisons between contemporary Irish books arts and the artefacts from Irish museum collections: handmade, unique and remarkable books and other narrative, sequential objects which convey messages through cultural and temporal interpretive distances. Renata is interested in materials and processes as meaning carriers, and in books stripped of the textual layers, whose forms articulate their own strata of information and meaning.

Renata would like to draw analogies between the form- and material-focused book objects and the physical grounding of cognition processes. She plans to use selected book objects for comparative studies and apply embodied cognition theories to reflect on themes of learning, journey and memory.

• Muiríosa Guinan

Muiríosa Guinan is a recent graduate of University College Dublin with an  M.A in Art history, Collections and Curating. She received her B.A. in Sculpture and Expanded Practices from the National College of Art and Design. She acted as Art-Science Curriculum Coordinator in Science Gallery Dublin and maintains her Visual Arts Practice, working primarily through sculpture, photography and painting.  

Project summary

Muiríosa’s research project aims to create a series of virtual illustrated zine handbooks which explore how museum practitioners in Ireland can develop inclusive and accessible programmes.