Definitive Exercises (Part One & Two)

Artist Name(s) Carol Anne Connolly
Artwork title Definitive Exercises (Part One & Two)

‘The principles of sustainable development, as set out in the document "Sustainable Development – A Strategy for Ireland" published in 1997, have been adopted by the Government. This commits public bodies, including the local authorities, to ensuring positive relationships between socio-economic growth and the environment. In effect, this implies that development should not exceed the carrying capacity of its local environment and should not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

The Government strategy recognizes the need for good spatial planning and the inclusion of sustainability concerns in urban and built environment policies. The Council, through the County Roscommon Development Plan 2002, seeks to support the objectives of sustainable development and will seek to integrate its land-use planning with sustainable and strategic economic, social and transportation planning’

Excerpt from Roscommon County Development Plan 2002-2006, p.7.


The  Boyle Arts Festival is now in its twenty-first year and in that time has exhibited works from some of Ireland's leading visual artists. The intention of the alter / native project is to position itself as a compliment to or an expansion of the official exhibition represented in King House by showing artists whose works generally wouldn't be encountered in the context of the traditional arts festival. Reluctant to recreate or simulate a gallery situation, the site of multiple, disused retail units adds poignancy to the nature of the project. Definitive Exercises was a site-specific project by Carol Anne Connolly created for this exhibition.

Definitive Exercise (Part One & Two)

An installation that comprises of two text pieces, Definitive Exercise (Part One & Two) comments on the misuse of terms of language in public policies, particularly in areas of Ireland that have the most concentrated amount of over development. This piece examines the problematic use of words like ‘sustainability’ and the subsequent failure to commit to this term in relation to the socio-economic conditions of the contemporary Irish landscape.

Part One (Shop Front Sign)

Part One is a psychological play on how we define and process words. It deals with the exhaustive and misleading use of ecological terms and how the subsequent over use of such words has led to the erosion of its original meaning. Made from wood and taking the form of shop front signage on the outside of the premises, the piece places itself within the landscape of the current economic climate in small rural towns, such as the town of Boyle; both pieces were installed and exhibited in an unoccupied premises on Patrick Street where currently up to 50% of the premises lie vacant.

Part Two (Vinyl Wall Text)

Part Two, which is an exercise in re-defining the meaning of sustainability in real terms, as opposed to hypothetical, is a wall based vinyl text piece. An organic farmer, architect and environmental activist/teacher who are based in and whose own work pertains to the Rural North West region, were asked to contribute to their understanding of the term in relation to their practices and beliefs. The text piece, An Alternative Landscape, is a compilation of their definitions.


Carol Anne Connolly's practice has been based around conducting interstitial art projects that engage with the public and its relation to the built environment. Her interests within this framework are to explore how art can be used as a diverse tool to highlight socio-political situations and the ways in which the artistic process and its realisation can instigate change. She works in both urban and rural environments, engaged in projects that mainly conclude with temporary public art installations, exhibitions, workshops or events which aim to merge creative and practical solutions to key issues. Connolly has been the recipient of Irish Arts Council and County Arts Office Bursary Awards.

Commission Type The Arts Council
Commissioner Name Self-initiated
Project commission dates July 20, 2010 - July 25, 2010
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By Other
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Project commission start date 20/07/2010
Project commission end date 25/07/2010
Location Cuirt Na Ri, (Vacant Retail Space)
County Roscom
Town Boyle
Street Address Patrick Street 
Content contributor(s) Carol Anne Connolly
Relationship to project Artist/Co-founder of Alter/Native
Public engagement

Engaged with members of the community and those of the North West Region in making the piece, organic farmer, teacher/activist and architect.

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Technical Support from Martin Reading(Technician) & Will O’Hara(electrician).
Photography credits to Padraig Cunningham & Carol Anne Connolly



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