FIND Art Project

Artist Name(s) Nuala Clarke, Crystal Gandrud, Alice Dixon, Anthony Champa, Joanna Hopkins, Chris Leach, Amanda Rice & Ian Wieczorek.
Artwork title FIND Art Project
Context/Background In June 2013 Mayo County Council Public Art Manager, Gaynor Seville facilitated a series of talks and workshops covering the public art commissioning process and proposal writing. An open call to Mayo-based artists was publicised via the local press, Linenhall Arts Centre website and the V.A.I website/e bulletin. The artists’ brief contained an overview of the project, location, budget, time-frame and selection criteria. Marie Farrell (Director of Linenhall Arts Centre) and FIND mentors Alice Maher and Aideen Barry assessed the submissions. Successful applicants were notified in September 2013.

FIND was a public art initiative comprising a series of temporary artworks, installations, and events around the town of Castlebar, Co Mayo.  This project was the first collaboration of the Linenhall Arts Centre and the Mayo County Council Public Art Programme, curated by Gaynor Seville.  An open call to Mayo-based artists was advertised, and the 6 shortlisted artists (and artistic duos) were Nuala Clarke & Crystal Gandrud, Alice Dixon & Anthony Champa, Joanna Hopkins, Chris Leach, Amanda Rice and Ian Wieczorek.

Artists were encouraged to consider discreet or ‘hidden’ works that would be ‘unravelled’, or revealed, via the event tour, and maps, encouraging the audience to 'search out' the work. The works were installed within walking distance of each other and found via the maps included in the brochure or by attending the guided artist tours. The artists were mentored and supported by artists Alice Maher and Aideen Barry during the development and realisation of their ideas.  

The series of temporary public artworks was accompanied by an exhibition at The Linenhall (which functioned as the artists’ studio space for the duration of the project), artist and mentor talks, and a walking tour. FIND’s outcomes encompassed performance, film projection, installation, interactive light displays, historical re-enactment and site-specific miniature cityscapes.

Nuala Clarke & Crystal Gandrud - 'Woven Found' 

‘Woven Found’ was an installation of linen flags, installed in Castle Street, celebrating the boom times of the linen industry in Castlebar.

Exterus - 'Between the Raindrops'

Collaborative duo Exterus created a light-based installation that reactivated the façade of an unoccupied building. Visible from twilight onwards, and triggered by passers-by, the piece invited the public to notice the ‘lost architecture’ and engage with it in some way. 

Joanna Hopkins conducted archival research into the history of the Star Picture Palace - a silent cinema on Main Street that closed in 1923. Hopkins also commissioned a musical piece by Deirdre Gavin, which was performed in the old cinema.

Chris Leach created a series of miniature paintings featuring aerial views of Castlebar, which he installed in shop windows and public buildings throughout the town.

Amanda Rice - 'Live Tug of War'

Amanda Rice worked with former employees of Western Hats Ltd. (1942- 1981) to compile a body of research on the former company. Following the discovery of a photograph documenting the All Ladies Tug-of-War of 1958, she facilitated a public re-enactment (The Mall, March 29th, 2014), pitting a group of students from St. Joseph’s secondary school against Ireland’s strongest man Paul Roberts.

Ian Wieczorek - 'Everything That Rises Must Converge'

Ian Wieczorek projected his film work ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ in the passageway linking the foyer of the Linenhall Arts Centre with Linenhall Street. The installation presented what appeared to be a disembodied regenerating flame, but was in fact footage of a torrent of water.


FIND Catalogue:

Gianna Tomasso ‘Finders /Keepers’, Visual Artists’ News Sheet, May/June 2014

‘Seek and ye shall FIND’, The Mayo News, 1st April 2014

In September 2014, the FIND project was announced as winner of The Best Commissioning Award, Allianze Business to Arts Awards 2014.


Nuala Clarke and Crystal Gandrud have worked collaboratively since 2010. Their merged practices of visual and textual art unfold on a continuum, as part of an interconnected series evolving over time. Both performed “Fair Shouldered One” (a book which is not a book) at the ‘&Now’ Literary Festival in Paris, 2012 and installed “Between Spaces”, a Yeats inspired dreamscape at the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo, 2013.

Nuala Clarke has been represented by Boltax Gallery in New York since 2005. Recent shows include, (2012) 'Amid a Space Between: Irish Artists in America' at the SFMoMa Artists Gallery, San Francisco; (2013) 'To Tremble into Stillness', at Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; 'A drawing for Everything', Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo.

Crystal Gandrud is currently creating a digital publishing structure entitled 'Dream of the Drawing for Everything' in partnership with The Design Office, Providence, RI. Recent publications include 'Yeastian: Numberless Dreamers', The Encyclopedia Project (2014); 'Here', Lost Magazine; and 'Idiom: Woodbird Flies Early', The Encyclopedia Project. She is working on a memoire, 'Astonishment: A Litany of the Uncanny', for Shambhala Publications. She writes in New York City and Normandy, France.

Exterus is a collaboration between the visual artists Alice Dixon (ROI) and Anthony Champa (US).  “We create pieces in response to the belief that what is often seen as the initial dynamism of public artworks often quickly becomes lost or these pieces fade into the surrounding scenery solely through their existence as static objects.  We have seen that after a period of time one becomes acclimated to almost anything new no matter how large, gestural, or site-specific, therefore all of our projects are created to act in response to or interaction with the public changing over time or existing solely as temporary interventions.”

Joanna Hopkins works predominantly in video, photography and installation, with a focus on interactive works. She has exhibited widely across Ireland and Northern Ireland, and was the first recipient of the recent Visual Artists Ireland and Digital Art Studios Belfast Residency Award. She was a recipient of the 2013 Mayo Arts Office Tyrone Guthrie Bursary. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Polarise’ at Catalyst Arts Belfast, June 2013. Recent group exhibitions include 'Illusion' at Science Gallery Trinity College Dublin, 2013 and the 'CATA Project' at Eva International 2012. Upcoming exhibitions for 2014 include The Science Centre San Diego and Discovery Place in North Carolina, USA.

Chris Leach was born in 1970, and currently lives and works in County Mayo. He is a graduate of Wimbledon School of Art and has shown work with the Oonagh Young  Gallery and with the Claremorris Gallery.  He has also shown with the Smart Clothes Gallery in New York. He had a solo exhibition at Ballina Arts Centre in 2012 and has exhibited in group shows at EV+A Exhibition in Limerick, Tulca exhibition in Galway and at the Claremorris Open exhibition.

Amanda Rice is a visual artist living and working between Mayo and Cork. Rice works in lens based media, light and video to create installations which explore the remains of failed utopian systems. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, selected exhibitions include

‘NLA IV’, Irish Museum of Contemporary Art (2013); ‘Watching the River Flow’, Curated by Sean Walsh, Centro de Artes, Portugal (2012); ‘Cutting a Door’ curated by Robert O Connor, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai (2012) and CUBEOpen at the CUBEGallery, Manchester (2011). In 2013 she was awarded a Scholarship though the Province of Styria (Austria) and an Arts Council of Ireland Travel and Training award for the production of ‘A Spectacular Form of Amnesia’, which was showcased as a solo exhibition in the Customs House Gallery and Studios, Ireland later that year. Her work can be found in the collections of Cork City Council, C.I.T and other private collections.

Ian Wieczorek’s practice is based primarily in painting, and more recently, also video and installation. Since 2003 he has exhibited widely in group shows in Ireland (including RHA Annual Exhibition, CCA; RDS Collective Contemporary Art; COE/Claremorris Open Exhibition, and IONTAS), and internationally in N. Ireland, Germany, France, Portugal  and China. Recent solo exhibitions include Market Place Arts Centre, Armagh, N. Ireland (2012); University of Leeds School of Design, UK (2012); Custom House Studios and Gallery, Westport, Co. Mayo (2013); and The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, Co. Clare (2013).

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Gaynor Seville, Public Art Co-ordinator for Mayo County Council and Marie Farrell, Director of Linenhall Arts Centre, Catlebar, Co. Mayo.
Commissioning process Curated open call
Public Presentation dates March 29, 2014 - April 25, 2014
Partners The Arts Council of Ireland;  Mayo County Council;  Linenhall Arts Centre, Catlebar, Co. Mayo.
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Mayo County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission end date 25/04/2014
Location Various locations throughout Castlebar, including The Mall, Castle Street, Linenhall Street and the old Star Picture Palace on Main Street.
County Mayo
Town Castlebar
Content contributor(s) Web Editor
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

FIND Mentors - Alice Maher and Aideen Barry



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