Artist Name(s) Yvonne Cullivan
Artwork title Meanwhile
Context/Background Meanwhile, a public art project by Yvonne Cullivan, was commissioned by Roscommon County Council as part of its Per Cent for Art programme, funded through the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. A participatory project with local groups and individuals in the town of Castlerea, Meanwhile commenced in July 2010 and was developed over the course of many months. 

The once widespread tradition of Rambling Houses in the area, alongside the notable absence of a contemporary collective space in the town and the evident decline in economic activity within the town, prompted the artist to explore local attitudes toward these losses. Collected conversation and photographic documentation compile the material for a publication entitled Meanwhile, which is both a response to and a reflection of a moment in the social history of Ireland - one that is both particular to Castlerea and indicative of broader economic, social and cultural dynamics. 

The primary outcome of the project was a publication entitled Meanwhile, 136pp, 160mm x 210mm, Edition of 500, distributed by Roscommon County Council Arts Office, Designed by Yvonne Cullivan and Atelier. The secondary outcome of the project was four large-scale outdoor image installations in Castlerea town.


Through open invitation and suggested lines of enquiry, willing groups and individuals were sought out and engaged in conversation. Echoing the rambling house tradition, recurring visits were paid to places of work or of gathering. These places were often on the margins: at the edge of town or the end of an alley, in a basement, abandoned church or empty factory. Conversations often unfolded over the taking of tea or participation in activities. The visits enabled the artist to weave together a trail of conversation that would otherwise remain hidden or disparate.

Corresponding photographic documentation initially focuses on exterior and interior space, redundant or emptied place, echoing the gradual silencing of rural Irish towns. Yet through a practice of sustained observation and engagement in conversation, the artist’s viewpoint becomes increasingly informed and gradually reveals an underlying narrative.  The imagery also reflects a process of integration.
Collected conversation and photographic documentation compile the material for a publication entitled ‘Meanwhile’, which is both a response to and a reflection of a moment in the social history of Ireland - one that is both particular to Castlerea and indicative of broader economic, social and cultural dynamics.

Valuable research for this project was gathered through a preceding short-term project, The Estate Agent of Ideas, which took place in late 2009. This short-term project was housed within an unused commercial premises in Castlerea town and invited the public to share ideas for potential or imagined reinvention of such unused spaces.


The main outcome of the project was the publication entitled Meanwhile. The publication will be launched on 10 September 2011 in Trinity Arts Centre, Castlerea town. 

An outdoor installation of four large-scale images on the gable wall of buildings in 
Castlerea town centre will also be launched on 10 September 2010. 

A5 fold-out information brochure about the project is available and to download from the artist’s website. An essay by Dr. Anne Byrne, Sociologist at National University of Ireland, Galway, is included in the publication.


Yvonne Cullivan was born in Cavan and has lived and worked in many counties throughout Ireland. She studied at Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology, Crawford College of Art & Design and Dublin City University, specialising in printmaking and multimedia respectively. Cullivan has exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions including: Iontas Small Works, Claremorris Open, Galway Arts Centre, Leitrim Sculpture Center, The Dock, The Graphics Studio, 411 Galleries (China) and Galerie du Faouedic (France). She has undertaken residencies and projects in association with Craigavon Borough Council, The Ark Cultural Centre for Children, Kid’s Own Publishing Partnership and Leitrim, Cavan, Galway and Roscommon County Councils.

Yvonne Cullivan’s work emerges from deep observation of personal, cultural, and environmental spheres undergoing transformation. Utilizing mixed-media, including photography, interviews, drawing, printmaking, audio and video, she practices a contemplation of transformation. Cullivan often welcomes public participation in her projects to create outcomes communally shaped and collectively responsive. Her work bears witness to the cyclical processes of evolution and acclimatization and thus becomes a reflection on the nature of time itself.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Roscommon County Council Arts Office
Commissioning process Open submission with two-phase selection process. (Phase I: January-March 2010 involving three individual selected artist’s projects in Visual Arts, Literature and Architecture & Urban Design)
Project commission dates June 30, 2010 - August 31, 2011
Public Presentation dates September 9, 2011 - November 10, 2011
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By European Funding
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 35000 - 70000 euro
Project commission start date 30/06/2010
Project commission end date 31/08/2011
Location Trinity Arts Centre and various gable walls, Caslerea
County Roscommon
Town Castlerea
Content contributor(s) Yvonne Cullivan
Relationship to project Artist 
Public engagement

Individuals and interest groups/community groups within the town of Castlerea. 

Associated professionals / Specialists involved Smith, Atelier 
TypoGraphic Design 
Incision Sign Solutions

Dr. Anne Byrne, Sociologist, NUIG



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