In spite of history”: Painfully acquired insights in the corresponding states of Scottish and Irish contemporary art

2016-12-15T09:30:03Z (GMT) by Craig Richardson
This article discusses themes of national identity as inhabited by Scottish and Irish critical art-texts, exemplar artworks and art institutional conditions. The article works against an idea of ‘measured difference’ as centric, Ireland and Scotland are European peripheries with shared legacies that present complex narratives of origin and settlement, migration and diaspora. The first of four sections, The Shared Archive, discusses the resources which support research into Scottish and Irish art, particularly extolling national archives, and considers new interpretative methods and their application in Scotland and Irish contemporary art discourses. This continues in the second section, History Makers, which highlights national identity as expressed in Irish and Scottish contemporary art. The third section, Interludes weaves together observations by the Scottish-born author during a number of visits to Ireland. As this article’s polemic is partly informed by the painfully acquired political and economic insights derived from the prelude and aftermath of the 2014 Independence Referendum in Scotland and the catastrophic failure of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ model in Republic of Ireland, the fourth section, Future State?, argues for a renewed cultural policy supporting better living and working conditions of contemporary artists in Scotland by utilising similar research and arguments recently made in Ireland.