Arts Week with Judy Murphy
More than 20 international and Irish artists are taking part in the 16th annual TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, which opens next Friday, November 2, and runs across a range of venues in Galway City until November 18.
The theme for TULCA 2018 is Syntonic State, and festival curator Linda Shevlin explains that the term, which comes from psychology, describes a situation when a person is in harmony with their environment.
Being syntonic is about being in peace with your surroundings, and this year’s TULCA “explores how, in a world filled with social and political turmoil, we can find comfort,” the Roscommon-based curator continues.
The international and Irish artists who are exploring this theme for TULCA include the 2008 Turner winner Mark Leckey and Ciarán Óg Arnold from Ballinasloe. Others taking part include performance artist Aoibheann Greenan, who is working with a range of local street performers for the opening event on Friday, November 2, and the Cork-based collective Domestic Godless, whose work centres on food and society.
Linda Shevlin, who has a BA in Fine Art and a Masters in Arts Practice was approached in early 2017 by the board of TULCA to submit a concept for the event – which has a different curator every year and her proposal Syntonic State was selected for 2018.
This theme evolved during her research when she was examining Galway, not just in terms of its heritage, but how the city has shifted and changed in terms of the many different people who’ve passed through it and through cities in general, she outlines.
“One of the themes I was trying to draw on is nostalgia and its cultural links to revelry and hedonism,” Linda explains. “How we as a society celebrate and socially interact and forget ourselves.”
Nostalgia can be good, but it can also be used as a political device to incite fear and anger, and TULCA will address that.