A chance for the public to display art on the historic façade of the National Gallery of Ireland on Culture Night

Merrion Square facade of the National Gallery of Ireland building with an Impressionistic landscape projected on to the facade and two images overlayed - one of a pastel drawing by Degas and a photo of a landscape

The walls of the National Gallery of Ireland will light up on Culture Night for Painting Mirror, an interactive digital display of portraits and landscapes submitted by the public. The Gallery has once again come together with the French Embassy in Ireland for Culture Night, and this year, are issuing a national callout for photographs to be included on the night.

From anywhere in Ireland, France and beyond, children and adults alike can participate by sending a photograph of a landscape or cityscape, along with their name, email address, name of the place and county, to [email protected] from 22 August to 15 September (COB).

A selection of shortlisted photographs will then be stylised and projected onto the exterior of the National Gallery of Ireland at Merrion Square in the heart of Dublin on Friday, 23 September 2022. The original, unedited photographs will be projected onto the wall, followed by a display of the same photographs, mirrored in the style of much loved artists such as Claude Monet, Mainie Jellett, Harry Clarke and more.

Visitors on Culture Night will also have the option to snap their portraits in a photo booth. These images will then be stylised in real-time and projected onto the walls of the Gallery too. Painting Mirror is a new digital arts project that will premiere in Ireland on Culture Night. It uses AI technology and has been developed by Maxime Touroute, French digital artist and engineer and Tom Veniat, PhD/Researcher in Artificial Intelligence.

Inspired by Irish, French and European masterpieces from the Gallery’s collection, and accompanied by DJ sets, Painting Mirror will run from 8pm to 11pm outdoors in the Merrion Square forecourt. It will also be broadcast live on Facebook, so participants can watch their pictures being displayed as they appear on the live projection.

There will be an exciting programme of events happening throughout the evening in conjunction with Painting Mirror. Free, themed tours of the national collection will begin from 5pm onwards, and a musical performance will also take place on the Merrion Square forecourt. Frederic William Burton’s ever-popular painting The Meeting on the Turret Stairs will be on view for visitors to enjoy, and the Gallery Café and Gallery Shop will be open until 8.30pm. The 53.3 Degrees pop-up café will open until 10pm serving snacks.

Painting Mirror is part of the European Culture Trail – a EUNIC Ireland (European Union National Institutes for Culture) initiative for Culture Night in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Ireland. Participants include Alliance Française Dublin, Goethe-Institut, Instituto Cervantes, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, European Commission Representation in Ireland, French Embassy and the National Gallery of Ireland. Those visiting the European Culture Trail events in person are invited to download the European Culture Trail Treasure Hunt passport and collect stamps or signatures at each stop. The passports with the most stamps at the end of the night will then be entered into a raffle for the chance to win some wonderful prizes.

Tours taking place explore Irish art, LGBTQIA+ art, and European art. Curator of Prints and Drawings Ann Hodge leads a tour of exhibition Dutch Drawings: highlights from the Rijksmuseum. Curator of Italian and Spanish Art, Dr Aoife Brady, guides visitors through some of the Gallery’s Italian collection including a conversation about the recent Lavinia Fontana conservation project. Finally, a tour focusing on Irish history titled War & Rebellion: Keating and O’Donoghue will take place at 7pm. 
Other exhibitions currently running at the National Gallery of Ireland include Hughie O'Donoghue: Original Sins and Keating's Allegories of Change. For more information, visit www.nationalgallery.ie

The Gallery’s Friends team will also be there on the night to speak with visitors about membership and joining a community of art lovers. Friends of the Gallery can enjoy an array of benefits, including free unlimited entry to exhibitions and access to exclusive digital content.

Media contact: Ciara Mooney, Communications, National Gallery of Ireland, E: [email protected]

Notes to Editor:

  • Images available on request  
  • Sile Boylan, Visitor Experience Manager, National Gallery of Ireland is available for interview
  • Mariam Diallo, Cultural Counsellor at the French Embassy is also available for interview

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