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Queer Mind, Body and Soul at National Gallery of Ireland

Gaisce LikeMinded project exhibition explores LGBTQIA+ youth experiences.

The National Gallery of Ireland and Gaisce – The President’s Award are proud to present Queer Mind, Body and Soul, a new, free exhibition opening 30 July 2021. Exploring the experiences and perspectives of a group of young LGBTQIA+, gender non-conforming people and allies, the exhibition runs in the Gallery’s Millennium Wing Studio. 

Collaborating with artist Shireen Shortt since September 2020, the Gaisce LikeMinded group have worked on modes of artistic expression across multiple disciplines and media, such as paper, written word, spoken word, dance, sculpture, paintings, drawing, photography, mixed media sculpture, animation, singing, body art, performance, installation art, and string art. These multiple forms are used to express a variety of experiences and emotions felt by the group, which they feel also represents the experiences of many LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming young people today. Their work focuses on the importance of the mind, body and soul of a young LGBTQIA+ person in the world in 2021. 

From February 2020, young people fulfilling part of their Gaisce Award by participating in the LikeMinded group collaborated with the Apollo Project in the National Gallery of Ireland, meeting in the Gallery to work on LGBTQIA+ historical research.  However, Covid-19 meant the workshops moved to a virtual platform. In September 2020, artist Shireen Shortt began facilitating online workshops for the group while they worked on artistic projects in a variety of media. 
 
The National Gallery of Ireland’s Apollo Project is a new way to experience the Gallery designed by young people for young people. Creativity, education and wellbeing are at the heart of Apollo Project, with an emphasis on collaborating and partnering with young people to co-create vibrant and fun experiences in the Gallery. 
 
Sean Rainbird, Director, National Gallery of Ireland, commented: “We are delighted to open this dynamic exhibition in the Gallery’s Millennium Wing Studio. The Gallery is committed to bringing people and art together, and making the Gallery an exciting place to encounter art. The work of this group of talented young people will offer our visitors new perspectives this summer.” 
 
Gaisce - The President's Award is a self-development programme for young people under the age of 26, and is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins to young people to ‘dream big and realise their potential’. Gaisce launched the LikeMinded programme in early 2019 to encourage increased accessibility of the Award. To date, a quarter of a million young people have completed a Gaisce Award across Ireland.

Yvonne McKenna, CEO Gaisce, commented: “An incredible group of creative young people have persevered regardless of Covid to produce amazing pieces of reflective and thought-provoking art, together. Each young person has put their heart and soul into their pieces, and the fact that they will now be shown at the National Gallery of Ireland is a testament to their commitment and the importance of the challenge they are expressing to society today about acceptance, love and belonging” 
 
The exhibition closes on 17 October 2021. Entry to all exhibitions year-round is free for Friends of the National Gallery of Ireland. Find out more at www.nationalgallery.ie

The Apollo Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of the Apollo Foundation. The Gaisce LikeMinded Programme has been made possible with the support of Rethink Ireland and Norma Smurfit. 
 
Media contacts:

  • Emma Pearson, Communications, National Gallery of Ireland | [email protected] / 087 918 7941 
  • Kate O’Leary, Communications, National Gallery of Ireland | [email protected] / 087 334 1587 
  • Síona Cahill, Communications, Gaisce – The President’s Award | [email protected] / 087 753 0255 

Notes to Editor: 
Images are available on request. 

Exhibition listing: 
Queer Mind, Body and Soul 
Opens: 30 July 2021 
Closes: 17 October 2021 
Millennium Wing Studio, National Gallery of Ireland 
Free admission 

Visitor information at the National Gallery of Ireland: 
Visitors must book a free ticket to visit the Gallery. Entry via Merrion Square entrance only. Sanitising facilities at all entry points and throughout Gallery. Tours and audio guides are not available but online versions of Gallery initiatives are available. Lifts available but for single use or disability access only. Cloakrooms are closed. Opening hours: Mon: 11am-5.30pm / Tues to Sat: 9.45am – 5.30pm / Sun: 11.30am – 5.30pm 
 
About the National Gallery of Ireland: 
The National Gallery of Ireland is one of the country’s most popular visitor attractions housing the nation’s collection of European and Irish art from about 1300 to the present day, and an extensive Library & Archive. Entry to the collection is free for all to enjoy, learn and be inspired. 
 
About Gaisce – The President’s Award:
Gaisce –The President’s Award is a self-development programme for young people which enhances confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges. President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins is patron of the Award and encourages young people through Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards to ‘dream big and realise their potential’. To date, a quarter of a million young people across Ireland have achieved their Gaisce Award.

More information