Meeting Provost John Hegarty

Filed under:Project — posted by Hugh Denard on February 18, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

This morning, I had the privilege of presenting the Abbey Theatre, 1904 and S H I F T projects to the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr John Hegarty.

On entering the Provost’s House (a gorgeous Palladian building, technically at the bottom of Grafton Street, but really feels like College Green), I was introduced to the Provost and Dr Catriona Curtis, Assistant to the Provost, by Dr Jennifer Edmond, Executive Director of the Long Room Hub; the Hub is sponsoring my research through a Visiting Research Fellowship.

I gave a brief, illustrated presentation, situating the Abbey Theatre, 1904 in the context of previous visualisation, methodology and creative projects I’ve been involved in over the years, most recently the Roman Villa at Boscoreale, for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and The London Charter. S H I F T, as a creative enterprise that takes humanities research as its point of departure, is conceptually related to Vanishing Point(s), an installation for the Great Hall at King’s College London which I worked on with artist, Michael Takeo Magruder, and (although I didn’t mention it this morning) Dionysos, a devised performance I directed, with Alex Linse and the late Carl Mueller, at the Warwick Arts Centre in 2000.

We then went on to discuss one of the Provost’s flagship initiatives, Creative Arts Technologies and Culture, which is forging powerful links across disciplines within Trinity, and between Trinity and wider Irish society, particularly the areas of Dublin on the College’s doorstep. This is such a visionary “movement”, determinedly criss-crossing boundaries that are usually all-but impermeable due to social entropy, in order to generate new kinds of cultural and intellectual energy. With such ideas circulating, it’s not surprising that people from such diverse disciplinary contexts in Trinity have been so strikingly receptive to and supportive of the kind of work I’ve been attempting.

A real pleasure to meet the man behind the plan, as well as the infectiously enthusiastic Catriona. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend the morning, really.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace