Creative Ireland

The Irish government have announced the launch of Creative Ireland - an initiative to place the creative arts of Ireland at the heart of policy making over the coming 5 years.

The first year action points include the launching of a pilot program to support self-employed artists through social welfare payments and a plan to provide access to tuition in music, drama, art and coding for every schoolchild. With general themes of openness, access and inclusion the proposal is an ambitious attempt to build upon Ireland's creative culture.

Behind the developmental elements of the scheme, which have been widely applauded, there is a focus on support for artists and designers generating 'creative capital'. This concept, encompassing the widest range of Creative enterprises, is not a new one, however it does seem to be the political underpinning of the project - which fundamentally aims to create a more prosperous state.

Strangely the plan suggests the creation of a unified vision of Ireland that can be marketed and shipped abroad. Of the five pillars detailed in the plan this is the most controversial as it belies a belief in political circles about the role of the arts in society.

As this plan to support creative ireland is rolled out over the coming 5 years it will be interesting to see conversations develop around this topic. At a recent symposium in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, entitled The Artist and the State, a similar group of conversations began. The speakers on the day described the importance of critical practice and the role that they this could play in society. The symposium was dense, intricate and left you withink lots of food for thought. The role of artists and designers in society beyond the production of content for marketing is something I hope the Creative Ireland program will inspire.

The stunning chapel room inside the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Artist and the State Symposium

The stunning chapel room inside the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Artist and the State Symposium