The Artists’ Armada

The Artist’s Armada was a curatorial project that united works by artists working with boats, rafts and watercraft; whether building, sailing or otherwise engaging with the element of water as voyagers and explorers.

The ‘Armada’ took place Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock, a confluence of waterways serving the interior and coastal areas of our island nation, on Saturday 25th July 2015. The Artist’s Armada offered an intersection for ideas to collide and exchange, sparking new dialogues and reclaiming this site for artistic endeavour. Here the artists will formed flotilla of watercraft made up of craft including a hand built skiff, a dug-out canoe, contemporary currachs and a raft.

The once industrial watersmeet of the Dock was reimagined as a space for the interchange of ideas around travel and voyaging and water and the Commons, while audience members and spectators were invited  to interact with the works. Talks and screenings took place at partner organisation Waterways Ireland Visitor’s Centre, an award-winning floating structure housed at the Dock.Events:


Bravo Seratonin – A dug-out canoe
Miol mór and Mael duin – two currachs
Skiff – A 14’ flat-bottomed skiff
Floating Dialogues – a static modular raft.
Dialogue (time TBC) Seoidín O’Sullivan and Dr Patrick Bresnihan will use the raft as a site for discussion, exploring ideas of water and the commons. Dr Bresnihan is an Irish Research Council post-doctoral scholar in Maynooth University, Ireland. His research examines the different ways ecological crises are understood and the politics that arise from that. His first book, Transforming the Fisheries: Neoliberalism, Nature and the Commons (University of Nebraska Press) is due to be published in early 2016. His current work looks at the politics of water and water infrastructure and he has just returned from a research project in Cochabamba, Bolivia

* Visitors and audience members will be able to view the craft at close quarters as guests of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland’s vessel, the Dubhlinn. These journeys are at the discretion of the IWAI and no liability can be assumed by the event organisers.


All day, Screening, ‘Us’ Again (10’17”),
Film of Kathryn Maguire’s 2013 work on the Grand Canal, for Festa 2013.
10” video with music by the Water Project

1pm, Screening, Swandown (98’)
Dir: Andrew Kötting; starring: Andrew Kötting, Iain Sinclair, Stewart Lee, Alan Moore, Mark Lythgoe, Marcia Farquhar. Produced by: Lisa Marie Russo
Swandown is a Fly Film Production for BFI, Britdoc, Channel 4, Abandon Normal Devices, Cornerhouse and Screen South.

3pm, Talk with Gareth Kennedy
Kennedy presents a talk about Fan Nóiméad, his 2014/5 collaboration with Headford Men’s Shed and boat maker Peter Connolly.

Throughout the day: Informal discussion and exchange.