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Dr Orla Ryan


059 915 3200


Research Expertise

My research is interdisciplinary across cultural theory and creative practice, working primarily with  text, archive documents  and moving image.   Research outputs  operate across creative, academic and curatorial practice. Current collaborative research with Brian Hand explores the socio-historical context of  the bioengineering of  the Irish Wolfhound in the 19th century. Previous creative research projects  have explored women in Irish history. Concurrent with this creative output my research has also engaged with how artists and filmmakers explore postcolonial discourse in their practice. I have  researched and curated a number of  moving image exhibitions with Irish and  international artists/filmmakers. Previous research explored artists engagement with everyday culture and television. I  am interested in comparative approaches to  media, film and visual culture.

As a research fellow at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and Arts Council of Ireland Postgraduate Award. My PhD research was funded by a Research Council of Ireland Award for two years.

Selected Commissioned works

2017     The Wolf O’Brien,(Site works, Tullow St.)  commissioned by  Carlow Arts Festival.

2017     Have you Forgotten Me Mr. Haynes? Produced by Stormy Petrel Guairdeall. Short archive film commissioned by Carlow Arts Office and Art Links.

2016     Stormy Petrel Guairdeall, Temporary Public Art Project in collaboration with Alanna O’Kelly and Brian Hand, commissioned by the GPO, An Post & The GPO Witness History Centre.

2016     Stormy Petrel Guairdeall, iteration for The Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam. Commissioned by The Irish Embassy in Hanoi  and Creative Ireland.


 Co-authored Artist Book and CD

Thug  said oíche ar guairdeall dom- They left me wandering all night,  Brian Hand, Alanna O’Kelly, Orla Ryan. (Folded Leaf Press, 2016)


Edited Collections

The Glass Eye: Artists and Television, ed. by Maeve Connolly and Orla Ryan (Dublin:Project Press, 2000).


Peer-reviewed articles

‘A Visual essay in memory of PW’,  Inter Asia Cultural  Studies,14:1 (March 2013), pp 77-84.

‘Between Lost and Found: The Films  of Matthew  Buckingham’, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, 28 : 5 ( March/April 2001) pp. 16-17.


Book chapters

‘Terratology  and the Televisual  in Manhunter’ , The Glass Eye, ed. by  Maeve Connolly and Orla Ryan (Dublin:Project Press, 2000) pp.67-79.


Catalogue essays and published artworks

‘Entre Chien et Loup – extract of performance text’ , Between a Dog and a Wolf: An Animal Empathy Workbook ed. by Sarah Brown ( Derry:CCA, 2015), pp.124-125.

‘untitled image’ Je Veux,  edited by Tim Maul (Paris: One Star Press, 2003).

‘untitled image’ Charley 01, edited by Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick (Paris:Les Presse du Reel,2000).

‘Xavier Veilahn’, Vivre  Sa Vie, edited by Tanya Leighton (Glasgow: Tramway, 2000).

2003-ongoing Irish Film Institute Council.

2005- 2018 Void  Derry  Curatorial Board.

2010-2014 Access Cinema Board Member.

2007- ongoing Blackstairs Film Society Committee. Founding member and chair until 2015.

2007- 2009 Committee member African Film Festival, Carlow.

2004-2006 CIRCA Art Magazine board member.

1998-2003 A.I.C.A.( International Association of Art Critics), Ireland. Secretary for two years.


I have sat on funding panels for the Art Council of Ireland.


Currently working with Brian Ogilivie, Institute of Technology Carlow as a researcher for The  Arts and Humanities Enterprise Hub funded by  the European Commission. The AHEH project brings together 14 partners from across 7 EU member states to improve the entrepreneurial capacity of A&H students with an innovative programme of entrepreneurial training. https://www.artshumanitieshub.eu/


Selected Conference papers

March 2019: South East Research Sparks, IT Carlow.

June 2017: Representations of Women Couriers of 1916. Women’s Voices Conference UCC.

Oct 2016: Commemoration  and Reverse Engineering – a case study on the invention of the Irish Wolfhound with Brian Hand. Object Matters: Making Memory: Material and Visual Culture of Commemoration in Ireland. National Gallery of Ireland. Convened by Lisa Godson.


Selected Symposiums

May 2016: Women and Conflict.  Panel presentation with Huong Ngo, Brian Hand and Alanna O’Kelly. The  Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Hanoi Vietnam.

Nov 2015: Eye of The Beholder – Woman of the World Festival, Void Gallery. Panel included Siun Hanrahan, Kathleen McCreery.

Sept 2002: Kunstverein Munich. During exhibition of Deimantas Narkevicius With  Mindaugas  Simkus and Peter Watkins. Panel discussion  on Peter Watkins’ La Commune. Invited by Maria Lind

April 2000: 1926 Halsted Gallery, Chicago. Panel discussion responding to  the exhibition Counter Productive  Industries curated by Nato  Thompson. Invited by Greg Sholette.


Symposium  organisation

Oct  2008: Africa and African Diasporic Cinema,  as part of the Carlow African Film Festival with  Florence Ayisi, Obi Emelonye, Orla Ryan (chair),keynote Dr. Hal Weaver.

Sept  2007: Imagining an African Cinema – how to encourage and develop a platform for the representation of the African experience in Ireland as part of the Carlow African Film Festival. invited speakers: Bisis Adigun (TCD), Martin McCabe (DIT), Aine O’Brien (FOMACS), Ebere Uwa (DCU), Daniel Jewesbury (University of Ulster) Keynote speaker Professor Mbye Cham (Howard University).


Selected Public  Talks and Invited Lectures

Feb 2019: Have You Forgotten Me Mr. Haynes? Gesture, Positionality and the Frame. Guest lecture, NCAD MFA Programme.

Dec 2016: Women and The Revolution. Presentation with Alanna O’Kelly. The Reading Room, Visual. As part of the programme attached to our exhibition Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall.

Nov 2015: Curator’s talk Spring Watching Pavilion, Void Gallery.

Nov 2015: In conversation with Pat Murphy on the screening of Tana Bana. Blackstairs Film Society, Borris House.

April 2015: In conversation with Clare Langan on the making of The Floating World, Visual, Carlow in partnership with Poetry Ireland.

June 2012: Interview with Stephen Frears, Hay Festival, Borris House.

Jan 2003: Fragmentation and the moving Image in Contemporary Art. The Douglas Hyde Gallery.

July 2001: Modernization and the aesthetics of disenchanted romanticism in Irish Film. Irish Film   Institute. Paper given to the Trinity Summer School. Invited by Professor Luke Gibbons.

April 2000: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Arts Administration Program. Invited by Greg Sholette.


Other publications Art  & film Magazines

Art Magazines

‘Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall’, VAI Newsletter (November 2016)pp. 28-29.

‘Spring Watching Pavilion’, Void gallery essay (Derry: Void, 2015)

‘Editorial’, Art-in-Sight, Filmwaves 28  (London 2005)


Media interactions

Vietnamese Television  (VTV4) 8.31 mins  on the exhibition at The  Vietnamese Women’s Museum Hanoi.


Spring Watching Pavilion, The Void Derry, Oct, 2015, Art Bits. https://vimeo.com/142900184


Curated Exhibitions

May 2016: Dinh Q. Lê. The Colony. Co-curated with Maolíosa Boyle for Void Gallery. https://www.derryvoid.com/exhibitions/dinh-ql.php

Oct 2015: Spring Watching Pavilion– a major exhibition of contemporary Vietnamese artists.https://www.derryvoid.com/exhibitions/spring-watching-pavilion.php

Nov 2014: Blackstairs Rural Film Festival. Artist filmmakers included: Frank Abruzzese, Orla Barry, Els Dietvorst, Michael Fortune, Sinead Meehan  and Rosie O’Gorman,. Invited speaker Prof. Luke Gibbons.

Jan 2013: Candice Breitz- Him +Her, The Void Derry. Co-curated with Maolíosa Boyle. https://www.derryvoid.com/exhibitions/him-and-her.php

Sept 2008: Trinh T. Minha– Night Passage & The Fourth Dimension.https://www.derryvoid.com/exhibitions/nightpassagethefourthdimension.php

March 2008: Ursula Biemann – Sahara Chronicles and The Black Sea Files. The  Void Derry. https://www.derryvoid.com/exhibitions/blackseafilesandsaharachronicle.php

August 2007: Mairead McClean –Bell(a)exchange https://www.derryvoid.com/exhibitions/bellaexchange.php

Sept 2006: Dennis McNulty – Dx/Dthttps://www.derryvoid.com/exhibitions/dxdt.php

2004: Eigse  Carlow. Co-curators Paddy McGovern and Emma Keating.

2002: The Captain’s Rd Exhibition. Co- curators Maeve Connolly and Valerie Connor- http://orlaryan.net/tv-project/

2001: Founding member of the curatorial initiative 147. Events:  Visual Art  is Disposable (29 March 2001) a screening of films in the IFI curated by Mairead McClean, Until That Time, (28 July). In association with  the Arts Council Critical Voices programme In Through the Out Door with Paul Chan and Andrea Fraser.


Exhibitions, Performances and Screenings

Most recently my work has been exhibited in Visual, Carlow (2017) Close Up Cinema, London (2017) The Vietnamese Women’s Museum Hanoi, Vietnam (2016), The GPO  Witness History Centre, Dublin (2016) The CCA, Derry(2015) Previous selected exhibitions include:  Farmleigh, Dublin (2007) Drogheda Arts Festival (2007) The Goethe Institute, Dublin (2003) The Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London(2002), Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2002, 2001) Context Gallery, Derry (2001) and Ellipse Gallery, Virginia, USA (2001) The  CCA, Glasgow (2000), The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin (2000) Downtown Arts Festival, New York (1997)  Rear Window, London (1994). For more details see https://orlaryan.net/

2016 Culture Ireland Award. Travel award for exhibition at The Vietnamese Women’s Museum Vietnam.

2016 Art Links. Award  for  short film Have You Forgotten Me Mr. Haynes?

2016 Carlow County Council Artist Award.

2015 GPO An Post  Public Art Commission  With Alanna O’Kelly and Brian Hand.

2015 Research  travel grant (Vietnam) awarded by The British Council, Northern Ireland  for exhibition Spring Watching Pavilion.

2007 Awarded an Arts Council of Ireland film Bursary.

2002 Irish Research Council Government of Ireland  Scholarship to complete PhD. (2 yrs)

2001 Awarded an Art’s Council of Ireland  Project Award  with Maeve  Connolly and Valerie Connor for TV project and The Captain’s Rd  Exhibition.

2000 DCU Faculty of Humanity Postgraduate  Scholarship to pursue my  Doctoral thesis(3 yrs)

2000 Furthermore….the publication programme of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, New York. with Maeve Connolly and Valerie Connor to support the publication of the Glass Eye.

1996 Fulbright Scholarship to attend  The Whitney Museum of American Art  Independent Study Program, New York.

Arts Council of Ireland Post Graduate Scholarship.

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