Welcome to The National Irish Visual Arts Library

The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) is a public research resource dedicated to the documentation of 20th and 21st century Irish visual art and design. 

NIVAL collects, stores and makes accessible for research an unparalleled collection of documentation about Irish art in all media.  NIVAL’s collection policy includes Irish visual art from the whole island as well as Irish art abroad and non-Irish artists working in Ireland.   Information is acquired on artists, designers, galleries, arts organisations and institutions, critics and other related subjects.  The collection contains documentary material in all formats including books, catalogues, videos, slides, artists’ papers and ephemera in print and digital format. 

Perpetua: March 6th - 10th, Haymarket Square, Smithfield

A ground-breaking new public artwork featuring artist James Earley and creative studio Algorithm in partnership with NIVAL: National Irish Visual Arts Library. Perpetua is a street art project set to be the first of its kind in Dublin City.

With the support of Dublin City Council, NIVAL is partnering with renowned artist James Earley and creative studio Algorithm to install a huge new animated mural at Smithfield's Haymarket Square. The artwork will be officially unveiled on Wednesday 6th March at 7:30pm and will be on view until Sunday 10th March. The mural will remain static during daylight hours, but will transform at night with colour and animation. A unique blend of tradition and innovation, the 3D installation manipulates light, colour and movement to open up a portal into another world - right in the heart of Dublin 7. 

This collaborative project explores and utilises all aspects of NIVAL. Inspiration is discovered at first encounter with the unique materials of the Earley and Company archive collection. James Earley's response is informed by active research into his family's archive of stained glass design work. Blending his signature stained glass aesthetic with Algorithm's cutting-edge projection mapping techniques; the artwork plays with space and perspective to transform the mundane into the magical. It will act as a case study for what can be achieved using interactive, projection mapping within a public environment. An original score by Simon Cullen was composed to complement the piece for the installation making it a complete immersive experience. NIVAL will encourage public documentation of the artwork using the hashtag #PerpetuaMural - Images posted using this hashtag will be collected and stored by the archive as documentation of the ephemeral artwork. In this way, the community can actively contribute to the archive through documentation and we can engage the community in the archiving process. 

This new work highlights both the historical and contemporary nature of the archives in the library. This project, as a collaborative undertaking, demonstrates NIVAL's facets as Facilitator and Collector. Newly gathered documentation will enrich the existing collection on street art, a genre that poses difficulties to traditional archive methods due to its ephemeral nature. 

Post your images of Perpetua on social media using #PerpetuaMural to add your photos of the artwork to the archive at NIVAL!

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The Arts Council
National College of Art & Design

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