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Culture Night at the National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland hosted a wide range of family-friendly activities throughout the Gallery space on Culture Night 2023 and visitors could explore the building and engage with a specially curated interactive programme.

There was also an opportunity to find out about all of the Gallery’s new Paul Cézanne acquisition, La Vie des Champs with a dedicated tour guide available to discuss the painting during the evening. 

The French connection was further celebrated with the facade of the National Gallery of Ireland lit up on Culture Night with Painting Mirror, an interactive digital display of portraits and landscapes submitted by the public. This developing digital arts project was created by Maxime Touroute, French digital artist and engineer and Tom Veniat, PhD/ Researcher in Artificial Intelligence. The Gallery partnered once again with the French Embassy in Ireland and issued a callout for landscape and cityscape photographs to be included on the night. 

From all corners of Ireland, France and beyond, children and adults participated by sending a photograph of a landscape or cityscape to the National Gallery and a selection of shortlisted, original, unedited photographs were projected onto the walls of the National Gallery of Ireland’s Merrion Square façade, followed by a display of the same photographs, mirrored in the style of much loved artists such as Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Mainie Jellett and Harry Clarke, to name a few.

Inspired by Irish, French and European works from the Gallery’s collection and accompanied by DJ sets, Painting Mirror ran until 11pm outdoor in the Merrion Square forecourt, and was also broadcast live on Facebook where participants watched their pictures displayed as they appear on the live projection. 

An exciting programme of events ran in conjunction with Painting Mirror, including free themed tours of the national collection from 5pm onwards focusing on family favourites, Irish and European Art, LGBTQIA+ Art, music and costumes + Art, and a sketching tour. Frederic William Burton’s ever-popular painting Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs (1864) were also on view for visitors to enjoy. 

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