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Better Words: A Field Guide to Contemporary Art and Culture

EVA International
Above: Cover: Better Words, 2019.  Design: Piquant Media.
Above: Cover: Better Words, 2019.  Design: Piquant Media.

EVA International—Ireland's Biennial of Contemporary Art—is delighted to announce Better Words, a new book for general readers that offers an introduction to contemporary art and culture through the eyes of 8–12 year olds. It features new artistic terms, words and word-forms, that describe many aspects of contemporary art practice and its response to social and political issues in today's world. All of the new terms featured in the book were created through workshops with 150+ children across schools in Limerick, Ireland.

The book marks EVA's year-long collaboration with schools, leading artists, curators, and arts writers, on an initiative that has sought to creatively overturn language as a common barrier to broader public engagement with the critical ambitions and complexities of contemporary art. The participating schools were Corpus Christi Primary School (Limerick City), Knockainey National School (Hospital), Limerick School Project (Limerick City), Our Lady Queen of Peace (Limerick City) and St. Senan’s National School (Foynes).

Published by EVA International and designed and illustrated by Piquant, Better Words also features a foreword by acclaimed author Kevin Barry and notes by curator Maeve Mulrennan who led on the workshop process. Copies of the book will be distributed through the schools library network in Ireland and made available to purchase via selected retailers and EVA International's online shop. For further information and sales enquiries, please contact [email protected] (Eimear Redmond, Better Words Programme Coordinator).

Better Words has been supported by the Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund.

About EVA International
EVA International is a Limerick based arts organisation that produces Ireland's Biennial of Contemporary Art, creating programmes of exhibitions and events that engage with the people and city of Limerick and beyond. Since being founded in 1977, EVA International has worked with over 2000 artists and 40 curators from across the world. The 39th EVA International opens on September 4, 2020 and continues until 15 November 2020. For further information, see here.

About the Creative Ireland Programme
The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based initiative designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement. The Programme has supported 30 innovative projects as part of a National Creativity Fund which will help inform and implement the vision of the Creative Ireland Programme right across Government.

About Kevin Barry
Kevin Barry is the author of the novel City of Bohane and two short story collections, Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms. He was awarded the Rooney Prize in 2007 and won The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize in 2012. For City of Bohane he was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Irish Book Award, and won the Author’s Club First Novel Prize, The European Prize for Literature and the IMPAC Prize. Kevin has an original screenplay, The Gee Gees, in development with Element with David Kerr attached to direct. Another screenplay, based on stories from Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms, is in development with Michael Garland at Grand Pictures. Kevin’s latest novel Beatlebone was published in 2015 and won the Goldsmith’s Prize 2015.

About Maeve Mulrennan
Maeve Mulrennan is a curator, writer and facilitator. She has been the Head of Visual Arts in Galway Arts Centre since 2006. Maeve holds an MA in Visual Arts Practices from IADT Dún Laoghaire, BA Fine Art from LSAD, BA in Arts and a h.Dip in Arts Administration from NUI Galway. She previously lectured in Visual Art policy and Education and Engagement policy in Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, NODE Center for Curatorial Studies. She has published in numerous journals including Galway Review, Doire Anthology, Paper Visual Art Journal, and Billion Art Journal.

October 17, 2019