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Gallery decision "common sense" says Sinn Féin councillor

15 January, 2013

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Hogan has welcomed the decision by the Board of Directors of Athlone Art and Heritage Ltd. to retain Shane Cullen’s art exhibit at the Luan Gallery. He described the decision as ‘common sense’ and hoped the decision would send out a strong message to artists who may want to exhibit their work at the Luan Gallery.

Cllr. Hogan said:

“Councillor Cooney’s motion should never have been tabled. By doing so, he was making an unprecedented attack on the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the management of the Luan Gallery.

“Shane Cullen’s exhibit is in the ownership of the state and has been recognised internationally. Shane Cullen, as an artist and individual, has the constitutional right of freedom of expression.

“I very much welcome the decision of the Board of Directors of Athlone Art and Heritage for agreeing to proceed with the annual programme of exhibits as planned. The Board of Directors has also expressed full confidence in the current management and curatorial arrangements for the Luan Gallery.

“The original motion was a censorship motion designed to restrict and limit people’s choice and freedom to establish their own opinions on the piece. The motion was also designed to tie the hands of the Manager of the Luan Gallery, which would have sent out a very negative signal to artists.

“I am delighted that common sense has prevailed in this instance. However, it is now time for those Councillors who sat on the fence at the last monthly meeting of Athlone Town Council to vote against censorship in public. I will be raising this matter at the next meeting of Athlone Town Council.

“Today is a positive day for arts in the Midlands. I welcome the decision by the Board of Directors to proceed with the annual programme as planned”.



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