Visiting IMMA

On August 21st, students and staff alike from GHIS paid a visit to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Kilmainham. I attended only part of the tour but luckily, I was able to recall a previous yet recent visit to the museum as an indicator of what I had missed.
Modern art is quite a divisive subject for even art connoisseurs and our group would have been something of a mixed bunch in that respect. Nevertheless, I feel that the art on show and the event itself proved to be thought-provoking if not inspiring for some and a distraction from the more mundane aspects of the GHIS timetable at the least, for others.

Where is the IMMA?

Located on the grounds of the former Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, IMMA is a vast estate encompassing their renowned gallery, gardens, their award-winning restaurant and their gift-shop. It was restored by the government in 1984 and reopened to the public in 1991 by the then Taoiseach Charles J Haughey.

Courtyard of the IMMA at Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Courtyard of the IMMA at Kilmainham, Dublin 8

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.”

Pablo Picasso

About Art

While I myself am not a huge fan of modern art especially, I do appreciate art in all forms and recognize the value of the culture such an establishment can bring to a city, and there is no doubt, the interest is there on a worldwide scale. Art enriches our lives for art is self-expression and so is something that we can identify with, regardless of the form it takes. That ability to appreciate beauty is inherent in us all. At the same time, beauty is subjective. So the subject of art is endlessly intriguing and wide enough for the majority to appreciate or discuss in some way, be that passionately or casually.



“Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.”
– Salvador Dali

Art as a launchpad for inspiration


So rich was the opportunity for inspiration, I came to regret my decision to not bring a sketchpad, for there was ample occasion to sketch within the gardens and the museum itself. Art is essentially beauty reinterpreted and so, in sketching it, I had the opportunity to interpret in my own way. I think perhaps that taking a sketch pad with me on these excursions might be a habit worth forming. It may be that in doing so, I too can submit something of my own that is beautiful. And creating beauty is hardly the most ignoble of pursuits, for it is the beauty found in art and music that is said to soothe the savage beast.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
-Vincent Van Gogh

Written by David Dunne – GHIS Student in Web & Computer Graphics –