Boring Art? (Exhibition Identity)


Designed by Peter-Tim Lynch, Ross Curran and Clare Mason at designworks

Categories: Identity / Exhibition

Industry: Cultural

In October 2021 the National Gallery of Ireland opened Boring Art? featuring old paintings showcased in a new light, by a team of seven enthusiastic Apollo Project Young Curators. The exhibition marked a first for the Gallery - working with young people from diverse backgrounds to conceptualise, curate and invigilate the show. It was also a significant milestone for the Apollo Project, an initiative developed by the Gallery and Russborough House for young people aged 16 to 25, which aims to encourage the exploration of art, its impact, and its relevance for new generations.

The show was created by young people to engage young audiences, make the works more relatable and highlight important issues such as feminism, racism and the male gaze, which were challenged by a twenty-first-century perspective throughout the exhibition.

We were commissioned to produce the exhibition identity and apply it within the space and throughout the Gallery, including digital signage and social marketing assets. In keeping with the nature of the show and the broader mission of the Apollo Project, we brought the young curators into the heart of our process. This entailed a mixture of education, mentorship and collaboration - asking them to participate actively in our creative insights and concepts workshops, which in turn gave us crucial understanding of their ideas and intentions for the show. 

The exhibition design and application reflects their vision, the work, the Gallery and the spirit of the project - balancing irreverence and a degree of provocation with respect for the underlying themes of the show and the rigour of the process undertaken by the curators. It is humorous, flexible and built around the questions that art can inspire – what is this?, what does it mean? why does it matter? - and is this boring art?