A NEW LANDSCAPE OF ARTS-BASED BUILDINGS AND COMPARATIVE CULTURAL POLICIES ON THE ISLAND OF IRELAND: THE CURSE OF JOCASTA’S NECKLACE

Sarah A. Lappin

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v6i3.114

Abstract

Much current cultural policy research focuses on activity traditionally viewed as arts practice: visual arts, music, literature and dance. Architecture’s role in the discussion of cultural policy is, however, less certain and thus less frequently interrogated. The study presented here both addresses this dearth of in-depth research while also contributing to the interdisciplinary discussion of cultural policy in wider terms. In seeking to better understand how architectural culture is regulated and administered in a specific case study, it unpacks how the complicated relationships of nominal and explicit policies on both sides of the Irish/Northern Irish border contributed to the significant expansion of arts-based buildings 1995-2008. It contrasts political and cultural motivations behind these projects during a period of significant economic growth, investment and inward immigration. Data has been gathered from both official published policies as well as interviews with elite actors in the decision-making field and architects who produced the buildings of interest in both countries. With the sizeable number of artsbased buildings now completed in both Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one must wonder if this necklace of buildings is, like Jocasta’s, a thing of both beauty and redolent with a potential future curse. It is the goal of this project to contribute to the larger applied and critical discussion of these issues and to engage with future policy design, administration and, certainly, evaluation.

Keywords

Comparative cultural policy, architecture, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

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