Portfolio

With fifteen years of experience in the cultural and heritage sector, this portfolio showcases a selection of collaborative creative projects undertaken during that time. For further information, contact us on our Contacts page.

Projects & Activities

Museum Exhibitions

Fr. Browne Museum Project at Emo Court, Co. Laois

Exhibition Researcher and Curator for compilation of an exciting new permanent museum exhibition on the life and works of Fr. Frank Browne at Emo Court, Co. Laois.

Scéal are working closely with the OPW Historic Properties Team for this project, and look forward to creating an exhibition which captures and commemorates the story of a unique and prolific Irish documentary photographer of the twentieth century.

Print, Protest and The Polls: The Irish suffrage campaign and the power of print media, 1908 – 1918

Curator, project researcher, and educational facilitator for a unique
commemorative museum exhibition exploring the centenary of the first
granting of the vote to women in Ireland.

Exhibited at the National Print Museum, Dublin 4, Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff, Irish
Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, Antrim. Further venues TBC.

Everyday Matters: Objects, Stories and Society, National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History

Curatorial researcher and exhibition assistant for a collaborative exhibition dealing with contemporary museum collection with the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History and the NCAD Masters programme in Design History & Material Culture.

This temporary display presented a diverse selection of inexpensive, everyday objects which reflected important contemporary issues such as homelessness, terrorism, politics, consumerism and the environment.

‘Where do they get this stuff from?’ – 125 years of collecting at the National Museum of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology

Curatorial researcher and exhibition assistant for exhibition dealing with the unusual historical origins of the museum collections, and the evolution of the museum methods of collecting over the past 125 years.

The exhibition was formed by the Museum’s Collections Inventory team whose work generated a digital catalogue of the collection, and formed part of the Documentation Discoveries online outreach project on the museum website.

Hidden Stories of Design: The Secret Lives of Objects, The Little Museum of Dublin

Curatorial researcher and exhibition assistant for a collaborative museum exhibition with The Little Museum
of Dublin, Irish Design 2015 and the National College of Art and Design. This exhibition chose artefacts from
the museum’s collection to research and analyse on a closer level.

Unearthing the fascinating histories behind seemingly mundane things, the presented research findings suggest the many ways the design, circulation and use of objects afford us new understandings of life and experience in the city. With research, seemingly inert and everyday objects come to life in unexpected ways. An associated public symposium was held in April 2015, with the further publication of an associated book dealing with the objects that formed part of the display.

CULTURE & HERITAGE PROJECTS

Lackagh Museum Collections Management Audit Project

This project completed a professional collections audit, assessment, and suggested improvement plan for the museum collections of Lackagh Museum and Heritage Centre. The information and guidance provided by the plan will allow the organisation to work towards the best practice standard in Collections Management and Care for a future application for Interim Status to the Museum Standards Programme of Ireland (MSPI).

Castlerea Railway Museum Audience Engagement Project

Delivery of an Audience Engagement Project for Castlerea Railway Museum, focusing on the production of a series of engaging virtual visit videos and the creation of a re-designed new website that highlights and showcases the uniqueness of the Museum and its collections. https://www.hellskitchenmuseum.com/

Michael Davitt Museum Audience Engagement Project

Creation and delivery of “Discovering Davitt“; an engaging new online educational resource for the Davitt Museum website. This provides a learning source for secondary school students and a broad range of site visitors exploring the historical impact of Michael Davitt. The resource combines a range of interactive learning media, including text, images, and video. https://www.michaeldavittmuseum.ie/discovering-davitt/

Lackagh Museum and Heritage Centre Audience Engagement Project

Management and delivery of the creation of an engaging new video series focusing on the provision of ‘virtual visit’ experiences to Lackagh Museum and Heritage Centre for their online audiences. The series focused on promoting the museum collections and engaging new audiences with the local and social history preserved in the Museum.

The Granuaile Centre Audience Engagement Project

Delivery of a social media development project for The Granuaile Centre, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. The project involved the initial setup and growth of a social media identity for the Museum, which allowed for the Centre to hold a strong social media presence, a platform to update with new information, and a means to engage directly with their online audiences.

Creative Associate for Creative Schools

Creative Associate for the Creative Schools programme. Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. It is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Creative Associates are artists, creative practitioners and educators with an understanding of the arts and creativity, and its potential to transform the lives of children and young people. They match the needs of schools to arts and creative opportunities in their locality. They identify potential areas for improvement and inspire, energise and drive schools forward in addressing these. Through this pioneering initiative, Creative Associates have the chance to shape the place of the arts and creativity in Irish schools.

Connecting through Heritage – Leitrim Heritage Podcast

Expert contributor to the Leitrim Heritage Podcast, a Heritage Week 2020 event organised by Leitrim County Council. The programme celebrates the natural, built and cultural heritage of Leitrim by talking to the local people and experts who know Leitrim’s heritage best. All interviewees have a lifelong passion for heritage, and have dedicated years to exploring the heritage of their place or chosen area of interest, to keeping traditions alive, and to sharing their knowledge and engaging others in Leitrim’s heritage.

The Tuar Ard Reminiscence Theatre Project, Tuar Ard Arts Centre, Moate, Co. Westmeath

Project Manager and Collaborator with Making Hay Theatre Company, Moate Community School, Moate Nursing Home, and the wider Moate community. Leading the management and facilitation of an intergenerational reminiscence theatre project based in Tuar Ard Theatre, where older and younger members of the community collaborate in reminiscence activities in order to produce the creation of a theatrical performance for public presentation by the younger participants. A flagship innovative social inclusion project, focusing on the specific engagement of the underserved demographics of teenagers and older community members with mobility and dementia issues.

Protest through Print: Women’s Suffrage and Print Media Centenary Seminar, 14th September 2018, National Print Museum, Dublin 4

Organiser and convener of a free public academic seminar commemorating the first granting of the vote to women in Ireland, and the connection of the suffrage campaign to the use of print as a mass media for promotion of the movement. The project was supported by a successful grant from the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Creative Makers: Kids’ Fablabs for Letterpress and Printing, National Print Museum, Dublin

Irish Project Manager (National Print Museum) for an EU funded cooperation project that aims to innovate the traditional craft sectors of letterpress and printing through the co-creation of four kids’ Fablabs, inspired by tinkering and the maker culture.

These Fablabs were conceived as dedicated spaces where the audience is actively involved through a new set of workshops based on a hands-on approach, typical of children’s museums, which mixes the basics of letterpress and printing with digital fabrication and other new technologies. The project worked with partners from Estonia, Italy, and Spain, and involved transnational workshops and collaboration which ultimately led to the design and implementation of four international children’s Fablabs in 2018 and 2019.

Interrogating Markievicz: Gender, class and activism, 1918-2018, May 2018, Richmond Barracks, Dublin

Workshop facilitator for the commemorative public history event. Delivery of a public research and engagement workshop entitled “Using material and visual culture to write women into history” in the panel entitled ‘Women and History Workshops – how to research, write and commemorate women in Irish History’.

The Irish Memorial Records Project, In Flanders Fields Museum, Grote Markt 34, 8900, Ypres, Belgium

Fellowship Researcher for the Irish Memorial Records Project – a subdivision of the wider Name List Project undertaken by the Museum Research Centre. Initial duties in the Belgian Research Centre included detailed archive and publication research and updates of digital database records relating to the records of all Irish people listed in the Irish Memorial Records as having died during the First World War.

Distance work continued from Ireland, with further research, update and promotion of the museum database. The aims of the work on the Irish records are to produce an updated and corrected database listing the fallen Irish soldiers, resulting in subsequent completion of a future WWI Irish memorial website.

National Museum of Ireland Inventory Project, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin

Museum Documentation specialist on a national project with the aim to create a correct and thorough database record for each object in the core collections of the National
Museum of Ireland. All objects were researched and recorded to best practice in museum documentation, with object information made available on a centralised database. This enabled both staff and the public to have better access to more wideranging object information for the first time in the history of the museum.

The Inventory Project enabled the Museum to establish the extent and scope of its collections, and contributed to improving their physical condition, storage, and record details. The project catalogued over a million objects across all four Museum divisions, and established a customised Adlib database to allow staff and researchers efficient ease of access to object information. The overall effect of the project has been to open up the national collections more than has ever been possible before, thus providing much research material for future scholars and a wealth of collections information for the public to enjoy.

Heritage in Schools

Heritage Expert on The Heritage Council’s “Heritage in Schools” programme. Responsibility of developing, scheduling and conducting educational teaching visits
and events in primary schools which offer children the chance to learn about their local archaeological and historical heritage within the objectives of the SESE curriculum.

Providing an additional educational resource for teachers and community
groups through educational workshops and fieldtrips, which can focus on particular archaeological and historical periods, or on the work of the archaeologist and the ways they use material evidence to explain the past. Creating and facilitating inclusive and interactive visits include visual presentations, class discussions, artefact handling sessions and interactive craft activities in the classroom, demonstrating the work of the archaeologist and historian, interpreting and understanding the material evidence from the past, and changes and continuity between the past and the present.

http://www.heritageinschools.ie/heritage-expert/profile/donna-gilligan

For a full Current Publication List detailing published articles, book chapters, and press pieces, please see the Research and Publication page.