In 2012, the Arts Council celebrated 60 years of supporting the arts with a series of exhibitions titled ‘Into the Light – 60 Years of Supporting the Arts’ held in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Sligo. The exhibitions consisted of works selected from over 1,000 pieces which make up the Arts Council collection.
To mark the occasion, the Arts Council and RTÉ supported the making of four short films which respond creatively to the collection.
One of the short films, A Prevailing Wind, combines archive footage with contemporary music performance to celebrate the developing value of art in Ireland over the past 60 years, and the strength of the shoulders that we all now stand on.
Ian Cudmore explains the genesis of the project:
“We went to the cinema after the interview. It was a Monday afternoon, and we were treating ourselves for having got shortlisted at all. So the voicemail when we came out saying ‘it’s a yes’ was a treat indeed.
“Then the realisation of the project we now had ahead of us – celebrating 60 years of Irish contemporary art, using archive footage and filmed improvised musical response. All in 3 short minutes. To be delivered in one month. Goodbye quiet evenings.
“The music side went swimmingly. With Donal at the tone helm, Hector painting with the projector and Myles behind the lens, it was a special capturing of some very beautiful music, improvised with a real sense of ease and knowledge by three of the top of the class; Seán Mac Erlaine, Caoimhín O Rathallaigh and Maitiú O Casaide.
“Meanwhile the archive. I think it was 12 DVDs that we took out of the RTÉ libraries. A week of manic stitching and re-stitching followed. Watching and scrapping, squeezing and tightening, carving a re-carving. And that was just the rough-cut.
“The finished result could probably have emerged 50 different ways, but even through the over-tiredness and over-exposure I still do like this one – the pride it instills and the nod it gives to the strength of the shoulders that we all stand on.”