Outsider Art with Brent Pope

Outsider Art with Brent Pope

Brent Pope is best known for his rugby punditry on RTÉ yet another deep rooted passion of his is “Outsider Art” – This is a term coined to describe art made by people with no formal training, whose work is created outside the influence of mainstream establishments such as art schools and galleries.

It is also referred to as Raw art. “I’m not an art critic or expert; I just have a passion for this kind of art and the talented people that create it. Many, but not all, are living on the margins of society – they may have experienced social disadvantage or exclusion as a result of issues such as mental health, homelessness, learning disabilities or have ended up in the prison system perhaps”.

Brent says that, internationally Outsider Art has become a celebrated part of the established art world including in his native New Zealand yet he feels that not much attention has been paid to Outsider Art in Ireland. As a regular traveller to Outsider Art Fairs abroad, he is often asked about Irish Outsider Art. This has prompted Brent to set himself the challenge of going in search of Ireland’s Outsider Artists. He not only wants to shine a light on their talent but he also wants to host an exhibition later in the year, showcasing the best of the best outsider work that he discovers.

A documentary for RTE One television will chronicle Brent’s journey as he travels the length and breadth of the country to meet some of the artists and where he can explore the inspiration behind their work. It will also follow his endeavours to organise the exhibition. Contributions from the art world at home and abroad will also be included in the programme. If you would be interested in getting involved in Brent’s project or would like to learn more about it, please contact: outsiderart@firebrand.ie

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