The Artist-led Archive

[1970 – The Present Day]:

Sustainable Activism and the Embrace of Flux.

The Artist-Led Archive — an artist-led initiative that began in 2006 — is home to materials relating to over 120 artist-led organisations, groups and collectives working in Ireland (North and South) from the 1970s to the present day, a period marking significant economic, social and political changes in Ireland.

The Artist-led Archive – Sustainable Activism and the Embrace of Flux will become a publication published by Durty Books Publishing House in 2022, supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Visual Arts Project Award 2021.

Currently housed within the Special Collections of the National Visual Arts Library Dublin (NIVAL), the Artist-Led Archive has been exhibited in the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2015), the Limerick City Gallery (2016), the Lab Dublin (2009), Catalyst Arts (2008) and Galway Arts Centre (2007), as well as featuring in many publications, talks and discussions internationally about artist-led culture.

The Artist-led Archive – Sustainable Activism and the Embrace of Flux will be the first publication to collate key selections of archival materials and documents from each organisation represented in the Artist-Led Archive, bringing them to the fore alongside 12 newly commissioned essays by leading Irish and international artists, curators and researchers including: Dr Dave Beech, Dr CM Lerm Hayes, Dr Eve Olney, Sarah Kelliher, Jason Bowman, Dr Aine Phillips, Dr Gregory Sholette, Eireann and I, Mary Conlon, Daniel Jewsbury, Michelle Browne, Conor McCabe and Livia Paldi, as well as two artists commissions from the Vacuum and Una Walker.

We are now updating the archive, inviting past and present artist-led initiatives in Ireland (North and South) not represented in the archive to submit materials for acquisition within the archive and reproduction within The Artist-led Archive – Sustainable Activism and the Embrace of Flux. This publication will not only create a significant contribution to the understanding of the development of artist-led practice in Ireland, but it will provide a timely chronicle to the artist-led field nationally and internationally.

Please, read the guidelines for registration and submission of materials and fill out the form below.

Submit material

Guidelines for Registration and Submission

Before registering your interest submission interest, please read the guidelines for information and ideas on submitting materials. You can submit either digital or analogue materials for inclusion in the Artist-led Archive. Please register your details in the form below, and we will contact you as soon as possible.

You can submit any materials that you feel best represent past and present activities of your organisation. In particular, we are interested in materials that are related to the initial year and current stage of your organisation as well as any key moments of ‘flux’ or change in the organisation’s history.

Examples of materials might include: digital images (i.e. JPEG / TIFF files), documentation of events, constitutive documents, proposals, press clippings, press releases, presentations, proposals for events/performances, audio recordings, application forms, publications, brochures, photographs, slides, board minutes, CDs, DVDs, video documentation, computer programmes, databases, a Powerpoint etc.

Please keep in mind that the greater variety of materials submitted, the more potential information the researcher has.

Where possible, please submit originals; however, in circumstances where there is only one original copy, please only submit reproduction(s). In some cases, we may be able to assist in reproduction*.

Please label all the materials with corresponding dates as well as the material’s author/creator.

Please be aware that all materials acquired by the Artist-Led Archive will be processed and archived and subsequently housed in the special collections in the National Visual Art Library, NCAD.

*If you feel that you have materials that are not reproducible, but would be especially important please contact to arrange alternative methods of protection and display for such materials.

For any queries, please contact

Register to submit material

  • Current General Information
  • Organisational Information
  • Description of Organisational History
  • Rights
  • Complete