For those of you not in Ireland we have a general election looming. The country is in “a terrible state o’ chassis”, to quote Captain Boyle in O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock. Part of my job is working with advocacy groups for the Arts in Ireland. In the past year and half Arts organisations have been working hard to remind politicians of the role of the Arts to our culture and economy.

The above video is from UpStart, a non-profit arts collective which aims to put creativity into the public arena during the Election Campaign in 2011. It plans to do this by reinterpreting the spaces commonly used for displaying election campaign posters in Dublin City and is calling on all artists to submit work for this exhibition.

Upstart is asking for submissions to this project from all artistic disciplines. It hopes is to receive 500 submissions from writers and visual artists, photographers, painters and graphic designers. These works will be duplicated and 1000 pieces will be printed as election size posters and be erected throughout Dublin city. It is also accepting works from musicians and film makers which will be hosted and exhibited through its website which will be launched on the day of the electoral poster campaign.

I think this is a fine idea, and I’m hoping we’ll see some of these images outside of Dublin as well. I remember the last election, and how quickly I got sick looking at the posters of orange spray-tanned faces of politicians grimacing in pretend bonhomie .

I hope many of you will submit work – no matter what your level of experience. If you have something to say, get the piece together and send it in. You never know, it might get selected.

There’s no money in this, alas (that should be the slogan of the Arts!) and works will be auctioned off after the campaign to help fund Upstart. As usual, read the terms and conditions before you send anything in…

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