Renowned Irish painter Seán Keating’s unique personality shines through in new immersive Virtual Reality film

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The unique personality of renowned painter Seán Keating is eerily present in a new Virtual Reality art experience, Sit Stand Smoke, which opens at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork on Friday 26 April.

Sit Stand Smoke explores the motivation and circumstances behind the creation of one of Keating’s best-known works: Men of the South (1921-22).

Viewers can don a VR headset in the gallery and immerse themselves in unique insights into the world of the painting.

Sit Stand Smoke takes us into the unexpected world of Dr. Éimear O’Connor, art historian, Seán Keating’s biographer, and in this narrative, a newly initiated Virtual Reality director casting actors for her first VR project.

Although full of challenges, Virtual Reality does allow Éimear to have a conversation with the artist, played by his great-grandson, Jonathan Quinlan.

CURTIN // KEATING (co-artists Linda Curtin and David Keating – the latter being the grandson of the painter) co-created Sit Stand Smoke as part of Crawford Art Gallery’s Building as Witness series of Decade of Centenaries commissions.

Two artists working at the intersection of their overlapping practices, CURTIN// KEATING are fascinated by the process of making co-authored work in virtual reality.

Curtin’s background is as a visual artist and filmmaker working in immersive art. Her projects include Everything Alive Is In Movement and The Magic of Cinema. Keating is a film director and screenwriter – best known for his feature films Wake Wood, Last of the High Kings and as a writer on Into The West.

The prototype for Sit Stand Smoke was funded by Screen Ireland / Animation Ireland Innovation & Immersive Development Fund, BT Business and Ballymore and supported by the Cork Film Centre and Immersive Ireland.

Sit Stand Smoke runs at Crawford Art Gallery from 26 April – 5 May 2024.

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I'm a freelance content creator, author, and journalist who has a strong desire to share interesting content about Irish people and things about Ireland at home and abroad. I am constantly curious.

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