6 November 2020 – 21 April 2021 all-day

Enter the descriptath(l)on

Have you ever considered describing paintings to people who can only see them partially or not see them at all? Start with this one by Dublin artist John Fitzsimons (acquired in 2012 and now hanging in our offices): deceivingly simple, yet the more you look, the more you see…

Contribute your description to the descriptath(l)on, i.e. the marathon (or decathlon) of descriptions that we are collecting to enrich our experiences of art and to support visually impaired audiences. You can e-mail your description as short text (ideally no longer than 200 words) or in audio format (no longer than 3min recording or longer if it’s conversational) to DublinCastleEducation@opw.ie and let us do the rest. If you need more information on the work, to assist you with your description, or if you wish to look at more artworks to choose from, let us know.

Participants have to be between 3 and 103 years of age by April fool’s day. If anyone is outside these age limits, we will not dare to say no. We welcome contributions from all ages, eyes and voices and so do the final recipients of your descriptions. We would be delighted to receive collaborative descriptions or conversational pieces , combining in audio or in text different styles and voices. Get together with your family or friends and give it a go. Watch out for spontaneous descriptions of very young children and include them – they are often the most insightful. If you have any queries or are looking for tips before you start your experiment, drop us a line.

You can access some sample audio-descriptions here:

But we really want your own voice, your own pen, your own style. It’s an experiment, it’s an adventure.

John Fitzsimons 2012, Foundations III, oil and gold leaf on cotton paper on board, 42x53cm. In the state art collection.

Some more information on the artist and the show that this work was part of: