Kilkenny woman is new head of the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

Sean Keane


Sean Keane


Kilkenny woman is new  head of the Science  Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

Ann Mulrooney from Kilkenny has been appointed the new director of the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

A Kilkenny woman has been appointed the new director of the prestigious Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin.

Ann Mulrooney, originally from Maddoxtown outside the city is the former director of VISUAL contemporary arts centre in Carlow where she was so successful.

Ann Mulrooney replaces Lynn Scarff, who was appointed director of the National Museum of Ireland earlier this year.

She will start her new job on December 1. During her time at VISUAL, she was responsible for curating cross-disciplinary art programmes in STEM areas, including digital technologies, augmented reality and architecture.

The Vice-Provost of Trinity College, Chris Morash said: “Dedicated to igniting a passion for science and creativity, Science Gallery continues to engage young adults with cutting-edge culture and innovation.”

“We look forward to Ann’s stewardship in the next chapter of this wonderful initiative," he added.

Mulrooney, who initially trained as a sculptor after graduating from the Crawford College of Art in Cork, said she was delighted to lead the Science Gallery into its second decade.

“The combination of scientific and artistic research with meaningful public engagement has enormous transformative potential and I look forward to working with Science Gallery’s national and international partners and stakeholders to realise this”, she added.

The Science Gallery first opened in 2008. Since then, the project, which focuses on providing programmes and experiences that allow visitors to participate and facilitate social connections, has spread to London, Venice, Melbourne, Detroit and Bengaluru.

Last year, Trinity’s Front Square hosted a display of pyrotechnics to celebrate the gallery’s 10th anniversary.

The Board of VISUAL have congratulated CEO and Artistic Director Ann Mulrooney on the news of her new appointment as Director of Science Gallery Dublin.

Over the past five years, Ann has been responsible for growing the critical reputation of the organisation, leading out on a new strategic plan and staff restructure, increasing income streams, building valuable partnerships with local and national stakeholders, and exponentially increasing audiences and participation levels through a focus on engagement through artistic decision-making and innovative cross-disciplinary programming. Having brought VISUAL to the eve of its 10th anniversary in 2019, she leaves an inspiring artistic programme in place for next year, focusing on the value of art and culture that the institution creates for its communities, as a space for seeing the world differently, for gathering together and sharing, and for generating well-being.    

Commenting on the new appointment, Ann said “I am looking forward to commencing my new role with Science Gallery Dublin this December. I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Board and staff of VISUAL and to the many great partners and collaborators I’ve had the pleasure to work with in my time in Carlow. It has been a privilege to work in such a beautiful and inspiring space, and to see it truly come alive through community participation, driven by the commitment and hard work of a brilliant team. I would also like to acknowledge the vital roles played by Carlow County Council and the Arts Council in their funding and support of VISUAL’s work.”  

To ensure a smooth transition, the Board of VISUAL are appointing Eamonn Maxwell as an interim Director for a six month period in December 2018 whilst recruiting for a new CEO, which will be advertised in January 2019. Eamonn has worked as a curator and leader in the visual arts for over 20 years. He has curated exhibitions across the world include the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011. From 2009 – 2016 he was Director of Lismore Castle Arts, where he programmed significant exhibitions by leading international and Irish artists. Latterly he has worked as collections advisor to the Arts Council of Ireland, Goldsmiths College London and numerous private collectors. 

Eamonn says "I am delighted to be taking up the post for this transition period. VISUAL is a wonderful institution and I look forward to working with the team and Board for the next six months. Ann has done a brilliant job during her tenure and I know she will make a huge impact at the Science Gallery." 

Chair of the Board Kathleen Holohan commented “We are very proud of VISUAL and the role it plays within Carlow and beyond as a centre for inspiration, creativity and participation. Ann has played an important part in realising VISUAL’s potential through her leadership over the past five years and we wish her every success in her new role in Science Gallery Dublin. Having previously worked with VISUAL as both a Curator and a consultant on international touring, Eamonn’s extensive leadership experience in the arts sector will ensure the organisation’s work continues smoothly throughout the recruitment process in early 2019.“