The Masterplan 


Curator: Jennie Guy
Artists: John Beattie, Ella De Búrca
Community Partner: Dublin 7 Educate Together School
Website/Social Media: 
Date: May – June 2016
Commission Type: Open Call
Commissioner Name: Grangegorman Public Art Working Group, Grangegorman Development Agency
Per Cent for Art: Yes


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  Photos in gallery are credited to Louis Haugh



The Masterplan is a community-based arts initiative which imaginatively explores the educational environment of young people in the 21st century. It takes place during May-June 2016 and represents a new partnership between curator Jennie Guy, artists John Beattie and Ella de Búrca, and Dublin 7 Educate Together National School. The school which has been temporarily located in Grangegorman Lower will be relocated on the new site in a new building as part of the Grangegorman redevelopment.

The Masterplan is a project curated and conceived of by Jennie Guy. Guy, alongside filmmaker John Beattie and performance artist Ella de Búrca will workshop and situate themselves amongst young people for extensive periods over the coming months.

The project’s ambition is based on exploring a high-level theme with a young audience, allowing access to a deeper connection to the way that their city is changing around them.  By the nature of this partnership between the artists and the school, the project is firmly rooted and connected within the local community.  The project’s legacy: Imagine being a child and making this film – and then in five or ten years’ time – the school is there and you can look back on the film that you made, on what you had imagined before it was even built.

An underlying premise of this work is Guy’s belief that if you place an artist as an active researcher in a learning environment that the students quickly becomes inventive and creative learners.


The intent of this process based arts initiative is to facilitate a creative conversation amongst students about the arc of their transition from an older environment to a newly built one.  The Masterplan involves a range of artist workshops, performance, events and collaborative explorations.

Students will work with the artists to realize a series of performances that will be filmed, working through the following stages:

  • A residency running May-June 2016 where primary school students engage with artists, working through a variety of artistic research and artistic media.
  • A series of performances in which the students are working with the artists to produce material that becomes the content of a film.
  • Multiple opportunities for the students to work not only as performers within the film, but to be involved in every aspect of production of the film.

The project will create a strong legacy for the school, particularly working through the media of performance and video art.

The Masterplan is integrated in the first stage of the GDA’s public art programme, giving the students and the school a means of exploring this project’s evolution as active participants in the areas redevelopment.



Students, parents, teachers and supporters of The Masterplan were invited to a public screening of ‘The Making of the Masterplan‘ in the Lighthouse Cinema on 3th October 2016. The screening was a documentary of the processes undertaken during the artists’ residency with the school. An artist essay from Brian Fay on the project was written in support of this event.





The Masterplan Press Release | view here
Artist Essay A Site of Change: The Masterplan  by Brian Fay | view here


    Jennie Guy

    Jennie is a curator, artist, writer and educator based in Dublin. In conjunction with her independent practice, Guy is the Manager of the Artistic Programme and Operations at Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin. She holds a BA in English literature and History from Trinity College and an MA in Visual Arts Practices from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She is the founder and director of Art School, an experimental framework that explores strategies for placing artists within sites of education. Recent curatorial work includes ‘I Sing the Body Electric’(2018), an Art School project developed as part of EVA International; the exhibitions ‘It’s Very New School’ (2017) and ‘Field Recording’(2018) as curator in residence at Rua Red Arts Centre; Artists’ Exercises (2016), an online platform for distributing artists’ educational strategies.

    In addition, Guy regularly consults, manages and curates major public art commissions in Ireland. Recent commissions curated by Guy include Ruth Lyons’ Iontaise / Iontas (2020), Adam Gibney’s Your Seedling Language (2019) and David Beattie’s Reflectors (2019). She is the editor of Curriculum: Contemporary Art Goes to School which was published in the autumn 2020 and will be internationally distributed by Intellect Books.

    John Beattie

    John is a visual artist originally from Co. Donegal and is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. Beattie’s practice takes the form of staged productions using still and moving image. His work readdresses cultural moments, objects and events which become reconfigured and reinterpreted through his approach. Examples include PERFORMING NGI.988 (2016), A Line of Enquiry (2013) and the two-part film An Artist, The Studio, and all the rest… (2006–2012). In 2020, he is an artist in residence at The Centre Culturel Irlandais (CCI) Paris, where he will continue the development of his work and research on Mondrian and the Paris Studio.

    Ella de Búrca

    Ella works through performance, sculpture and poetry to focus on how humans construct meaning, particularly from a female perspective. She is especially interested in how we perform as ‘viewer,’ and the discourse surrounding active versus passive experiences. Her work is usually site-specific and temporary. She is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD at KU Leuven, Belgium. Selected exhibitions and performances include: ‘Pirouette,’ The Hugh Lane Municipal Art Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, 2019 (solo performance), ‘Flat As The Tongue Lies,’ U.C. Irvine, California, 2018 (solo show), ‘Post-Peace’ at the Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany 2017.