Dr Orla Ryan

BA(Hons) MA PhD


Wexford  Campus
e: Orla.ryan@setu.ie | t: 053 915821
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9276-8997    Website

  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision
  • Engagement and Collaboration

Research Interests

Dr. Ryan's research is in the area of art,  visual culture and   comparative research in  film; She conducts her  research through an interdisciplinary, collaborative  and practice based  model  and has presented outcomes from  this research  in different formats including written research,  conference presentations, creative writing, curating of  exhibitions/screenings and  her art practice which has been exhibited nationally and internationally.  Her research has been funded by  the Fulbright Commission, The Irish Research Council, The British Council, The Arts Council, Culture Ireland, JM Kaplan Fund, New York, The Carlow Arts Office and Art Links.

Currently Dr. Ryan's research includes modernity and modernization, history and memory and  their relationship to art,  photography and film; The representation  of women's involvement in 1916; comparative approaches to the study of film and moving image installations. Her current  art research practice is engaged with  the early 20th century and  19th century in Ireland.  

An ongoing part of Ryan's research is the curation of artist's films and moving image installations. These include  Dinh Q. Lê’s The Colony, (2016), Spring Watching Pavilion  (2015) The Borris Rural Film Festival (2014), Candice Breitz’s Him+ Her, (2013) Ursula Biemann's Sahara Chronicles (2008); Trinh T. Min-ha Night Passage & The Fourth Dimension (2008); Mairead McClean Bell(a)exchange (2007.


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Ryan, O, (2013) 'A Visual essay in memory of PW' , Considering Comparative Film Studies: in memory of  Paul Willemen(eds) Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Kim Soyoung, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, (Vol 14  Number ) March 2013, Routledge.

Ryan, O. (2001)' Between Lost and Found: The Films  of Matthew  Buckingham', Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Criticism, (Vol.28 No 5 2001)Rochester, New York.

Books and Book Chapters

Ryan, O., Hand, B., O'Kelly A. (2016) Thug  said oíche ar guairdeall dom- They left me wandering all night Public Art  Commission  for  the GPO  Witness History Museum. Published by Folded Leaf Press, Dublin. Four copies recently requested by the British Library.

Connolly, M., Ryan, O.(eds) (2000) The Glass Eye.  This publication is an interdisciplinary publication including art  work specifically made for book format, critical  texts and essays by artists on their art practice, Project Press, Dublin.

Ryan, O. & Hand, B. (2015) 'Entre Chien et Loup – extract of performance text' in Between a Dog and a Wolf   ed. Sarah Brown, publication part of the  CCA’s Our Neighbourhood , a participatory public project led by Sarah Browne, Derry.

Ryan, O. (ed) (2004) Eigse Catalogue. Texts on the following artists: Mairead  McClean; Jaoa Penalva; Laila Pakalnina; Ania Corcilius; Steven  Eastwood;   Mark O’Kelly, Carlow Arts Festival, Carlow.

Ryan, O. (2000) 'Teratology and the Televisual in Manhunter', in The Glass Eye (eds) Maeve Connolly and Orla Ryan, The Project Press, Dublin.

Ryan, O. (2000) 'Xavier Veilhan' in Vivre  Sa Vie edited by Tanya Leighton, Tramway, Glasgow.

Art Works (Photographs) in Books

Je Veux (2000) One Star Press and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Onestar Press invited  twenty artists/editors to curate a number of artists to  contribute a one-page project. Invited by   artit Tim Maul.

Charley 01, (2001) Les Presse du Reel, edited by Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick.  Charley 01 features 400 emerging artists from around the world, selected by a pool of international artists, curators, critics and art professionals.

Conference Proceedings and Papers

'Representations of the Women Couriers of 1916', Women's Voices Conference University College Cork, June 2017.

'Commemoration  and Reverse Engineering – a case study on the invention of the Irish Wolfhound with Brian Hand', Object Matters: Making Memory: Material and Visual Culture of Commemoration in Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Oct, 2016.

'Women and Conflict',  Panel presentation with Huong Ngo, Brian Hand and Alanna O’Kelly, The  Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Hanoi Vietnam, May 2016. This was part of the Official Centenary Programme of The Irish Embassy of Vietnam and was opened by the Irish Ambassador Cáit Moran.

'Eye of The Beholder' – Woman of the World Festival, Void Gallery, Derry. Panel also included Professor Siun Hanrahan, Kathleen McCreery, Nov 2015.

'Africa and African Diasporic Cinema',  Carlow African Film Festival  Symposium with  Florence Ayisi, Obi Emelonye, Orla Ryan (chair and convener),keynote Dr. Hal Weaver, Institute of Technology, Carlow, Oct 2008.

'Imagining an African Cinema – how to encourage and develop a platform for the representation of the African experience in Ireland' Carlow African Film Festival (convener). invited speakers: Bisis Adigun (TCD), Martin McCabe (DIT), Dr. Aine O’Brien (FOMACS), Ebere Uwa (DCU), Dr. Daniel Jewesbury (University of Ulster) Keynote speaker Professor Mbye Cham (Howard University), Sep 2007.

'Peter Watkins' La Commune', Kunstverein Munich. Panel presentation during exhibition of Deimantas Narkevicius  Mindaugas  Simkus and Peter Watkins, Sept 2002.

'Pierre Huyghe and the politics of memory', Cultures in Conflict Conference, Feb 2002, Dublin City University.

'Panel Response', Counter Productive Industries curated by Nato Thompson, 1926 Halsted Gallery, April 2000, Chicago.

'Alternative Mainstream, Mainstream Alternative:  The viability of the Artist-Led Initiative' Ormeau Baths Gallery,February 1999, Belfast.

'Mildred Pierce - my mother a waitress- feminism, class and American Post War Society', American Reel History Conference, Mary Immaculate College, Nov 1998 Limerick.

Selected Public Talks and Lectures

'Women and The Revolution', Presentation with Alanna O'Kelly. Speakers also included Helen Maher and Elaine Callinan, The Reading Room, Visual, Dec 2016. As part of the programme attached to our research project & exhibition Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall.

'Feminist Punk Culture', Launch of Seamus Nolan and Upstate Theatre’s publication Subvert All Power- Drogheda’s Punk History. Panel included Nigel Rolfe, Dave Lordan and Paddy Dillon, Drogheda Arts Centre, Aug 2016.

'Spring Watching Pavilion', curators talk, Nov 2015, Void Gallery, Derry.

In conversation with filmmaker Pat Murphy on the screening of Tana Bana, Nov 2015, Blackstairs Film Society, Borris.

In conversation with  film maker Clare Langan on the making of The Floating World and Langan’s practice, with a recital by poet Kerry Hardy, April 2015,Visual, Carlow in partnership with Poetry Ireland.

Voice box Visual, Oct 2014, Carlow.  Invited to discuss my creative practice.

Curator’s talk on Trinh T. Minh-ha’s film practice at the opening of her exhibition at the Void Gallery, Sept 2008, Derry.

'Fragmentation and the moving Image in Contemporary Art', public talk, Jan 2003, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin.

'The Final Girl', paper presented as invited lecture to MA film students, Nov 2003, Coleraine University.

'Chris Marker’s Immemory- a CD Rom', public talk, May 2002, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin.

Talk given with Maeve Connolly  to the Communications  Research  Seminar on The Glass Eye  publication and TV Project, a collaborative   art project with Valerie Connor and Maeve Connolly, March 2002, Dublin City University.

'Cinematic representations of Ballymun', The Sociology Dept, Maynooth College, Jan 2002. Talk given to the postgraduate seminar group.

'Modernization and the aesthetics of disenchanted romanticism in Irish Film'. Irish Film   Centre. Paper given to the Trinity Summer School, July 2001.Invited by Prof. Luke Gibbons.

Artist talk with Brian Hand on the Fire Dept. As part of the Nomads and Residents series of talks Art Resource Tranfer, Chelsea, April 2000 New York.

Artist Talk given to the Arts Administration Program School of the Art Institute of Chicago, April 2000.Invited by Dr. Greg Sholette.

Artist Talk with Brian Hand and Rose Thomas on the 'Fire Dept'. a collaborative  art  project exhibited in the CCA as part of If I ruled The World , May 2000,  CCA Gallery, Glasgow.

'The Address...geography as a history lesson of Dublin: Cinematic representations of Ballymun', Aug 1999, Parnell Summer School, Avondale House, Wicklow. Invited by Alex White (Chair 1999).

five29ninety9 Symposium, St Ann’s Church, New York, May 1999. Presentation on my art practice. Invited by Andrea Ray and Matthew Buckingham.

Artist talk on my art practice discordant...hum during the exhibition Eurocentral, Nov 1998, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow.

Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York.  Presentation on my art practice, Oct 1996.

Practice Based Research presented in art & film exhibition format

June 2017

The Wolf O'Brien, collaboration with Brian Hand, temporary site work, Tullow Street as part of the Carlow Arts Festival.

Oct-Jan 2016/2017

Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall, exhibition in Visual, Carlow. Collaboration with Alanna O’Kelly and Brian Hand.

Feb 2017

Screening of film Have You Forgotten Me Mr Haynes as part of 'The Writerly' programme at Close Up Cinema, London curated by Valentina Vitali.

April 2017

Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall Cruinniú na Cásca, Rua Red, Tallaght as part of The Creative Ireland Programme for 2017.

May/June 2016

Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall, The Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Collaboration with Alanna O’Kelly and Brian Hand.

April 2016

Stormy Petrel, Guairdeall, Temporary Public Art Project in collaboration with Alanna O’Kelly and Brian Hand. Commissioned by the GPO, Witness History Museum as part of the Official Centenary Programme for 2016.

June 2015

Performance /Lecture with Brian Hand, CCA Derry as part of Our Neighbourhood Project curated by Sarah Browne.

June 2012

Eigse Arts Festival. Exhibited with the Nine Stones Artists in Deighton Hall, Carlow.

March 2007

Inter-changes. Curated by Alan Phelan. Farmleigh, Phoenix Park, Dublin. Toured to Drogheda Arts Festival. This was organized to present creative work by Fulbright Alumni.

March 2003

The National Gallery Exhibition curated by Vaari Caffery, Ronan McCrea and Grant Watson. The Goethe Institute.

October 2002

The Persistence of Gothic curated by Mairead McClean. The Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Old Royal Naval College, London.

September 2002

Cluster curated by Katie Holten in association with Temple Bar Gallery.

December 2001

Small Steps curated by James Kerr. Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin.

March 2001

Visual Art is Disposable. 147 Exhibition Liberty Hall, Dublin

October 2000

Small Steps Curated by James Kerr. Context Gallery, Derry

May 2000

Small steps curated by James Kerr. Ellipse Gallery, Arlington, Virginia.

April 2000

If I Ruled the World curated by Ross Sinclair. In collaboration with Rose Thomas and Brian Hand. The CCA Gallery, Glasgow.

March 2000

Radio Tuesday Radio Broadcast of James Connolly Tower 9/4/99 (one of seven)-(sound piece).Transmission Gallery, Glasgow.

Aug 1999

Utopias James Connolly Tower 9/4/99 (one of seven) curated by John Hutchinson. Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Dublin.

March 1999

Timeline installation, Derry (solo show) Context Gallery (now CCA) Derry.

October 1998

Euro Central, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow.

September 1997

Kiosk (Public Art Project), Downtown Arts Festival, New York.

May 1997

Open Studios,Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York.

Gallery 50-20, Salzburg Austria.


Bande Image Bourges, France.Video Programme

Works Perfectly curated by Suzanne Walther, Rear Window, London.


Research Supervision

Since 2005, Dr. Ryan has supervised art undergraduate theses in the areas of art, film and visual culture in her role as lecturer in the Wexford Campus. Dr. Ryan also supervised MA film studies theses in DCU during her time there.

Areas of Interest for future Supervision Role
  • Academic or practice based research in the areas of contemporary art practice & visual culture, the essay film and moving image installation.

Engagement and Collaboration

Membership /Organizations/ Boards


Advisory curatorial Board Member, Visual, Carlow.


Irish Film Institute Dublin   invited member with voting rights.

2005- 2017

Void Derry Advisory Curatorial Board.


Access Cinema Board Member.

2007- Ongoing

Blackstairs Film Society Committee. Founding member and chair until 2015. Organized and curated The Blackstairs Rural Film Festival with screening in numerous venues including, The Library, Borris House, Borris Lodge nursing home.

2007- 2009

Committee member African Film Festival, Carlow.


CIRCA board member.


A.I.C.A.( International Association of Art Critics), Ireland. Secretary for two years.

Research Awards & Funding


Culture Ireland Award. Travel award for exhibition Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall at The Women’s Museum, Hanoi Vietnam.

Art Links (2016) Carlow County Council (2016) Artist Award.


GPO Public Art Commission With Alanna O’Kelly and Brian Hand.

Publication and research (2015) Award IT Carlow with Alanna O’Kelly and Brian Hand.

Research travel grant (Vietnam 2015) The British Council, Northern.


Funding awarded to The Blackstairs Rural Film Festival by Carlow County Council.


Arts Council of Ireland film Bursary.


Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholarship to complete PhD.


Arts Council of Ireland Project Award with Maeve Connolly and Valerie Connor.


DCU Faculty of Humanity Postgraduate Scholarship. Furthermore the publication programme of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, New York.


Fulbright Scholarship to attend Whitney Museum Independent Study Program as Research Fellow (Visual Art), New York.

Arts Council of Ireland Post Graduate Scholarship (1996).