Arising from a need expressed by artists, CIRCA was founded in Belfast in 1981. First established as a bi-monthly publication with a distinctly Northern focus, within a couple of years it had extended its reach and developed an all-Ireland remit. By 1984 its main funders were Belfast City Council, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and An Chomhairle Ealaíon / the Arts Council of Ireland.
In its very first editorial, the editors made clear their aim for the magazine:
“To look at art production in a broad sense; we feel it is important to strike a balance between articles on particular art and artists and a more searching analysis of art production in a socio-political context.”
CIRCA became a quarterly in 1992. Its last statement in 2011 read:
“CIRCA is Ireland’s leading magazine for contemporary visual arts. Appearing quarterly, its 112 full-colour pages contain news, reviews, previews, interviews, feature articles and a host of images. The magazine is dedicated to reflecting visual culture as it unfolds throughout Ireland while also reporting on important developments further afield. CIRCA is a vital resource for artists, academics, students, researchers, arts administrators, those working in related fields and all who are interested in visual culture in Ireland.”
For various reasons, mainly funding related, CIRCA stopped printing in Winter 2009. Its last printed issue was its 130th. It continued as an online publication until 2013.
In December 2015, Michaële Cutaya and Marian Lovett responded to a call for proposals on the future of CIRCA. Their collaboration on the project began in February 2016. They are currently working on re-imagining what CIRCA’s archive, website and publication can become.
CIRCA Art Magazine is a charitable company incorporated in Northern Ireland.
CIRCA’s non executive directors are Brian Redmond and Peter FitzGerald.
Brian Redmond is a photographer and consultant who is very active in supporting the arts and heritage in Ireland; see longmeadowstudios.com. He has been chairperson of the Irish Georgian society for a number of years.
Peter FitzGerald is an artist, web- and app-developer, and in charge of Dnote and iCulture. He has developed many other initiatives, such as paintfor.me and fineart.foundation – and he has worked on various projects at Code for Ireland.
Marian Lovett is a writer, curator and project manager. She was the acting director and curatorial advisor at the Limerick City Gallery (2010-2011) and she headed up Temple Bar Gallery and Studios for nine years (2001 – 2010). During that time she directed, curated and led numerous exhibitions, projects and partnerships.
Michaële Cutaya is a writer and researcher on art living in County Galway. She writes essays and reviews for Irish publications in print and online. She co-founded Fugitive Papers in 2011. Full Bibliography