Jenny Holzer, Marquees, New York, 1993.

Jenny Holzer, Marquees, New York, 1993.


Course Synopsis

Located in Gorey School of Art's brand new boutique cinema, artist and art critic James Merrigan delivers this one year, part-time course, teaching students the creative, critical and abstract-thinking skills required to write, think and feel through art. Students will learn the craft of writing, editing and research, and develop their imaginations and gain personal insights through a deep and meaningful exploration of art and writing, both historical and contemporary.

Combining lectures, seminars, writing workshops, exhibition critiques, class debates, gallery and artist studio visits, written and visual journals, novels and film, this Level 6 course provides students with the professional skills, awareness and confidence needed to become independent creative thinkers and writers.


From this course, students are eligible to apply to 1st Year AND/OR 2nd Year of Level 7, Level 8 degree courses or Level 9 Post Graduate courses, depending on past experience and qualifications.

Course Details

Creatively drawing from the immense backdrop of art history and all that has been written on art in modern times, this course provides a supportive platform to foster imagination and insight in the development of good writing and critical-thinking skills. Committed to the belief that we all have the capacity to write and think creatively, this course’s objective is to teach students the basic grammar and language skills of writing so each individual student can grow into the creative and imaginative writers they already are by building on their rich, life-long experiences.

To do this students will experience and explore an array of reflective and critical teaching and learning methodologies that will breakdown their creative anxieties and blockages. These student-centred methodologies will include lectures on art history and theory, writing workshops on grammar and style, active-writing and critique in the gallery setting, the use of written and visual journals, group projects and personal projects, and the development of their personal blog online.

Looking through the lens of art history and analysing the social and technological shifts that continue to change art today, students will take part in a number of debates both contemporary and historical that affect the development of art, that include taste, status, value, feminism, globalisation, and accelerated change associated with new technologies, such as photography and the Internet.

Set within Gorey School of Art where creativity is being dynamically explored everyday through drawing, painting, sculpture, print, photography and documentary film, the Critical Writing & Thinking through Art and Literature students will experience art-making as it develops in the studio and gain first-contact insights into students' working processes as they communally develop as would-be artists and writers.

Entry Requirements

Applications to our Critical Writing & Thinking course can be made by applicants who are aged 17 or over and who have completed the Leaving Certificate and/or a FETAC Level 4 programme. Mature applicants (i.e. applicants over the age of 23) do not need to have completed a Leaving Certificate.

Applicants will be expected to attend an interview, where an informal assessment will take place to choose suitable candidates for the course.

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