Skip to content

It’s a poor city for art where you can’t start a quarrel

by RGKSKSRG (Kate Strain & Rachael Gilbourne)

A curatorial commission with RGKSKSRG and artist-designer Farouk Alao as part of EVA’s initiative Never Look Back.

RGKSKSRG worked with artist-designer Farouk Alao to create a two-part work titled, It’s a poor city for art where you can’t start a quarrel. Conceived of as an extended tablecloth, that is both an archival object in itself and a catalyst for gathering. It features a printed assemblage of snapshots pulled from the EVA digital archive. Selected photographs, video stills, texts and sketches have been collaged by Farouk Alao into a mash-up of imagery along a 10-metre length of fabric. Seating up to 45 people for a supper or a picnic, the tablecloth acts as a prompt for conversation, quarrelling and dreaming. A luncheon was hosted around the tablecloth with Ireland Invites and Culture Ireland at the Shannon Rowing Club, to coincide with the edition of the 40th EVA International.


Never Look Back is supported through the Arts Council’s Engaging with Architecture Scheme and Limerick City and County Council. The luncheon It’s a poor city for art where you can’t start a quarrel was kindly supported by the Arts Council, Ireland Invites and Culture Ireland.


Designer: Farouk Alao

Photography: Pati Guimarães

Archival Source Material: EVA International

Seamstress: Abbi Gilbourne

Printing: House of U

Food, Drinks & Tablescape: Michelle Darmody


RGKSKSRG is the paired curatorial practice of Rachael Gilbourne and Kate Strain. Based between Dublin and Aughrim, RGKSKSRG commission, present and contextualise contemporary art. Through linking with sites, communities and institutions, RGKSKSRG works to create new contexts for engaged encounters between artists and audiences. These contexts can involve new commissions, solo and group exhibitions, live events, curatorial residencies, talks, interviews, performances, texts, and artworks.

Farouk Alao solves problems and creates Art. Born in Lagos, raised in Dublin, and made in Limerick and London, Alao is currently based between Dublin and London. An emerging artist, designer, model and brand consultant, he finds inspiration mainly from daily interactions with the world. He creates art to better understand the world around him and hopefully help others understand theirs better too. He utilises 2D and 3D design tools and methodologies as well as photography, focusing on humanity, questioning the things we think we know about ourselves.