Arts Over Border | Lead Artistic Partner
ARTS OVER BORDERS was founded in Northern Ireland in 2012 through Seán Doran and Liam Browne’s vision of a new multi-arts festival model, the bio-festival, that celebrated Irish Nobel Laureate Samuel Beckett in the place of his schooling, Enniskillen. The Festival swiftly became one of Ireland’s leading international arts events presenting the work of theatre directors Robert Wilson, Peter Stein, Netia Jones, choreographers Mark Morris, Maguy Marin, Merce Cunningham, visual artists Antony Gormley, Joseph Kosuth, Tacida Dean, Steve McQueen and performers Miranda Richardson, Toby Jones, Ian Bostridge, Roderick Williams and Sarah Connolly. In 2015, AOB founded Ireland’s first cross border festival in Ireland, the Lughnasa FrielFest. During the pandemic, AOB commissioned the outdoor public art project ‘The Flight of the Golden Swallow’, an installation of 150 gold leaf swallows through the island town of Enniskillen inspired by Oscar Wilde’s short story of The Happy Prince. In 2019, AOB ROI was founded in preparation for two new projects as part of Galway European Capital of Culture 2020.
DORANBROWNE(Seán Doran and Liam Browne) are the artistic directors of AOB. Doran (www.seandoran.co.uk) is a former Artistic Director & Chief Executive of the English National Opera and Director of international multi-arts festivals in Australia (Perth Festival 2000-2003), Ireland (Belfast International Arts Festival 1997 & 1998) and Wales (the Arts Councils’ 1995 Millennium Festival, the UK Year of Literature & Writing). Browne is a novelist and former Literature Programmer of the South Bank Centre and the Brighton Festival and Director of the International Dublin Writers Festival.
DoranBrowne formed in 2015 when invited by the new Seamus Heaney HomePlace to programme its inaugural year. In 2016, Liverpool City Council commissioned the curatorial duo to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album (June 2017) that involved choreographer Mark Morris (Pepperland), visual artists Jeremy Deller & Judy Chicago, writer Frank Cottrell Boyce, performer Meow Meow, and Indian musician and Grammy award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. During the Covid pandemic years, DoranBrowne turned to making short films with actor Ben Whishaw reading from Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature in Prospect Cottage dovetailed with music by John Zorn and Henryk Gorecki, and a film of actors Dame Harriet Walter, Jade Anouka and Russell Tovey reading three monologues by Eimear McBride, Helen Oyeyemi and Rupert Thomson for a live promenade event Beckett In Folkestone. For 2022, the T S Eliot Estate invited DoranBrowne to curate a centenary public festival titled f r a g m e n t s to mark 100 years of T S Eliot’s The Waste Land across 22 churches in the City of London involving 30 different artists.