The National Gallery of Ireland and Gaisce – The President’s Award are proud to present Queer Mind, Body and Soul, a new, free exhibition opening 30 July 2021.

Exploring the experiences and perspectives of a group of young LGBTQIA+, gender non-conforming people and allies, the exhibition runs in the Gallery’s Millennium Wing Studio.

Collaborating with artist Shireen Shortt since September 2020, the Gaisce LikeMinded group have worked on modes of artistic expression across multiple disciplines and media, such as paper, written word, spoken word, dance, sculpture, paintings, drawing, photography, mixed media sculpture, animation, singing, body art, performance, installation art, and string art.

These multiple forms are used to express a variety of experiences and emotions felt by the group, which they feel also represents the experiences of many LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming young people today. Their work focuses on the importance of the mind, body and soul of a young LGBTQIA+ person in the world in 2021.

From February 2020, young people fulfilling part of their Gaisce Award by participating in the LikeMinded group collaborated with the Apollo Project in the National Gallery of Ireland, meeting in the Gallery to work on LGBTQIA+ historical research.

However, Covid-19 meant the workshops moved to a virtual platform. In September 2020, artist Shireen Shortt began facilitating online workshops for the group while they worked on artistic projects in a variety of media.

The National Gallery of Ireland’s Apollo Project is a new way to experience the Gallery designed by young people for young people.

Creativity, education and wellbeing are at the heart of Apollo Project, with an emphasis on collaborating and partnering with young people to co-create vibrant and fun experiences in the Gallery.

Sean Rainbird, Director, National Gallery of Ireland, commented: “We are delighted to open this dynamic exhibition in the Gallery’s Millennium Wing Studio. The Gallery is committed to bringing people and art together, and making the Gallery an exciting place to encounter art. The work of this group of talented young people will offer our visitors new perspectives this summer.”

Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme for young people under the age of 26, and is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins to young people to ‘dream big and realise their potential’.

Gaisce launched the LikeMinded programme in early 2019 to encourage increased accessibility of the Award. To date, a quarter of a million young people have completed a Gaisce Award across Ireland.

 Yvonne McKenna, CEO Gaisce, commented: “An incredible group of creative young people have persevered regardless of Covid to produce amazing pieces of reflective and thought-provoking art, together. Each young person has put their heart and soul into their pieces, and the fact that they will now be shown at the National Gallery of Ireland is a testament to their commitment and the importance of the challenge they are expressing to society today about acceptance, love and belonging”

The exhibition closes on 17 October 2021. Entry to all exhibitions year-round is free for Friends of the National Gallery of Ireland. Find out more at

The Apollo Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of the Apollo Foundation. The Gaisce LikeMinded Programme has been made possible with the support of Rethink Ireland and Norma Smurfit.