Joe Vaněk - In His Own Words
In a review of my book, Irish Theatrescapes, in the 2015 Autumn edition of Irish Arts, Brian McAvera, whilst acknowledging my English and Czech parentage, refers to me as having - ‘ An outsider’s eye.’ This may very well be the case, but for the record, in Ireland, I have never felt like an outsider myself; in this adopted country, where I have lived and worked for over twenty-five years, I have always felt immensely welcome and staunchly supported by my fellow artists and co-workers.
Over the years, it has been my privilege to work with several esteemed directors - Patrick Mason, Alan Gilsenan, Michael Barker Caven and Annie Ryan. Also, it has been a source of great professional pride, that I have had the opportunity to design premiere’s of new plays by major Irish playwrights including Brian Friel, Tom Kilroy, Frank McGuinness, and Tom MacIntyre.
Now I find myself with an archive dedicated to my design work in theatre and opera at NUI Galway, and I am honoured to be amongst such luminaries as the novelist John McGahern, actors Barry Fitzgerald and Siobhan Mc Kenna, and director, Garry Hynes.
My thanks - needless to say - goes to the NUI Galway Library, to Barry Houlihan and colleagues, for their enthusiasm and persistence in getting this digital show on the road!