Since then, the opening up of international markets, the rise of international travel and migration, and the development of communications networks, has had a profound impact on Irish culture. On the one hand, remote areas have been exposed to international ideas leading to a greater homogeneity of imagery and the ideas behind it, so it is increasingly difficult to recognise individual national or local characteristics.

On the other hand, an increasing awareness of local culture has led to a desire to preserve it, and this is especially evident in what were once seen as primitive, exotic, or third world cultures. While this carries its own pitfalls, there is nonetheless a widespread view that the periphery (i.e. local, remote) is the new ‘centre’ (i.e. location of the most relevant, significant and profound) for art. The traditional assumption that the West – Europe and the US – provides the canon for art is now changing, with the recognition of artworks from other parts of the world on their own terms, rather than simply as objects of anthropological curiosity.

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