After receiving the inaugural Artist in Residence for ‘Siamsa Tire’ in June 2017, my initial idea was to develop a piece of work/s or an installation based on the ethos of the National Folk Theatre, using materials that both relate to my own practice and would be of relevenace to the the troupe and its past. I also decided to work with the dancers in relation to the traditional style of dancing which was relevant to the Kerry based Folk Theatre group. The style was introduced by the dance master Jeremiah Molyneaux, born in 1883, who later to become affectionately known as ‘Munnix’. He travelled the length and breath of North Kerry in 1903 passing on his unique style of dancing to the young and old alike, continuing to teach until his retirement at age at 70. He still took an interest in the dancing until his death at the age of 83 along with his best pair of dancing shoes! As my work relates to history and passing of time, I became interested in how this dance was popular in the past and how it is still being used by the National Folk Theatre today. My idea was to express it in a more contemporary way through my own practice.
I have been working with Jonathan Kelliher (Artistic Director) for the past two months, who trained in the Munnix style of dance and has been dancing since the age of nine with Siamsa Tire and having learnt the dance style from the previous generation of dancers. We began by tracking the movement of the footsteps for the Blackbird set dance, a tradtitional dance using the Munnix style. For this, Jimmy McDonnell (Technical Adviser) set up a temporary dance floor in my studio where I then rolled the paper out onto the surface of the dance floor, sieving damp and dry sand to create different effects. The process is ongoing still and I hope to further develop the work through further experimentation.
Hawley Mews 2017
This is a joint project along with Holger Lonze, we designed a 12m x 6m Corten steel structure/lighting installation for a private development in Camden. This project is still ongoing.
The Honeycomb Project
This project was commissioned by the Electric Picnic Music Festival in 2012. In collaboration with the local community. We collected 2,500 empty two litre plastic bottles. Each bottle contained an individual coloured LED bulb and battery, The bottles were then installed onto a 8ft x 12ft high cube of MDF board forming a multicoloured octagonal pattern. This was part of the Artist Trail for the music festival.
Shank ill Community Lightbox Installation
This was a community project which took place in Shankill, Belfast 2015, the project was based on Belfast painter William Conor (1881-1968). The Images were abstractions of William Conor's work which was based on Belfast life of that time. The Light boxes formed an installation piece at the Spectrum Art Centre, Shankill for the official launch along with a Public Sculpture of William Conor by Holger Lonze. The work which will help to promote dialogue and understanding about the culture of the area as well as creating a focal point for the local community and visitors alike.
The Water Cycle Lightbox Installation Culture Night 2017
The theme of the light box installation for Culture night at Siamsa Tire 2017 was based on the local water cycle, the community of Tralee, Co Kerry were asked to respond on small pre cut perspex squares 25" x 25" with paints. The squares were then slotted into the light box tower which we constructed before the event and when all the panels were completed the tower was hoisted up in the centre of the gallery forming a lighted tower installation. There were 70 panels in total completed over a three hour period.
Project Assistance: Collodium Photography
In 2012 I was accepted on a Fellowship to the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Co Mayo. During the fellowship I worked with Alex Boyd, well known Scottish photographer documenting the landscape by way of drawings and taking images. We spent the time exploring the area which helped me with my process as a painter, while also helping Alex with his image. It gave me the chance to experience the landscape through this unusual ancient process of wet plate collodion photography. I had the opportunity to explore new areas of the landscape, experiencing visual concept of the land in a different way, finding objects and hearing folklore stories from the local community helped feed into the process of my work on a more deep rooted level.
The result of this project can be experienced through my drawings and paintings of 'The Horse Island Series' 2012.
Artist in residence 2011-2013
From 2011 until 2013 I was Artist in Residency with Laois County Council. The residency included working and developing community based projects for both children and adults.
Camlough School Project 2015
Students were asked to respond to the Sculpture Conflux by Holger C. Lonze commissioned in Camlough, Co. Armagh. A stainless steel mesh and sheet, again 4m high. It takes its inspiration from the natural water cycle and an abstract cloud, while the woven steel references the local linen mill.
The students from Camlough responding to touch or air currents linking their process to the work of Alexander made mobiles in response to the idea of Alexander Calder an American sculptor's work who was known as the originator of the mobile, responding to touch or air currents.