I am a visual/performance/social practice artist, activist and curator. Within this context, I examine language, identity and dialogues happening globally and locally. I grew up in ‘The Troubles’ Belfast, N.Ireland which prompted me to explore human and civil rights issues and gave an awareness of the tensions that present within the body, as a result of conflict. While working as a nurse during the troubles, I witnessed injuries inflicted on the human body within and as result of a socio-political struggle. This experience prompted exploration in my work practice and research.
I work in egalitarian collaborations with other artists. I work with Le Ái and Aidan McCardle under the name of ‘Cuislí’. Translated from Irish, Cuislí means heartbeat, pulses and is a term of endearment. Our work together is under the umbrella title of ‘Structuring Structures’. These collaborative performances question whether or not, we as a society, are complicit in violence and breaking the skin of another. They aim to challenge concepts of compassion and consent and provoke critical thinking. The performances tentatively dispute the binaries we reconstruct between Self and Other and between our cannibal and civilised selves. The bodily human edge has a strong influence on the processes I use as an artist. I bring the skin to the fore as the border and boundary which seeks respect of other.
In 2018, I founded Utopia Ducks with Rebecca Strain. Utopia Ducks was conceived as a way to engage as artists embedded in our communities, given the global conditions of political, environmental and economic uncertainities. Through social practice events, I am interested to create Utopian spaces outside the white cube that engage with community action groups addressing issues that are both environmentally local and global. As part of this, I research cultural histories and geographies and use arts practice methodologies to interrupt the everyday and raise awareness. Utopia Ducks create social art and curate socially engaged events to promote dialog and critical thinking.
As an artist, I am interested in creating interdisciplinary dialogues through art practice and am presently preparing presentations for international conferences in 2019.