Description of work, Manicure (2015) The work is a video performance piece which consists of dried seaweed being filed . cut and painted. The material is manipulated into extensions of the human body which are placed on the fingers resembling nails. I made the work to explore trauma in the everyday and expose the audience to question taboo topics in society such as anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. Nails are a part of the body we manicure and keep clean, what happens when we do not manicure and polish them? How do we look to the public, we are judged on our appearance rather than our situation. The nails act as a metaphor in the work which represents our attitude to these taboo topics. We clean, polish and paint ourselves the way we want others to see us, because its easier to do that than to expose ourselves. The audience experience the work by looking inside a washing machine which the video was installed on a monitor on the back of the machine. The washing machine is an object related to the everyday, it seemed a suitable space to screen the video. It allowed the audience to interact and find humour in the unknown, this was the aim of the work.
Chapel Court, Cathedral Pl, Limerick, Droichead Arts Centre, Stockwell St Drogheda, Louth
I am in my final year studying Sculpture and Combined Media in Limerick School of Art and Design in Ireland. My practice consists of performance, video and photography, performance is a key element in my work. I work with organic materials which are removed from their environment and I explore the material by othering it into a new material. It is manipulated into extensions of the human body where I explore themes of anxiety, psychological trauma and repression of childhood memories, this process allows me to challenge the viewer to explore humour in the unknown. I make work to inform, entertain and challenge my audience, to make them laugh and question the unknown. I am constantly getting involved with festivals, workshops and performance groups to push the boundaries of my practice. I was involved in a recent art collaboration with three performance artists from Westminster in London, the project was called Rumpus and the artists had to perform on the streets of Westminster making 3D Sculptures out of everyday materials. It questioned art in everyday life and we brought this question to a public space to see how people would react. I perform with Bbeyond Belfast when I am available, a performance group from Northern Ireland who meet up on an occasional basis in different parts of the country to perform in public spaces.
Photo by: Miriam Carroll
This post is part of a series of profiles on performance and performance makers from this year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2016, an overview of contemporary performance presented during the 2014/2015 season available for touring now. If you would like to be apart of next year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2017, you can join the project here.