“For the last year, I have been developing a series of research projects and performances in different abandoned military sites on Bere Island. These sites are potent reminders of our colonial history and the types of political regimes that have existed on this island. My work aims to subvert these historical and political sites to speak to more gendered forms of colonisation and regimentation. Paralleling the domestic and the military, the work draws out the repetitive nature of domestic chores with the drill and precision of military discipline. Attending to the function of dressage, I seek to highlight the subtle performativity of uniform in the classification of roles and sensibilities in society. The performance of gender, identity and in/equality is investigated through different contexts and media to address the physiological and psychological tensions between the bodies we inherit and the head spaces we inhabit.”
In January of this year, Italian philosopher Franco ‘bifo’ Berardi penned an unusual little book titled Breathing: Chaos and Poetry (2019). Tying together fragments of hope and despair, from Occupy Wall Street to Eric Garners gasping last words, Berardi reflects on the contemporary chaos of our ailing respiratory passages. Warning of further political and environmental blockages to come, ‘breathing’ becomes a potent signifier of an increasingly precarious world.
A similar sentiment is captured by Breathe, which Interrogates our contemporary anxieties through a series of new works installed in the underground rooms of an ex-artillery shelter on Beara Island. Passing through lung-like tunnels of the artillery shelter the viewer is confronted by coded messages in bright neon that tap into our fragile industrial complexes. Morse-code performances installed in several rooms attempt to ‘work through’ our struggles, to express the frustrations and frantic nature of our everyday lives. Such gestures are repeated throughout the exhibition, promising relief but remaining unresolved, tense, troubled. As Giorgio Agamben has suggested, gestures express what is being "endured and supported" when language fails, that is, "gesture is essentially always a gesture of not being able to figure something out in language; it is always a gag in the proper meaning of the term" (Agamben, 1996,p.58). Having no instrumental value and no goal, the gesture aims only to support and mediate the character of 'corporeal movement'. Framed by the stale air of the underground tunnels, breathe exhibits a 'corporeal' struggle with the incommunicability of life's pressures, a performance of endurance that can only be captured in gesture, the most elemental gesture of them all, breathing
A work in progress.
Beneath the Surface
An island is a safe haven of total peace. However, in every safe haven there can be turmoil. The stones in the landscape symbolise this turmoil. Stones can be used to build boundaries and dividers. Each are different in shape, size and weight, but all can come together to form a powerful barrier between humankind, or metaphorically, between happiness and sadness. Although stones can trap bodies in darkness, all it takes is one sliver of light to see hope.
Coming Up For Air
An exploration of the subtle monotony of maintenance work, which often creates a sense of claustrophobia similar to the sensation of drowning.
Madness in the Head
The head is like a vessel, containing all elements of emotional disorders affecting everyone, each in a different way. There is no stigma attached to the word ‘head’ and therefore people can use the word more freely without being labelled. This project explores the concept of mental health through the discussion of the word ‘head’.
I am interested in rethinking the idea of materials and how they matter, signify and how they communicate. I don’t want them to symbolise, illustrate or represent something else. It is more a sensibility. I want the objects to speak on their own terms.