Exhibition Curation | Commissions | Press | Exhibitions | Awards | Residency
Residency Sept/Oct 2017
I am in sandnes Norway for a month-long residency where I am undertaking the expanded SELFmade project to incorporate the MADEhere element, documenting the spaces in addition to faces of the community.
Follow progress via my Blog
Oakgrove Integrated Primary School Commission June 2017
I was approached by the headmistress of Oakgrove Integrated Primary School, Ashley Donaghey to create a perennial award for creative arts. This award has been commissioned to celebrate one of the school's founding members, Tim Webster who retires from the school board this year after 26 years of service.
I took inspiration from several sources including the school gates which were designed by Tim. The oakleaf and map of the city are also referenced.
The award was presented in this it's inaugural year to Luke Doherty who as it turns out is my nephew.
Residency April 2017
I am undertaking a month-long residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. The intention is twofold; to undertake the SELFmade project with residents and to explore options for integrating pinhole imagery into my studio practice.
I have used the same pinhole cameras for at least 15 years teaching kids and community groups how to make photographs with essentially a tin with a hole. They work really well and I love the results every time. I have always had an interest in combining photographic imagery with metal and/or 3-d forms but never quite figured out a way I was satisfied with. This month is all about working through that process.
I also explored the technique of cyanotype which offered options for translation of the pinhole imagery collated during the period. I am excited about the subsequent combination of form and image.
The Innovative Merger of Art & Guns to Inspire New Expressions, or IMAGINE PEACE NOW Exhibition, is a call to arms, hearts and hands intended especially for contemporary metal artists. Included work will respond to, and initiate conversations regarding, the gun violence so prevalent in American culture today.
2016 is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. His words have become part of our everyday vocabulary and his literary works still hold a fascination for his plots, characterization and dialogue. This appetite is still evident in Irish curriculum and International theatre attendance. His work has been adapted and reinterpreted through a myriad of mediums and in a variety of styles. Much scholarly research has gone into the origin of the stories he told and the historical accuracy of the plays. Specualtion and intrigue surround his legacy resulting in a creative freedom for unique interpretation. This exhibition showcases a variety of nuanced responses to the life of Shakespeare and the complex and fascinating characters he created; an ‘adaptation’ through crafted objects and artworks. Taking very different approaches to the Shakespearian canons of tragedies, comedies and historical dramas this exhibition showcases new work from these makers specifically for this venue. Through the common ground of dialogue and narration in the creation of artefacts that have layered meanings and codified details. The notion that drama is about performance, acting, telling of a story seems to suggest a similar role for the visual artist in that by what is made, it’s presentation, how it ‘speaks’ to a viewer, and engages with an audience is all ‘dramatisation’.
Penland summer 2016
Artful Eating Utensils
Tired of using mundane utensils that ruin the poetry of your meals? This workshop will awaken your cutlery sets by recycling them into the tabletop crown jewels they were meant to be. Students will transform flatware using a variety of materials and techniques. Demonstrations will include fabrication, marriage of metals, cold joining, stonesetting, hinges, simple forging, and much more. Students may also design and create utensils from scratch. We’ll explore structure, design, and conceptual issues. All levels. Code 03MA
Boris: studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Arrowmont (TN); collections: Museum of Arts and Design (NYC). Seliena: studio artist; teaching: Indiana University, National College of Art & Design (Ireland); exhibitions: National Craft Gallery (Ireland), Electrum Gallery (London).
Please visit the Penland website for more information.
Residency May 2016
I am undertaking the StudioWorks Residency to enable a period of dedicated time and space to develop strategies that will see a seismic shift in my work. The emphasis on community involvement is ultimately the most appealing element of this residency as the goal would be to create work dependant on that engagement.
I want to further investigate cultural identity through site specific photographic image making, in this instance site being inextricably linked to community. The intention is to explore possibilities for combining photographic imagery with relevant forms to create expressive objects.
The intention is to develop a community-based portrait brooch project. I am particularly interested in jewellery as a physical and conceptual manifestation of community and culture. The photographic portrait holds significance in many cultures and fulfils multiple functions in historic and contemporary life.
The Contemporary Jewellery Exchange 2015
Sand-casting Pre - David Clarke
The goal of these workshops was to introduce NWRC students to metal (sand) casting, a method employed by renowned silversmith David Clarke who undertook a three-day masterclass with North West Regional College students.
ID2015 Design to Prototype
This project was designed to introduce North West Regional College students to design methodologies in the context of client centered product design. A collaboration was established between CultureCraft and the Walled City Brewery with workshops facilitated by ceramic artist, Alex Scott. The brief, to design functional beakers for use in the brew pub.
This project was part funded by ID2015 and Derry City Council's Craft Development Programme.
CultureCraft Culture in the Making
In 2013 I curated this exhibition, as a response to Derry hosting the inaugural UK City of Culture. The exhibition showcased 36 of Ireland’s, North and South, best creative talent. These contemporary practitioners represented a diverse range of craft disciplines and embodied a wide variety of cultural identities and backgrounds. In addition, there was an associated programme; Master Residency / Maker Workshops. These allowed for public access to technique and materials through artist residency whilst developing a practice of endowment of subsequent craft objects/artworks to the city. A highlight of the project was the acceptance of my invitation to officially launch the exhibition by President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina.
Photographs of artist work courtesy Sylvain Deleu.
Pinhole Visions - Masterclass with Dr Caroline Madden
I co-facilitated the CultureCraft glass masterclass with glass artist and educator, Dr Caroline Madden. The function of this 5-day residency/workshop was two-fold; facilitating public access to technique and materials through artist residency whilst developing a practice of endowment of subsequent craft objects to the city. This finished artwork is temporarily on display in the Guildhall in Derry.
Artist statement (CultureCraft)
I was born in Derry. A descriptor that has become somewhat of a Shibboleth*. Assumptions will be formulated and applied consciously or otherwise. Being native to Northern Ireland and in particular of an age to be considered a 'child of the Troubles' one grew up with an inbuilt social barometer based on your upbringing. An undeniable trait of Northern Irish cultural behaviour is a dogged determination, on meeting someone for the first time, to pigeon-hole, label if you like. Labels are applied at a sub-conscious, unspoken level. We all do it, it's part of our collective genetic make-up one of those characteristics that unites the populace. The work Untitled/Unlabelled relies on this unique learned behaviour to engage the viewer in a social experiment. Given the choice, how would you label yourself? Is there an adequate or appropriate set of linguistic signifiers capable of the task? For many years the public service of Northern Ireland required potential employees to complete an equal opportunities questionnaire. For all intents and purposes, an official mechanism to 'pigeon-hole'. I have used this to identify descriptors that I have appropriated for this work This work questions the fundamental function of a specific jewellery type. Historically, the brooch embraced both form and function. Throughout the ages it has evolved and its format has been appropriated by various user-groups to fulfil a specific need i.e. recognition of military heroism or sporting prowess. Made from precious materials, it ultimately denotes status and/or wealth whilst in utilitarian form, it functions to identify, such as corporate pins or name badges. I have created a series of badges/pins using a nostalgic yet nonetheless effective label-making device. The choice of pin(s) lies with the wearer, an exercise in self-determination if you like. There is no criterion in place for judgment or analysis, simply recognition of difference at a micro level, often lost when tribal politics determines the macro characterisation. Inherent in this process is a fundamental question; just how comfortable are you 'wearing' your (cultural) identity...is it a badge of honour or unwelcome branding?
A shibboleth (/ˈʃɪbəlɛθ/ or /ˈʃɪbələθ/) is a word, sound, or custom that a person unfamiliar with its significance may not pronounce or perform correctly relative to those who are familiar with it. It is used to identify foreigners or those who do not belong to a particular class or group of people. It also refers to features of language, and particularly to a word or phrase whose pronunciation identifies a speaker as belonging to a particular group.
Dubh Dialogues in Black
The exhibition “dubh – dialogues in black” looks at black as both a physical and an emotional starting point for a group of Irish and American artists, craftspeople and designers. Pairing people from across a range of disciplines, ranging from architecture, ceramics, furniture, glass, jewellery, metal, painting, photography, textiles and wood, this exhibition features work from the most interesting creative voices from Ireland in dialogue with their American peers.
American Irish Historical Society 6 Oct - 27 Nov 2011
Oliver Sears Gallery 2 Feb - 15Mar 2012