Suzanne Walsh is an artist and writer who works with music, performance and text.
As part of our Meet an Artist series of interviews, this month we chat to Suzanne Walsh. She is a resident in Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin. Her work often explores themes of the human/animal ‘divide’, and the performativity of language. She also writes essays, poetry and art reviews.
What is your name?
Tell us about your art?
I work in what is called a ‘transdisciplinary’ way, but mainly with writing, performance and audio, sometimes installation. I make performances with spoken word and music, in a gallery context, but I often perform for literary or music events also. I also publish writing both in art and literary contexts.
Where are you based?
In Dublin, currently in residence at Fire Station Artists’ Studios.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m collaborating with photographer Hugh McCabe for a show called Lost State in Draíocht Arts Centre this October. I’ve written poetic text using remnants of computer language, which will play as audio tracks in the gallery. I’ve recently performed audio/musical performances for the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) Summer Party and for Culture Night in The Model Gallery in Sligo. The IMMA performance was an invocation called The Language of Birds, using latin and bird sounds, and on Culture Night I made a musical and text performance that took part in different rooms in the gallery, requiring the audience to move with me. I am currently working on a research-based commission by IMMA on the history of the ROSC show with writer/editor Nathan O’Donnell and poet/poetry editor Christodoulos Makris. This is text based, and will be presented at an event in IMMA in November. I am always working on my own self-directed work too, at the moment I’m archiving my past works and writing.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career path as an artist? How did you get to where you are now?
It was not a straightforward path; I went back to college when I was a mature student. Before that I’d been involved in theatre and music, which has been very useful for my current work. I graduated from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in 2011 where I studied sculpture and art history. In 2013 I went back to NCAD to do a theoretical Masters called Art in the Contemporary World. I had a mentorship with Karl Burke in Fire Station Artists’ Studios which was really helpful, and a commission last year for a show A Different Republic co-curated by Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Arts & Disability Ireland with the LAB Gallery, which was another important step. I also edit on a small art publication (Critical Bastards) and collaborate with other artists frequently, which keeps me open to new ways of working.
Are there any stand out moments in your career as an artist?
I think they are always happening for me. Performing in IMMA last year with the sound group I work with (called Hissen) was special, and also bringing my writing practice into a gallery context last year with A Different Republic at the LAB Gallery.
Who or what are the most important influences on your art?
They are many and diverse, I’m as influenced by literature, ecology, and music as art. I’m interested in a lot of posthuman discourse (challenging our subjectivity in relation to non-humans e.g. animals, plants, computers).
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
I think just keeping going when it’s not going so well. For example I have struggled to find housing in Dublin in the past, as well as space to work. Maintaining faith in yourself in the earlier days before there is outside interest in your work, and balancing a sometimes harsh inner critic.
Who is your favourite artist?
I admire many artists, for example Laurie Anderson and Tacita Dean interest me in their approaches both in subject and form. Otherwise an ever evolving/revolving cycle of others, writers and musicians as well as visual artists, often some of these are friends and peers also.
What do you like to do for fun?
Just hanging out with friends; going to shows or playing music. I’m part of a wildlife rescue group, it’s not always ‘fun’ but really stimulating.
Lost State by Suzanne Walsh and Hugh McCabe runs at Draíocht in Blanchardstown, First Floor Gallery from Thursday 19th October to Saturday 4th November 2017.
More information here
Suzanne Walsh is an artist and writer who works with music, performance and text. She is a resident in Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin. Her work often explores themes of the human/animal ‘divide’, and the performativity of language. She also writes essays, poetry and art reviews.
Suzanne was commissioned, along with Aideen Barry, Amanda Coogan and Corban Walker to create a series of new works for A Different Republic which explored universal human rights in a year of commemorations.
The exhibition, co-curated by Arts & Disability Ireland, Fire Station Artists’ Studios in partnership with the LAB Gallery ran from 18th November 2016 – 5th February 2017 at the LAB Gallery on Foley Street.
WATCH: A video about A Different Republic, including an interview with Suzanne talking about her work.
LISTEN: Suzanne talking about her work I Couldn’t Find a Link to Somewhere, which featured in A Different Republic.
Suzanne was awarded a Fire Station Artists’ Studios / Arts & Disability Ireland Mentoring Award in 2015 to work with Karl Burke.
(The stand out moments) are always happening for me. Performing in IMMA last year with the sound group I work with, Hissen, was special, and also bringing my writing practice into a gallery context last year with A Different Republic.
Ruth Le Gear
Ruth Le Gear was awarded an Arts and Disability Connect New Work Award in 2015 to develop a new body of work with support from Leitrim Sculpture Centre and The Model Sligo.
“...Le Gear's art practice is enchantingly intangible. She spoke of the “primal purity” of light and water and how her research is based both on empirical science and the more intuitive process of homeopathy, which works on the notion that the lower the concentration of a substance, the more potent it becomes.” James Merrigan, Visual Artists Ireland.
Ruth Le Gear was awarded the Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists' Studios Studio Award in 2011
As a hybrid artist, Ruth Le Gear's practice mediates between nature, water remedy intervention, and environmental art. Her practice emerges from collaborations and fieldwork projects which examine the qualities of water and the memories held within. Le Gear works with various water bodies including Arctic icebergs, the Baltic Sea and Irish lakes and waterfalls. Her practice finds form in moving image, the still image, sound, and installation.
Group shows include; Et Si On S'etati Trompe at the Centre Cultural Irlandais Paris (2015) Contemporary Art at Tell in the University of St. Gallen Switzerland (2014), Eight Gallery Dublin (2014), Crystalline at the Millennium Court Arts Centre Portadown (2012) and Eva International Limerick (2008).
Residencies include; Land Arts of the American West and Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico (2016), The Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdańsk (2014), Leitrim Sculpture Centre (2013), Arctic Circle (2012), Fire Station Artists’ Studios Dublin (2011), Iceland (SIM, 2012/09), Cill Rialig, (2011), Tyrone Guthrie (2010), and Limerick City Gallery of Art (2008).