Saturday, 12 October 2019

International artists unfold time and space in new performance created at Uillinn 

inSkin is a live video, dance and art installation
This new work is created for a gallery setting by a group of international artists all with a connection to West Cork and Uillinn.  Originally conceived by West Cork dance artist in residence at Uillinn Mairéad Vaughan (Ireland), in collaboration with Tomasz Madajczak (Poland), Helle Kvamme (Sweden), Lily Horgan and Charlie Dunne (UK), it will premiere at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre on Saturday 19 October. This is the first performance of this year’s Uillinn Dance Season

Mairéad who moved to Ballydehob to work as dance artist in residence at Uillinn at the beginning of the year, is originally from Blarney, County Cork and has spent her career travelling the world, learning and performing, “I am passionate about highlighting our deep, inherent, embodied connection to our environment through my dance practice”.  She travelled to remote regions in India, Borneo, Malaysia, Thailand, Artic Circle, Peru and Equador and these remote environments influenced her choreographic work. She recently completed her Arts Practice PhD researching our embodied relationship with our environment.

All artists collaborating on the project hold a connection with the local environment. Multimedia artist Tomasz Madajczak originally from Poland has been living and working as an artist in the West Cork for the past ten years and only recently began exploring dance and movement in his work.  "This new way of work is very inspiring and will influence my further artistic explorations" explained Tomasz.

While on residency at Uillinn, Mairéad met UK dance artists Lily Horgan and Charlie Dunne who delivered a community dance project this summer, ‘Anonymous’ that explored social perception and gender difference. The dance duo, known as Meta4 Dance Company are regular visitors to West Cork, staying with family in Schull, where Lily spent much of her childhood.

Helle Kvamme, a visual artist from Sweden is also a regular visitor to the region having lived in Clonakilty after studying art in Crawford College of Art and Design. Helle also spent time on a residency at Uillinn early in 2018.

All of the artists recognise the value of working in West Cork and Uillinn especially, as a place that nurtures diverse collaborations, providing a unique platform for artist to come together and create new work, “We have such a strong connection with the local area and therefore it feels like we all have a common starting point from which our creative process for inSkin unfolds”

Performance Credits
Dance, Video, Choreographer Mairéad Vaughan
Visual artist Tomasz Madajczak
Visual artist Helle Kvamme
Dance artist Lilly Horgan
Dance artist Charlie Dunne
Sound and Video Art Dara O' Brien

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, Saturday 19 October, 12noon, 3:00pm and 6:00pm

inSkin has been funded under the Arts Council’s Dance Residency Award in partnership with Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre and Cork County Council

Artist Biographies:

Mairead Vaughan ( is a dance artist, choreographer, researcher/writer and facilitator. She graduated from Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK) with a degree in Performing Arts (Dance), The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWAMD, University of Limerick) with an M.A. in Contemporary Dance Performance and more recently with an
Arts Practice PhD (IWAMD) researching our symbiotic relationship with our environment.
Mairead co-founded Shakram Dance Company (1999-2014) for which she created thirteen original choreographic works supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. Her travel to remote regions in India, Peru, Ecuador, Borneo, Malaysia and Thailand informed her earlier choreography. Her work is multi- disciplinary in nature and ranges from theatre, live voice and sound, dance video and film, site-specific and installation performance, all of which toured and performed nationally and internationally (Dublin Dance Festival, the Illios Festival, Norway, the World Congress of Dance Research, Athens and Kalmar Art Museum, Sweden). Mairéad has been highly influenced by the choreographers she has worked directly with, including Mary Nunan (IRE),
Steve Paxton (USA), Yoshiko Chuma (Japan), Wendy Houston (UK), Joan Davis (IRE), Sondra Loring (USA), K.J. Holmes (USA), Christine Devany (UK), Mark Baldwin (UK) and Jody Melnick (USA).

Tomasz Madajczak is a multimedia artist who lives in West Cork since 2010. He emigrated from Poland where he obtained MA in Photography and Multimedia Art. Tomasz works with concepts related to space and the relation between our way of internalising our experience of who we are and how that relats and influences the creation of the space which surrounds us. Tomasz's works incorporate photography, video, sound in forms of interactive installations which are complemented by the presence of the visitor (the viewer).

Meta4 dance Company was created through a love of movement between both Charlie Dunne and Lily Horgan, stemming from a creative rapport and language that we could freely converse in. The dancers found a shared career path having studied together at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. We want to make work that is transparent, important and engaging. As well as delivering meaningful, worthwhile and exciting experiences for all.

Helle Kvamme, Norweigian artist based in Sweden, graduated from Crawford College of Art and design 2004. She creates a dialogical space through photography; film, movement, found objects and organic materials. Fundamental to her practice is the creation of new platforms where artists can meet and dialogue can emerge. For several years, her place of research and point of departure has been a hazelforeston the east coast of Sweden. She invites people to interact, work and engage with. She has in recent years worked with cultural heritage sites in collaboration with Archeologist to question how we read time and findings that are of immaterial nature.

Photographs by Tomasz Madajczak

Friday, 12 July 2019

Elective Affinities

It's been a week of introductions.

Hi, I'm  Aodhán, in Studio One. Yeah, like A-gon, after O’Rathaille, the poet? A writer actually. Yes, it's short residency, just this month and in connection with the literary festival...

And I find myself relying again and again on the word ‘introduction’ even as I introduce myself and we, in our Cork way, locate ourselves.

Right, it’s something of an introduction really - to people here at Uillinn and to the other artists... No, no, I live near Inchigeelagh, near Lough Allua, near where the Lee begins.

And each time trying to rephrase a little what it is I've said I'd do or what I thought I wanted to do with my time here. And each time perhaps, getting closer to understanding how I might go about it and where it might lead.

Then, of course, there are online introductions to make. Happy announcements and updates, busy projecting a self-image. Public panels also require an accompanying image: an artwork, book cover, an artist headshot. The latter I ordinarily consider a humbling ritual best avoided but within the portrait taken on the first day is a surprise, an image within an image. It will serve. 

Studio One. Day One
I can see it’s related to a curious genre of self-portraiture, the ‘gallery-selfie’ in the reflective surfaces of glassy architecture that makes a habit of coy stagings of indexicality. But still, I am surprised to see someone recognisingly me projected onto the elevation and etched into the Corten as if picked out in the patterning of rain-darkened rust. Most pleasing to me is the way my own ‘image fantôme’ is visually integrated with the elements of the drawing installation spilling out from Tomasz Madajczak’s next door studio. Reflected in the glass, the ink rhythms on the torn strips of paper seem less graphic and more elemental, taking on the character of the rust of the building’s weathering steel. They flock about my head, enigmatic ‘thought clouds’, as I look out at Skibb and a long linear carpark defined by the Caol Stream, now encased in her concrete walls.

Looking again I notice it’s a double portrait, not only of me in abstracted mood taking in the view, but a portrayal of some of the experiential qualities of the buildings’ architecture. As Micheál O’Connell observes, Uillinn is a beautiful building,
simultaneously bold but appropriate to the landscape, monumental not domineering, standing out, blending in, having a colour, not submitting to the ubiquitous corporate aesthetic, functional and open, penetrated by light.
It’s fitting with those design principles of ‘just proportion’ and ‘openness’, that Tomasz and Micheál and I (all currently artists-in-residence) readily established a code or policy amongst ourselves: if the door of our neighbouring studios is open then passing heads are welcome in. And as an art writer that’s where I want to be - participating in the kinds of conversations that can take place in places like artist’s studios. Or in the corridor. Or on the stairwell, or anywhere where people who value critical exchange might wish to speak. 

Art writing for me has always been a personal experiment - one’s initial thoughts and intuitions are the inchoate materials the writer endeavours to assay and bring into connected discourse. Thoughts are never conquered; they resist command and ordering; ideas change over the course of their exploration. But through the discipline of a creative practice, what starts in conversation or idyls in the run of one’s private thoughts can lead one to discovering a territory of engagement. 

My project, 'Elective Affinities', is, at heart, a proposition about mutual inquiry. What the arts does best is point us to the inherent affinity between intellectual cross-fertilization and the expansion of our imaginative vision. I believe our best chance of reimagining the world is simply to begin with an open question:

Hi, I'm Aodhan. What are the questions of importance to you?

Aodhán Rilke Floyd is an artist and art writer living in West Cork. As part of his research and critical writing residency this summer he has been invited to write in response to programmes at Uillinn and at the West Cork Literary Festival 2019 on ideas of ‘collaboration’, a recurring theme in both our programmes.