current ARC researchers

ARC 2017 students presented their work in exhibitions, performances, product launches, screenings and panel discussions at various public venues, including The Darkroom, The Chocolate Factory, IFI, the LAB, Millennium Court Arts Centre and St. Stephen’s Green. Further information on ARC Major Projects 2016-17 is available here

Current Reseachers (ARC 2018)

Sophie Behal


Sophie presents her work in multidisciplinary installations characterised by an emphasis on analogue photographic practices and sculptural elements. Her work is concerned with material experimentation and the transitional properties of matter. It explores the negotiable delicate balance of things in this world and the constancy of change. Sophie investigates invisible forces, particularly that of thought and thinking and creates sequences of works that are near nothings, that fold in on themselves and become reflexive precarious things. She is interested in the space between thinking, language and making and exploring if language can shape form and vice-versa.

Petra Berntsson

My project involves the visual documentation of boatbuilding in Ireland.

While on the ARC programme I will research the visual documentation of current boatbuilding, which my initial investigation has identified as extremely limited, particularly in fine art representation. Questions supporting my research will include the following; What are the historical and current methods of boatbuilding in Ireland? How is their work recorded today and how is it represented in contemporary art? What is the relationship between the maker and the creation? I would further like to explore the changing role of the boatbuilder.

I’m a painter and I intend to paint the process – research findings, visual perception and personal interpretation. I will consider how best to document this notable craft so that it relates to audiences today and I hope to expand my work practice to include other art modes, such as sculpture or installation. At the end of the programme I plan to publish an art book on the project.

Isadora Epstein


I am researching the guest/ host relationship which performance creates. I am making a series of  performances in which the performer becomes a host in the more supernatural sense of the word. The performer will become a medium/ oracle /soothsayer and become a host to visions/ voices/ texts. I am using historical examples of automatic writing and drawing as sources for the text. My writing will also borrow the humorously decadent language of occult ceremony to create a confusion between the real and unreal.  Alongside the performances, I am making publications of “Automatic” writing and drawing which will use the same ritualistic language used in the performances. The publications will serve both as documentation of the performances but also as autonomous works

Yvanna Greene


Consumerism and Identity are themes that have in varying aspects, underlined my work to date. I am interested in fragility, layers and facades and how contemporary desire driven consumerism enables/encourages one to cover up/create alternative persona. My working practice is very much studio based, working with mixed media. The physical process of making is very central to me. I alternate between making and research, each informing the other on an ongoing basis.

I currently find myself drawing giant pineapples.  The Pineapple was a status symbol in 18thC England. A single pineapple could cost the equivalent of €8,000 today. You could rent a pineapple to take to a party with you.


Jung-A Han

Installation view, Dongurami (Circle) and An-yeong (How are you? Good-bye) 2015

Installation view, Dongurami (Circle) and An-yeong (How are you? Good-bye) 2015

I am primarily interested in history, culture and the environment, more specifically the relationship of these elements to people, animals and nature.  This relationship also connects with identity as in the practice of questioning myself in my work ‘Who am I?’  Therefore my interest of painting not solely focuses on my own finished art work in its isolation.  It aims to explore the relationship of how I communicate to the world and finding the answer to  ‘Who am I?’ and how I collaborate with people to complete my art practice.  I aim to explore the area of painting and photography for my art practice.

My work focuses on the relationship between humans and how they communicate and network with each other in the modern world.  My work explores themes of our position in the world, a world in which we are more and more surrounded by different cultures and multiple sources of technology.  Particular focus is on the link between technology and the relationship between family and friends.  Through this exercise I attempt to reveal how mediums associate and communicate with each other and are influenced by and influence their environment.   My work is also tied into my identity as a Korean female artist and I tend to express this condition within my art practice.

Yvonne Higgins

Yvonne_Fitting in a Burrow

My main preoccupation is exploring the idea of childhood experiences being precursors of significant or even trivial adult experience, or events in adulthood that seem to have their prototype in childhood.  I will also be interrogating the dynamic between children and adults. The child’s lack of understanding of the adult and their actions, yet the tendency of the child to look to adults as role models. Considering adult fantasies of childhood, adult memories (real or imagined) of being a child, through my practice I question when is the adult no longer constituted by the demands of the child he/she once was. Drawing from my own childhood experiences, I explore ways of resurrecting fragmented memories of childhood events, dreams, conversations, places and emotions.  Blending the private sphere with a social realm by taking found elements from popular culture and merging them with personal objects, drawings or photographs to create work that potentially presents a world from a child’s perspective.

The catalyst for my current work is a selection encyclopedias from the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.  I am interested in the pedagogical approach in these books.  My plan is to frustrate the material and to contradict  the aim of the publishers of these books, by reconstructing the images and texts to create an unsettling, dark, imaginary world where the actions being carried out are unclear but there are suggestions of something disturbing taking place.  The means of expression used in my practice to date include installation, drawing, slide projection, collage and animation.  For my current research I will experiment with collage initially followed by staged photographic work and then possibly expanding my practice to include moving image.

Maeve Lynch


My ongoing inquiry is into our phenomenological perceptions of the world and the things that surround us. The work explores both visible and invisible definitions of the spatial environment, lines of division or borderlines. This is informed by architectural, geographic and online platforms and structures and philosophical and scientific definitions of nothingness.

Eoghan McIntyre

Eoghan McIntyre The Ank Saps

Consider a document that  proves that humanity did not evolve from apes as once thought, but evolved from a single pair of trousers found in Devon. This would cause a shockwave to our understanding of genetics, reproduction, textiles, time and logic, and would make the work of thousands of writers and academics obsolete. Therefore this document, if found, must be quickly incinerated by its discoverer or, even better, ingested (this would save time as there would be no need to start a fire). Another approach that one can take when dealing with such dangerous documents is to publish them, but claim them to be works of fiction. Just in case a reader suspects an element of truth to the tales it is expedient for one to concurrently create the most elaborate and ridiculous of fictions and present them as fact, thus destroying one’s credibility as a purveyor of truth.  This is in essence my methodology, producing texts that oscillate between the academic and the inane. I also write fiction and non-fiction though I am not sure which is which. I’m interested in making people up, performance, and generally frustrating others.


Rosie O’Reilly

Rosie_system project _ ongoing. started 2014

System project – ongoing (2014-)


An increasingly rationalist-constructivist view of human action separate to the world around us informs artist Rosie O’Reilly’s current research. Through large-scale audio/visual instillations she aims to create an alternative experience of how we are in the world.  Rosie’s current research is concerned with how the application of phenomenology as rhetoric for understanding this position can give insight in to our relationship to space, time and landscapes.

Sarah O’Toole

ARC1 Image Sarah O'Toole

Having been immersed in motherhood and the home for several years, my recent art practice has emerged from spending lengthy periods in a domestic setting. My work uses utterly familiar materials to explore ideas of visual representation. My research practice explores the role of the artist to copy.

Current practice centres on a reinterpretation of the inexpensive packaging of household consumer products and the intrinsic qualities of such ubiquitous items, noticing the potential of these unassuming materials (envelope interiors, paper bags, crisp package seal) for new means of engagement for the viewer. I am struck by packaging design that often goes unseen, when reassembled and photographed, it becomes something different.

Tools for current research practice include collage, scale, model making and photography and have resulted in a reinterpretation and subvention of abstract expressionist painters (Rothko, Scully). Gallery series questions an audience’s response to viewing modern expressionist masters. It investigates what happens when a viewer first sees a large abstract expressionist painting with what happens when scale is changed and the piece is photographed. By re-assembling and re-presenting everyday packaging and photographing it, the results can be viewed through a fine art lens. How do these materials affect how the viewer responds to the work?

Future research plans focus on patterns of human behaviour (preferences and tastes, needs, luxuries and seasonal patterns) through domestic waste materials (for example shopping lists collected over time). I would be interested in embedding my social research experience in my fine art practice. A second strand of future research is the fine art source material of graphic design for crockery, wrapping paper, department store bags etc, and potential use of these designs in current visual art practice.


Julia Ptak

Julia Ptak

Julia Ptak, Photomontage from series ‘Bon appétit, ma chérie!’, 2016


My research to date has been concerned with photomontage as a commentary on economic, social, and political conditions in mass culture, particularly in relation to advertising and the consumption of images. In this I draw my inspiration from the works of Hannah Höch, John Heartfield, Peter Kennard and Barbara Kruger, as pioneers of socially engaged art. My work seeks to question the relationship we have with consumer culture in the digital world that surrounds us. I want to interrogate the scale by which we measure the value of material goods, the impact of mass media and advertising driven purely by our desire for possession. I aim to expose how power is disseminated in a media dominated world. I will be engaging with the impact of consumerism on human life. My proposed research will focus on the themes of capitalism, consumerism, advertising and mass culture. I want to expand from a purely photographic practice into installation and sculpture, to better address the impact that capitalism has on our lives today and how we are distracted from the actual conditions of society


Benjamin Stafford

Engraving from Ferrante Imperato, Dell'Historia Naturale (Naples 1599)

Engraving from Ferrante Imperato, Dell’Historia Naturale (Naples 1599)


My research involves looking at the life of objects in the context of collecting. The project seeks to uncover overlooked instances and stories that point to the wider reasons why we collect and how objects – both sacred and mundane – shape our individual and collective identity. The psychologies of collecting, with particular reference to how collective cultural memory influences the value placed on different categories of object and artwork, and how museum collections reflect ideas of cultural and aesthetic value.

Moving from collecting as a pursuit of aesthetic, artistic or academic high-mindedness to the compulsive, relatively indiscriminate amassing of hoarding, the project will examine how acquisition of objects can be used as a way of creating narratives, to put a structure and form on something otherwise incomprehensible. Through looking at these elements such as public / private collections, hoarding, or collective or individual appropriation of objects, the project seeks to understand people’s relationship to things, whether as a prestige possession, comfort or anchor, or symbol of identity, appropriated or otherwise.

Ownership is the most intimate relationship one can have to objects. - Walter Benjamin