current ARC researchers

ARC 2020 Researchers

Brenda Brady

My research is grounded in the traditional mediums of painting and drawing. For me painting relies just as much on subjective sensation as it does on image or concept. The investment of time and engagement enable’s thinking through materials facilitating the extraordinary range of visual possibilities that is achievable in two dimensions. Found, made, collected, manipulated, glued, pressed together – all play a role in the ever growing vocabulary that makes up my emerging practice. Certain recurring concerns like the intuitive and the ordered with all their inherent paradoxes are evident.

Paintings that ‘Hide and Reveal’ is a current line of inquiry. Richness of surface, what is absent is just as important as what is visible, everything apparent hides something else. Repetitive actions combine to build up a surface blurring the lines between non-representation and image, text and drawing, painting and print, offering hints and glimpses.


Anishta Chooramun

My work is informed by the diverse components that create our society and that influence our identity. I think of our society as a jigsaw puzzle. As we move through the environment, progress from one place to another, encounter different aspects of life, meet new individuals, or encounter a novel situation, we transform who we are, and shape our identity. We pick up and add to aspects of our identity, we also let go of identity markers that no longer fit us. Whilst these changes help us grow and become who we are, we also lose a little of ourselves as individuals. In life, we experience so much fragmentation of thought and feelings. While creating my sculptures I keep these fragmentations in mind and create an abstract jigsaw puzzle.

I am currently working on a new series of sculptures’ that is informed by dance as a language and a form of communication, for an exhibition happening in The Dock at Carrick On Shannon, in May. I have been researching and learning a dance called Kathak, originated from the traveling bards of North India referred to as Kathakars or storytellers. The Kathakars communicate stories through rhythmic foot movements, hand gestures, facial expressions, and eye work. I am trying to incorporate these expressive dance movements into my sculptures. My work often comprises a series of sculptures made from various materials, including, metal, wood, fabric, glass, linoleum, paper, and concrete fabric. When the audience moves through the installed work they can visually piece together all the different fragments of the jigsaw puzzle to complete the artwork.

Heather Cody


My photographic practice centres on the Travelling Community in Wexford. I am interested in exploring their culture, experiences and beliefs through photography. I have already completed a documentary series focusing on Irish Travellers at Horse Fairs in Ireland. My project has evolved through working on the ARC MA Program. I am now working on a project in which I am collaborating with members of the Travelling Community in Gorey. I have applied for funding from Wexford County Council Artlinks to hold workshops for members of the Travelling Community; I propose to teach the participants basic photography skills during the coming months. I am holding an exhibition in Gorey Library for the month of September. It is my intention to hold a collaborative exhibition of my portraits of travelling people alongside images taken by Travellers during these workshops.

Penelope Collins

I am researching the National Ballet School and the professional ballet company in Dublin during the 1950s and 1960s. My research focuses on the work of teacher, choreographer and Artistic Director Patricia Ryan who is my mother. This school and company collaborated with diverse artists in different disciplines of music, literature, poetry, choreography and design. I am planning to develop a documentary short based on this history through interviews with her students, guest dancers, conductors, archive materials, photographs, letters and documents of productions and film archives.

Collette Farnon



My research focuses on representations of women across a variety of media. My original research sought to dismantle the traditional decorative and sexualized representations of the female body in History painting and examine its effect on contemporary attitudes towards women and girls.

My current research examines more contemporary modes of female representation including the GAA initiatives #20×20, #Show Your Stripes and #If She Can’t See It She Can’t Be It, the Esker Women’s Boxing Club, the Six Nations Women’s Rugby and the Always ‘Run Like a Girl’ campaign, all of which work toward redressing the balance of the persistent notion that a woman’s looks are her most important asset.

As part of this research I attempt to give life, mobility and action to Barbie type dolls by dismantling and reconstructing them as puppets and marionettes. I make videos of, and photograph this process, at regular intervals. I position these creations in tableau and or place them in dioramas. This is part of an ongoing process.

Lisa Freeman

I am visual artist, my work broadly speaking, is process-driven and research focused with the objective of gathering performative digital-based materials for video, performance and installation outcomes. I am developing a project based on the 19th century ‘Wrens of the Curragh’ who were a group of women that lived in gorse bushes outside the army base in Kildare and were sex workers.

I will develop a site specific performance at the Curragh involving a cast of actors. I will conduct research through site visits, script development and workshops with the actors. The performance will be defined and sculpted by five different elements: script, sound, actors, costumes and location. I will use the location to contextualise the past and create a discussion based around women’s rights and societal attitudes around this.

Marie-Louise Halpenny

I am producing a body of work depicting a series of spaces that have a relationship to crime, and I am researching this through a combination of photography, data and mapping.  I am interested in our relationship to a space through memory. My work explores how events can change a space, how a space can change events, and how a space can be altered by the way we use it and pass through it.

I am interested in the altering of images, and the combination of spaces or events within one single image. My fascination with light, and with the movement of people through space has developed through my work with architectural photographs over the past 12 years.  I aim to approach my subjects with empathy and openness, creating images that can strike you hard and awake another sense of the life of a space or building or context.

Marie Phelan

Therianthropy is the belief that a person has a non-human or animal part and Shapeshifting is the ability to transform fully into another creature. My project considers the Shapeshifter in the context of ritual and belief systems and their connection to place. This place, when within the rural landscape, can have many other associations and the boundaries and crossover of these realities can be blurred. This can lead us to the question: What is real and what is not real? My work aims to understand and explore this question and to somehow connect with those blurred realities through multidisciplinary tools including sound, video, drawing and sculpture.

Dylan Ryan

I am working on an ongoing project, which started in January 2017. I am very interested in a building development in my local area. I began documenting the site for the Cherrywood Master Plan, which has been in the planning and design stage since the 1990s. The project is partly informed by my memory of playing on suburban building sites as a child, as they continually extended over the diminishing open grounds, housing my new neighbours. But this time I am playing with a camera. In my photographs, the viewer can see the alteration of the land. Rich with archaeological sites and farm history, it is being transformed into a functional urban landscape. The photographs, depicting machinery, materials and tamed earth, can be dramatic, surreal and sometimes humorous, capturing the beginning of a new New York-style town with its own amenities.

Cherrywood is an example of urban sprawl as the city moves out, taking over rural and farm land with its benign hills and trees, replacing them with buildings, roads, parks. These photographs show the meeting point between concrete and wild countryside, and the shaping and utilisation of land for use by suburban dwellers.

Audrey Walshe


I have an interdisciplinary background and hold a BA Irish Studies (TCD, 2017). As a working florist I am researching how artists use botanical materials to produce work, in the conventional sense as a form of artistic/scientific documentation of species as well as installation work using organic and natural materials. I am observing how the tension of working with a deteriorating material is resolved and expanding my own creative practice to explore how creating work that is transitory invites the viewer into a collaboration which can’t endure.  I am exploring themes of decay and temporality and investigating how the use of botanical materials emphasises a state of impermanence.

I am interested in the commodity culture that surrounds flowers and natural objects, specifically in relation to the wastage and decay that is usually hidden from consumers. My current research interests seek to bring together my academic and practical backgrounds.  I am historically contextualising this artistic research around the Victorian Flower Market in Dublin and curating an event, at another location, to take place on Bloomsday 2019 which will bring together nature, art and culture in a collaborative process.