New directions

My current body of work is continuing my research practice into notions of identity and “Irishness” (see artist statement). As such, I’m concentrating my current body of work around Irish emigrants and second-generation Irish who live in London. This project aims to explore the theme of “home” and what this means to people who are not necessarily in a place they call home. The concepts of what and where home is will be explored through a photographic project using medium format analogue photography and transcribed interviews. I plan to document my research and process on this blog for research and my personal blog for process images.

Stay tuned for research and process images and info

Surrealist / minimalist collage

My research at the start of this semester centered around surrealist collage and Gothic painting. My research has since taken a turn into looking at museological display and artifact studies. This is documented in my purpose-built research blog which can be accessed at Aisling Keavey Art Research

Joan FontecurbertaMind Games, British Journal of Photography, November 2014

Joan Fontecuberta constructs false narratives and false archives using photo-montage and photography. This work is particularly interesting as it displays the power that the manipulation of photography as over the audience’s perception of a work, and also questions about the validity of archives and the arching process.

British Library – Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination (03-10-14 => 20-01-15)

This exhibition aims to “reflect the cultural concerns of 18th century Britain” by exploring Victorian Gothic literature and art.
Dan Hillier. (website)
Dan Hillier is a surrealist collage artist working primarily with Victorian images and themes of Victorian futurism, the uncanny and steampunk. He makes screen-printed, digital collages.   
Hannah Hoch is considered an “artistic and cultural pioneer”. She uses collage as an art object instead of using it as a process to work through ideas. She explores the concept of the “New Woman” through collage.
Leonora Carrington was called a “central figure of the surrealist movement” for her multidisciplinary approach to practice which included writing, painting, printing and weaving. She worked with themes of personified nature, Irish folklore and mythology and religious motifs.
This book centres around the collage as an homage and as a reference. The author identifies the collage artist’s ability to recognise the preexisting to create something different. The collage can separate things that belong together.  These artists break the boundary of the flat, glued image that historians have relied upon, the collage can become a material study, a three-dimensional assemblage or even an environment or performance. Collecting of images to collage can be a way of stopping time, of grasping or studying the past.
John Stezaker uses collage as a “genuine response to the tyranny of images that is our contemporary visual culture” and as a way to explore the “absurdity of the present”.
Matthieu Bourel uses images to “evoke a fake history” and to explore the power of the image and its considerations. He uses images as the point of departure for a story to create false narratives.
Office Supplies Incorporated are a collective that explore the formal aspects of the medium of collage such as “materiality, depth and scale”. They focus on what happens to an image after another image is added to it.
Cur3es is a collage artist who mixes photos to point out their inherent mundanity or dark insinuations.
Eva Eun-Sil Han uses “recurring layers of geometric lines and shapes” to repeatedly “mask and reveal the layers beneath them”.

Human Heart in a Heart-shaped Cist, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

The strongest reference I have found for my current body of work (which centers around the autobiographical, museological display and the Irish experience) is an object housed at the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford University.

The Pitt Rivers museum, founded in 1884, is a museum of anthropology and world archeology.  Its collections include materials by peoples from cultures around the world and from throughout history. While the focus of the Museum is on human cultures and how different peoples have solved the problems of everyday life, the collections include human remains acquired to show some aspect of culture, such as burial customs. 

The artifact that I am researching is one with the object number 1884.57.18, a human heart in a heart shaped cist.

Human Heart in a Heart Shaped Cist

(Click on the image to go to more information)

This object is particularly interesting as it raises questions for me about colonialism, burial practices and artifact studies.

This object, according to the Pitt Rivers website, was found in the basement of a church in county Cork, Ireland by General Pitt-Rivers on one of his expeditions to the country in the 1880s. This raises various questions about why Pitt-Rivers decided to extract this object from its current location and house it in a foreign museum; is colonialism to blame for this object and other objects being housed in British museums; do objects being housed in foreign museums help the discourse around such objects and themes to be opened up to an audience that would otherwise have not been exposed to it?

A sound file of the curator talking about this object can be found here.

I’ll be going further into these themes in subsequent posts as this research and project progresses so watch this space.


Research interests

At the moment, my research centers around the autobiographical; post-colonialism, musicological display, artifact studies and the Irish experience. My next project centers around an Irish artifact found under a church in County Cork but housed in The Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford University, England.

My next post will go more in depth about this object

CUE at ArtsLav

On Friday last I had the privilege of attending and photographing an exhibition organised and curated by fellow students from Wimbledon College of Art, Katarina Rankovic and Tahmina Ahkmedov, co-curated by Kosha Hussain. CUE, held at ArtsLav in Kennington, south London, is an exhibition of painting, installation, video and mixed media work. Housed in a Victorian ex-lavatory, ArtsLav was an unusual choice of venue but worked amazingly well; with work hanging off toilet cubical doors and behind cubical doors and on the walls. The atmosphere was decidedly 1920s with Reinhardt jazz music and candles dotting the narrow rectangular space.

The rest of my photographs from the private view can be found by clicking on the photograph.

The work is on show now until the 6th of June at ArtsLav, 180 Kennington Lane, London, SE11 4UZ.



2013 in review

Well hello, lovely readers! This little space on the internet has grown a lot over the last year compared to 2012 and for that I’m so grateful, hopefully it will continue to grow in the New Year! I have so much planned for the New Year for this blog so watch this space! For now though, here’s a look back on my 2013 year in blogging.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 710 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Chloe & Charlotte, St Stephen’s Green

I’ve finally finished organising and sorting through my editorial calendar & blog planning notebook so expect more regular posting soon! As some of you know, I recently moved to London to study fine art so I’ll be writing reviews of exhibitions and galleries as well as reflections on art theory, criticism and practice. I’m also playing with a couple of ideas for a few series I want to start, too.

For now though, here are the rest of the photographs from my shoot with Chloe and Charlotte in St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, back in August. Other photographs from this shoot are over on my Facebook page (link on right) so do have a look. :)

Some of these photos will be amiable to buy as prints from my Society 6 shop soon so look at out for that!