‘Metals, turf and bone’
Exhibited as part of ‘Shiftings’ curated by Aoife Banks at Kilkenny Arts Office, Co. Kilkenny.


Plaster, woven rushes, woven polyester, paper pulp, cardboard, wood, expanding foam, cement, gold leaf, paint, wire, digital print, glitter
Shiftings is a group exhibition that brings together work by Kian Benson Bailes, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Ursula Burke, Ruth Clinton, Maeve Coulter, Niamh Moriarty and Katharine West. Shiftings explores the untold stories of Ireland’s colonial past, bringing forgotten histories, contested legacies, and silenced memories to the fore. With artefacts laid buried; communities never remembered and stories gone untold, can we trust that the past is truly knowable at all? Through the act of digging up the past and speculating what could have been, we may unearth knowledge that reveals a collective cultural memory seen anew through queer, feminist, and decolonial perspectives.

Covid-19 has disrupted the perceptual world as a place of familiarity to that of a foreign landscape. We still see the world in terms of its old familiarity, but it is at the same time alienating as we are no longer able to interact with it in the habitual, effortless manner characteristic of the pre-pandemic world we inhabited. The reorienting of self in space and the shifting of perception that has occurred as a result of the pandemic and the resulting safety precautions and restrictions has irrevocably altered our phenomenology of perception. We now see the world through a tilted perspective, but what do we make of it? Can we harness this newfound way of seeing and experiencing to reassess the world that we live in? Shiftings is the first installment in a three-part curatorial project that explores the shifting of perspectives in three chapters: Past, Present, and Future. Positioning othered voices to the fore and providing new lenses with which to view our world, each exhibition will focus on an artist or artists whose work teases out alternative histories, hidden narratives, and speculative futures.