About

Mieke Vanmechelen was born in 1974 in Antwerp, Belgium. She lived in the polders of West Zeeland-Flanders, where her father was a shepherd until 1981 when her family moved to a farm on the Beara Peninsula. In 1996 she graduated with a BA in Philosophy and Classical Civilisation from Trinity College Dublin. Following this, she returned to Kerry, near Kenmare, and started a family. Despite embarking on a BSc in Herbal Medicine, she became preoccupied with art, drawing and painting consistently for many years. In 2001 she moved back to the Beara Peninsula, close to the Cork/Kerry border, and took over her father’s hill farm. An encounter with the work Cheese by Mika Rottenberg in 2006, ignited a fascination with experimental film, and in 2014 she completed an MA at Crawford College of Art and Design. Since then she has worked almost exclusively in digital film and moving image. In parallel with her practice, she is heavily involved in education and works in various capacities as a children and youth facilitator, mentor and consultant. She was awarded a digital media bursary and a residency at Fire Station Artists’ Studios in 2020, which she completed in 2021. This afforded the opportunity of making durational work in an urban, as opposed to the usual rural setting. Since then Vanmechelen has maintained a studio in Dublin. Her company Fierce Quiet Films is currently making an experimental documentary, supported by an Arts Council Film Project Award, due for release in the autumn of 2022. She also works as the Kerry County Council Filmmaker in Residence (2018-2022)and her work has been exhibited in Ireland and internationally in both gallery and cinema contexts.

Work

Vanmechelen’s ideas emerge from an embedded investigative process. A recurring theme is the interdependence of humans, animals and their environment. She draws on resonances that involve an intergenerational connection, and her subjects are always people, animals or places with whom she has a personal bond or for whom she feels a strong affinity. While her film projects develop slowly, over time, her performative/moving image works are usually short and unpremeditated. Her process is often physically demanding, and her position can shift from behind to in front of the camera. This methodology forms part of the explorations of subjectivity, reflexivity and the role of the cinema subject within her work.

Recent Screenings/Exhibtions/Awards.

Recent screenings include: ‘Home, Being and Belonging in Contemporary Ireland’, Glucksman Gallery, Cork (2021); CutLog Moving Image, SSA+VAS OPEN, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2021); ‘Like A Mouse’, Chicago Underground Film Festival (in partnership with Michael Holly) 2021; ‘Home from Home’, Glucksman Gallery, Cork (2020); Open Submission, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (2020); CutLog Moving Image, SSA+VAS OPEN, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2020); RAGFF New York (2020). Recent awards include Kerry Filmmaker in Residence (2022), Arts Council Film Project Award (2021), FSAS Digital Media Bursary and Residency Award (2021), Arts Council Film Bursary (2020), Arts Council Professional Development Award (2020) and Kerry County Council Creative Work Development Bursary (2020).






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