Exhibitions, Situations, Studio

Ecology of the Imagination, Crawford College of Art & Design

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Ecology of the Imagination was a project initiated and perfromed by Vena Nascręcka and Mieke Vanmechelen in collaboration with CCAE student Max De Meester and other CCAE participants and invited guests. The project took place at CCAD Sullivan’s Quay campus during November 2014. The performance lasted four hours and a had a number of participants of all ages. The objective of this collaborative piece was to allow the artwork itself to become a performed pedagogy, a participatory mode of creation, interacting both in the physical costruction and through performance in the psychological experience of a ‘space’. The artists  engaged in a participatory performace as part of the project.

The title came from a book by Edith Cobb called “The Ecology of Imagination in Childhood”. According to Cobb, sensory and perceptual processes which occur during childhood are repsonsible for the neural network of human intuition. It is during the childhood years that the foundations for later psychic states and well-being are laid. The artwork was an attempt to reconnect with the childhhood desire of making a fort, den or hut, a fanatsy place where one feels safe and protected from the outside world. According to E. O. Wilson, American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author considers the quest to construct secret space a “fundamental trait of human nature”… “of ultimate value to survival” and a primal urge which has been almost forgotten (Sobel, D. Children’s Special Places: Exploring the Role of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses in Middle Childhood, viii).


17 Heads 14 Handles Publication launch by Lisa Le Feuvre

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The 2014 MA:Art & Process publication 17 heads 14 handles was launched by curator and academic Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Henry Moore Institute.

The  introduction essay for the publication was written by Dr. Feral Gaynor from the UCC History Department and a catalogue featured the end of year work by graduates of the MA in Art & Process at CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Maxim Bär, Sarah Jayne Booth, Laura Jordon, Brian Mac Domnhnaill, Cliodhna O’Riordan, Eleanor Philips, Ali Raza, Jennifer Redmond, Mieke Vanmechelen and Vena Naskrecka. 17 heads 14 handles was published by CIT Press and designed and produced by Pony Ltd.



Blog, Exhibitions

17 heads 14 handles, Annual Crawford College of Art & Design MA Show

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17 heads 14 handles was the annual collaborative exhibition by students of the MA in Art & Process at CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, taking  place at the MA:AP studios on the 3rd floor of the CCAD Sullivan’s Quay campus, the 2014 show was opened by Peter Murray, Director of the Crawford Art Gallery.

Exhibiting artists included Maxim Bär, Laura Jordan Bhattacharya, Sarah Jayne Booth, Vena Naskręcka, Eleanor Phillips, Brian Mac Domhnaill, Cliodhna O’ Riordan and Jennifer Redmond and Mieke Vanmechelen. The exhibition focused on the investigations and processes of the group. The diverse backgrounds of the artists were reflected in the universality of the work and the variety of media used.

Research Practices

Subrealism: One-Day Conference on Ettingerian Studies at NUI Maynooth

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Subrealism was a one-day conference at Maynooth University focused on recent shifts in Ettigerian studies which focussed particularly on ethics, literature, art practice, psychoanalytical practice, political science, gender studies, queer theory, and philosophy. Speakers included: Graham Price, Dr. Moynagh Sullivan, Noirin MacNamara, Dr. Elena Marchevska, Paula McCloskey, Dr. Dimitri Douskos, Medb Ruane, and Dr. Tina Kinsella. There was Master Class with Bracha Ettinger, which took place on Thursday 9 October at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Aula Maxima, Maynooth University.



Exhibitions, Independent Research

Demeter Eurydice Medusa-Butterfly at the Illuminations Gallery

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Demeter Eurydice Medusa-Butterfly, an exhibition featuring new video works by Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger and an installation of her recent notebooks opened at the Illuminations Gallery, Iontas Building, Maynooth on Wednesday 8 October. The exhibition was curated by Tina Kinsella and Michael O’Rourke.

This event also marked the Irish launch of a new publication by Professor Griselda Pollock, entitled ART in the TIME-SPACE OF MEMORY AND MIGRATION: Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud and Bracha L. Ettinger in the Freud Museum.

Dr. Moynagh Sullivan, Dr. Tina Kinsella, Bracha Ettinger, and Michael O'Rourke
Dr. Moynagh Sullivan, Dr. Tina Kinsella, Bracha Ettinger, and Michael O’Rourke

…the day came fat…

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…the day came fat… was an interim exhibition by the students of the MA in Art and Process at the CIT Crawford College of Art & Design and took place at CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery in September 2014.

Maxim Baer, Laura Jordan Bhattacharya, Sarah Jayne Booth, Vena Naskrecka, Eleanor Phillips, Brian Mac Domhnaill, Cliodhna O’ Riordan, Jennifer Redmond, Ali Raza, and Mieke Vanmechelen.

The exhibition gave students the opportunity to showcase their intermediate work following months of intense study. The title was an abbreviation of the line, ‘…the day came fat, with an apple in its mouth” from a poem called ‘Animals’, by Frank O Hara.
The show was opened by Mr. Sean Kissane, curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Independent Research

Approaching the I from the Other side

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These few lines come from the work of….

Alejandra Pizarnik

Translated by Joseph Mulligan & Patricia Rossi

March 10, 2011

New Paltz, New York – Buenos Aires, Argentia

They are relevant as an example of the feelings we have as artists – as we feel connected to the transubjective border linking process of Bracha Ettinger, to the matrixial.



right now

at this innocent hour

I & who I was sit down

in the doorway of my gaze


to explain with words from this world

that a boat from me has shoved off with me on board



I miss distancing myself

from the time when I was born.

I miss not carrying out

the newcomer role more




Placing Practice, Research Practices

‘Arch Drawing’ as an Historical Document of Culture

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With regard to my project for ‘placing practice’ my main interest initially was in ‘arch drawing’, how it has changed and been influenced and examining those changes and influences. I began my investigation by sitting in on a critical review at CCAE and meeting students and tutors. On further enquiry I realised that the role of ‘arch drawing’  has a much deeper cultural significance,  perhaps a loss of the humanistic role of architecture in this age of technology. It seems to me that drawing was part of an architectural methodology but with the onset of technological advancement there is a slight feeling of instability. I would like to examine closely the moments surrounding the adoption and rejections of drawing as architecture’s primary tool of design.

I would like look at how architects use drawings and why it is the primary medium for architectural conception. In relation to this question I would like to ask how architects use computation and I would like to explore the idea that whether completed through mouse or pencil, the medium utilised is still drawing.

Strasbourg Plan A, c. 1260, Musée de l’Oeuvre Nortre-Dame, inv. 1, Strasbourg, France.

Independent Research

Re-codifying the Symbol of ‘Woman’ in Art

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I recently started ‘following’ the blog of  Dr. Tina Kinsella.
I found an article on an exhibition by Treacy Emin,  located by the Tate Galleries at Turner Contemporary in Margate in 2012, alongside  works by Turner and Rodin. The exhibition was part of a journey for Emin,  a search for home and also a journey back to painting.  In essence this is a journey related to my own.  She was looking for a way to say what she wanted through painting and drawing again, rather than installation and object.  In work she is also re codifying the symbol of woman as an object of erotic love,  giving the representation of woman in art a different power. Artists through their  work have the capacity to see and think in a way which defies Western logic, we have the capacity to  shift the way people perceive and contemplate.

The artist in the matrixial dimension is a wit(h)ness with-out event incompassionate witnessing. The viewer, and this partially includes theartist in his or her unconscious viewer position, is the wit(h)ness parexcellence. The viewer will embrace traces of the event whiletransforming them … Beyond representation, s/he is carried by anevent that s/he did not necessarily experience, and through thematrixial web an unexpected transformation and reaction to that eventarises. That is why, I believe, aesthetic production already carries
ethical aspects, even without the artist’s consideration or will. Since it
is not an intended message or particular theme, the potential
embracing of the memory of oblivion cannot “just” be aesthetic.
Perhaps the idea of wit(h)ness-Thing is leading us towards atransformation of the scope of aesthetics itself. 
Bracha L. Ettinger, 2006, ‘Wit(h)nessing Trauma and the Matrixial Gaze’ in Masumi, B., ed., The Matrixial Borderspace. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, p. 149.

The article is placed in the context of Bracha Ettinger’s work and her discoveries in both intellectual and practical aspects of her art practice and psychoanalytic practice collide and inform one another.

“The most graceful moments in the covenant between art and theory occur when theoretical elements, only indirectly or partly intended for particular works of art, and visual elements which refuse theory, collide. In doing so, they transform the borderline between the two domains so that art is momentarily touched by theory while theory takes on a new meaning” (Ettinger, 1993a, p. 38).

Research Practices, Studio

Studio Practice – New Insights

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My perspective on my own creativity has become influenced by my research, as I am examining areas around studio practice which are inadvertently connected to it.  Certain aspects within my practice are becoming clearer, ideas which I previously overlooked.

By looking at areas which interest me I am beginning to formulate conceptual ideas which are manifesting themselves, not only in drawing and painting but other modes of expression such as mediations with environment, exploration of object and the written word.