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Announcing the CCA 2021 digital residency participants

Eimear Mc Clay BFMAF stills 7

CCA Derry~Londonderry is delighted to announce the names of the selected participants chosen through the open call opportunity in May 2021. We are hosting a series of three digital residencies this year; the two selected proposals below will follow our inaugural digital residency Creating Dangerously from Alberta Whittle in May 2021. The residencies will be curated by Fiona Allan.

Ciara Finnegan is a visual artist from Northern Ireland who has been living and working in The Netherlands since 2008. She is also the director of The Dollhouse Space, a non-profit, experimental, bilocational contemporary art space with a virtual presence, and a physical presence in her home in Heemstede, North Holland.

From the proposal:

‘The Indoor Tree’ offers its guests a bespoke, out-of-body, out-of-this-world holiday experience. I would love the opportunity to offer holiday/s at ‘The Indoor Tree’ in the context of CCA’s digital residency. (In which case, the CCA would behave as a sort of Astral Travel Agency.) ‘The Indoor Tree’, while furnishing its guests with a holiday experience quite unlike (though, in many ways, remarkably similar to) any other, raises fundamental questions about how humans construct reality and form a sense of self within a constructed reality. It asks: ‘what is real?’ and unsettles the assertion: ‘I
am here’ by creating holidays that explore the concept of simultaneously being somewhere and elsewhere with reference to contemporary analytic philosophical mental models of self and place. Performed, this holiday package poses questions about the nature of experience: namely, what is the
relative value of experiences you have online versus those you have offline? What is lost and/or gained in the shift?

'Family Portrait, After John Rainey’s ‘To Think About Things Together That Appear To Be Separate’ (2021)
Family Portrait, After John Rainey’s ‘To Think About Things Together That Appear To Be Separate’ (2021)

Cat and Éiméar McClay are an Irish artist duo currently based in Glasgow. In 2020, they each graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA in Intermedia Art. Their collaborative practice considers ideas of queerness, abjection and patriarchal systems of power and oppression through an interdisciplinary body of work comprising video, 3D models, installation and digital collage; it draws on and seeks to examine the historical narration of the queer body within heteronormative society. Ideas of mutual care and empowerment underpin our collaborative work. They each find developing projects in conversation with a collaborator both generative and cathartic; this approach allows them to support and encourage one another in a relationship that rejects individualism. Their practice has a strong theoretical basis, which makes reading central to our research. They focus particularly on queer theory and experimental literature, and aspire to make such texts more tangible by illustrating their often abstruse philosophical and theoretical ideas through colourful animation and personal narratives.

From the proposal:

Currently, we are developing a new project focused on the Magdalene Laundries and mother and baby homes in Ireland, which operated from the 18th to the late 20th century. Both institutions were run by the Catholic church and functioned as repositories for “fallen women” (those who strayed from Catholic doctrine), and women who fell pregnant out of wedlock respectively. Women of either condition were often ostracised by their families and wider society due to the culture of shame and repression endemic to Irish society during that period.

In 2015, investigations into the mother and baby homes began following claims that hundreds of babies were buried in an unmarked grave at the site of a previous home in Tuam in Co. Galway. This discovery provoked criticism regarding the Catholic church’s oppressive power over the populace.

Using Jacques Derrida’s concept of hauntology — a portmanteau of haunting and ontology, which refers to the return or persistence of elements from the past — as a lens, we are exploring how these past abuses executed by the Irish Catholic church reverberate into the present. In this way, we are using this historical atrocity as a case study through which to examine Ireland’s current social climate.


Recent awards include RSA New Contemporaries 2021, Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020, and Circa Class of 2020. The duo were recently selected for Hospitalfield's April 2022 residency.

'a body is a body is a body' film still (2021)
'a body is a body is a body' film still (2021)

Announcing the CCA 2021 digital residency participants