Animal as Conduit
Join us online on Thursday 10 March 2022, 6pm–8pm for Animal as Conduit. A reading group by Artist and Researcher Hattie Godfrey. This is a Public Programme event for Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh’s current exhibition Ferox. This reading group explores how examining non-human experience advances our understanding of human subjects. Does our use of animal metaphor mean we are becoming-animal, or is animal becoming-human?
Through the examination of selected critical texts, you will discuss how animals are used as a channel for conveying human subjects and experiences and how drawing these parallels simultaneously creates a sense of kinship with animals, but also potentially separates animals from their own contexts. We begin exploring our commonality with animals at a very young age; children, even in urbanised environments, often present a spontaneous interest in animals. We see ourselves reflected not just in their behaviours, but also their landscapes, their attitudes. Within the frame of ‘art’ we utilise this reflection to play-out human experience.
Building off the work of Deleuze & Guattari, John Berger and more, you will discuss whether the use of animal as conduit truly aids our discussion of human subjects and crucially whether this approach is indicative of human becoming-animal or human imitating, or even fetishizing animal.
Methodologically, Hattie uses a wide variety of media in the restaging and ‘unpacking’ of personal and collective episodes of psychological and physical suffering. What emerges is a surreal yet detailed catalogue of human experience and emotion. Hattie’s key focus is the development of alternative languages for describing episodes of suffering; believing that by actively engaging in dialogue surrounding our own experiences of suffering, we can begin to understand, reclaim, and make aesthetically significant, what was previously painful.
Hattie graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in BA (hons) Fine Art in 2018, receiving first class honours and Queens University Belfast in Msc Psychological Science in 2020, receiving distinction. She was selected as the Bbeyond New Commission Artist, is a studio holder at Flax Art Studios and is the creative director and co-founder of Figure This Life Drawing, a Belfast based life drawing company promoting body positivity, inclusiveness, and explorative drawing for all experience levels.