Our Neighbourhood

01 Nov 14—31 Jul 15

CCA’s two-year public project, Our Neighbourhood, which seeks to generate new knowledge and new stories on subjects that are of significance to our community, has been underway since November 2014.

In this first year, the project has been convened by Sarah Browne. Browne’s response to the theme foregrounds the importance of building a group of participants who form a ‘community of interest’ for the project, rather than selecting a pre-existing group or demographic. In an effort to re-focus and create unexpected understandings of ‘neighbourhood’, the project aims to address non-human understandings of place, particularly through looking at relationships between humans and animals, domesticated and otherwise. How is an art gallery similar, or different, to a zoo? How are humans and animals ‘tamed’ in our environments?

Browne and CCA have selected a group of respondent artists from a range of disciplines to develop workshops that include seminars, screenings, field trips and hands-on activities. The tumblr site that shares ideas and research sources for the project can be accessed here.

Our Neighbourhood is generously supported by The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Legacy Fund.

Sarah Browne is an artist based in Dublin. Her practice investigates the materiality of how we communicate and create meaning (or value) through transaction and exchange, and her collaborative work is presented both within and outside gallery environments. Recent exhibitions include Hand to Mouth at CCA Derry-Londonderry and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; The Invisible Limb, basis, Frankfurt (2014); and Still, We Work, a commission for the National Women’s Council of Ireland at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin, which will tour throughout 2015. She co-represented Ireland at the 53rd Venice Biennale with Gareth Kennedy and their joint practice, Kennedy Browne. Forthcoming projects include a residency at the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt and a project with Jesse Jones co-commissioned by Create, Ireland and Artangel, UK. www.sarahbrowne.info

Didem Durak Akser is a storyteller who feels lucky to have studied all subjects that interest her. After working in IT in different countries for some years, she decided to follow her passions, and appreciate life through writing. She mainly writes articles about films and scripts. An avid animal lover, she prefers to live in an environment where people respect animals. She wrote several short film scripts and commercials. Her work was published in CINEJ. Inspired by the small details in nature and coincidences in everyday life, she likes to express herself through words and visual materials. She is currently working on her novel.

Steve Batts has been making movement based work for theatrical and non-theatrical contexts internationally for over thirty years. Since 1997 he has focused his main attention on developing Derry based company, Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company (of which he is artistic director). His work is rather varied in its themes and styles and in the kinds of colleagues with whom he collaborates, but running through it is the notion of “poetic movement”. This idea refers to the perception that good dancing is rooted in an understanding of the fundamental grammar and syntax of movement and the observation that everyone, without exception, has a natural tendency to create poetic form in movement as much, or indeed more, than we do in words. This approach creates a good basis for collaboration with musicians, fine artists, actors because it offers a shared ground where communication and imagination can be planted. His current approach involves creating movement from the emergent patterns of energy and intention that follow the disciplining of the attention towards a specific theme or object. The outcomes are often rather mysterious and tend to be only tangentially related to more image based approaches to choreography. Recent work has included, among other things, Vertical Nature Base and The Cove, two related projects in collaboration with Dan Shipsides concerned with landscape and memory and a continuing series of solo improvisation performances in collaboration with musicians.

Laura Durán completed her BA at New World School of the Arts (BA Hons, Fine Art 2008-2010) and is currently pursuing her MA at Goldsmiths College, University of London (MFA 2011-2015). Recent selected exhibitions include Platform Arts, Belfast; Cliffhanger at Milken and Palmer, Berlin; Collections with The End/Spring Break at BasFischer Invitational, Miami; and Take at Via Farini, Milan. She’s currently based in London. From the framework of research architecture, her recent work has sought to mine the ideas of spatial constructions through a cinematographical and narrative point of view. Her latest work is a greatest hits, campfire repertoire of research: a fictional account of the possible eroticism of Morandi’s gray-scale paintings and the descriptive adjectives of real-estate agents online listings.

Jessica Foley is an artist-pedagogue and researcher concerned with how forms of writing can be developed to critically explore, engage and practice cultures of communication. Her research involves developing ways to bring people together to collectively reconsider ideas, words, customs, objects, and practices, and to catalyze apperception through this work. This work informs her own writing practice. She writes short stories, essays, scripts for film-essays, dramatic monologues and dialogues for performance, and experimental fiction.

Her educational background is in Graphic Design (B.Des, LSAD), Art and Design Education (H.Dip LSAD) and Contemporary Art Theory (M.A. Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD). Currently, she is undertaking PhD research at CTVR/the Telecommunications Research Centre, Trinity College, Dublin, guided by Prof. Linda Doyle

Dr. Matt Green is presently a senior lecturer in Music and Sound at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Prior to this role, Matt studied a PhD at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Queen’s University, Belfast, UK. As well as being an academic researcher and tutor, Matt is also a practicing sound artist. Matt creates site-specific sound art that serves to frame, accent or augment the locations that host his work. This is achieved through either the subtle introduction of new sound into an environment via multichannel sound installations (that may also be interactive) or the presentation of sound on site through mobile technologies. The vast majority of Matt’s practice has addressed public urban space and entailed the projection of soundscape compositions comprising of field recordings. Field recording, the aural equivalent to photography and documentary, is of great importance to Matt’s art.

Rory Harron is an artist, writer, curator and tutor. He has studied English and Politics at Queens University Belfast, an MFA at Manchester School of Art and completed a practice-based PhD at the Forum for Critical Inquiry at the Glasgow School of Art. He is a member of the Open Door 77 art collective and a tutor at Bluebell Arts in the Gasyard Centre in Derry. He has received Northern Ireland Arts Council Individual Artist funding and is currently curating a mass exhibition for Artlink and developing a park artwork with groups from Irish Street Community Centre in Derry.

Aislinn O’Donnell received her PhD in philosophy from the University of Warwick and currently lectures in Philosophy of Education in Mary Immaculate College (University of Limerick). Much of her works aims to finds creative ways of ‘democratising’ philosophy, and involves developing relationships between the academy and wider society. She is interested in creative pedagogical and philosophical approaches that build connections between politics, philosophy, contemporary art and everyday life. She has been teaching philosophy classes, developing collaborative research practice, and writing with people in a range of informal settings, including closed institutions. Other initiatives include an art and philosophy with children project with gallery educator and curator Katy Fitzpatrick, a collaborative writing project with Positive Now and the All-Ireland Network of Positive People, and a series of symposia called The Impossible Conversation that took place in Dublin and Derry and were convened with Siun Hanrahan.