Project Space: CCA Graduate Award
DreamBean aka artist Caitlín Gallagher is the BA recipient of the CCA Graduate Award for students graduating in 2021 from the University of Ulster's BA Fine Art and MFA courses. The Award consists of the opportunity to use CCA's Project Space and a mentoring session with CCA Director Catherine Hemelryk.
DreamBean has recreated their bedroom in the project space with a clown acting as an avatar for the artist. During the pandemic DreamBean's bedroom became the studio as well as stand in for a gallery and living space. DreamBean says of their work:
My art explores the connection of the internal and external landscape through a queer gaze, questioning, ‘what does it mean to be a creative adult?’. Making art that is anti-realism, pseudo-naive, I aim to create art that is ironically confessional around topics that I ‘wasn’t allowed to talk about’ growing up in rural catholic Ireland. I approach art perceiving it as both spiritual and therapeutic, allowing the viewer to enter into an ethereal world that explores childhood memories, trauma, nostalgia and identity. The portrait of an anxious queer self, manifests in my art through layering seen in the use of repetition, mixed matched textures and chaotic patterns and colour. In my art, I blur the boundaries between painting, sculpture/lens and printmaking in order to create a playful practice that is multi-disciplinary.
I enjoy playing with camp bright colours, political satire and punchy word play, to create a facade for darker themes to be explored. I identify with maximalism, DIY and all things queer. I see nature as a (queer) powerful, non judgemental force, thus making it the ultimate source for healing, self acceptance and an energy that can be embodied; therefore nature will always be present in my work. Taking ownership and reclaiming is an important aspect when creating. I see art as a tool to heal, explore and adopt different identities allowing for fluid self expression. Using the name ‘DreamBean’, allows me to indulge my fantasies and bring my dreams and desires into physicality. ‘Queering’ allows me to deconstruct social mores and overcome oppression by embracing queer coding and identity politics in my work. Therefore, I (DreamBean) approach queering in my art, as method allowing for a universal understanding around influx identities and encourages the viewer to embrace individuality and keep dreaming.