Chronic Connections: Participating Artists

12 October, 2023

Fire Station Artists’ Studios are collaborating with Chronic Collective for Chronic Connections: a series of networking and mentoring events for sick and disabled artists.

Disabled and chronically ill artists often cannot network in the same way as their peers, this programme tries to bridge the gap and invites curators and programmers to have a conversation with disabled and chronically ill artists about their work.

The participating artists in the programme are: Aising Dunne, Ciana Fitzgerald, Emily Waszak, Léann Herlihy, Michelle Hall, Olivia Normile, Paul Roy and Sarah Devereux.

Aisling Dunne is a multi-disciplinary artist from North County Dublin. She has taken part in numerous group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including How it’s Remade, the Warehouse (2023), Winter Group Exhibition – Hang Tough Contemporary (2022), SeeMe, Sasse Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2022), Point of Perspective, ArtLink (2022), Through the Looking Glass, Birr Arts Festival (2021), Artwaves Festival, Skerries (2016). She had solo exhibitions in Skerries Mills (2019) and Haptik, Belfast (2014). She has a BA (Hons) Fine Art Sculpture from NCAD. She has recently been shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2023 and her work will be on display in the National Gallery of Ireland. Her paintings are in private collections in Ireland, the U.S. and Australia. She received the Fingal Artists Support Scheme in 2023 and 2022 and the Arts Council Agility Award in 2021.

Ciana Fitzgerald is currently working on a multidisciplinary body of work for her first solo exhibition in Ireland to be held at Studio 10, Wicklow Street, Dublin in October 2024. Titled ‘Ex Animo,’ which translates to ‘from the heart’ in Latin, this multidisciplinary show utilises paint, experimental film, filmic installation and accompanying sculptural works to intuitively explore the bittersweet ache that comes with reconnecting with your inner child.

Emily Waszak is a visual artist of Japanese descent based in Donegal. She create sculptural assemblages
that involve the making and re-making of powerful symbolic object forms. Her practice is materially driven and embodied. Pieces are composed of found and natural materials collected from sites of industry, abandonment and the natural landscape, weaving thresholds into the unseen. With a background in industrial weaving, textiles are the starting point of Waszak’s practice, though she engage other sculptural and spatially situated processes in the development of my work.

Léann Herlihy is an artist, researcher and educator based in Dublin. Their practice is informed by trans*, queer ecological, feminist and abolitionist theoretical frameworks which deploys alternative modalities of expression through an array of mediums including live performance, video, billboards, sculpture, text, workshops and radical pedagogies.

Rigorously and creatively critiquing the positioning of Otherness in a heteronormative society, Léann actively transgresses beyond ‘Other’ as another tick-box option to choose from and moves to explore the generative capacity of collective engagement and resistance when we abolish colonial and capitalist prescriptions of personhood, the body and gender. 

Léann is the recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland’s Next Generation Artist Award (2022), Visual Arts Bursary (2021) & Agility Award (2021 – 2022) as well as being awarded a Project Studio (2021-22) at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. Léann is Dublin Fringe Festival’s Next Stage Wildcard.

Michelle Hall is a neurodivergent visual artist and educator based in Dublin. They work across a range of media in their interdisciplinary solo practice, as well as regularly collaborating on projects with other artists. Hall’s practice is supported by the Fingal Arts Office Artist Support Scheme 2023 and Arts Council Agility Award 2021. Recent events include Remembering the Future group exhibition at VISUAL Carlow in 2023, and (R)OARS solo exhibition at Draíocht Gallery in 2022. Hall has taken part in residencies, exhibited and screened their work in Ireland and abroad. In 2023 and 2021 they attended experimental courses at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts.

Olivia Normile is an emerging artist based in Dublin, working in sculpture, animation and installation. Olivia is drawn to unassuming yet prevailing characters in various narratives and their influence on their surroundings. Hand drawn animation supports my interest with dialogue of the physical and fleeting. Her films are short and usually presented as loops within installations of sculpture and drawings. Although sequential art has been a focal point in her practice recently, Olivia’s sculptural work is an equally vital element and is inspired by theatre, sci fi or fictional story telling.

Paul Roy is a visual artist based in Westmeath. I have recently received a First Class Honours Masters from NCAD, in Art In The Contemporary World, wherein my research focused on the impact of the onset of serious illness on an arts practice. Otherwise, I am a visual artist, mainly specialising in painting and etching. I also have practices in experimental music and poetry.

Sarah Devereux is a multidisciplinary artist, performer, and extremely serious messer. She was recently awarded with a bursary and an agility award from the Arts Council of Ireland. So she is Irelands wealthiest artist now. Her work is surreal (but honest), crude (but intelligent), disturbing (but endearing) fabulous (but anxious) & immediate (but considered). She has exhibited & performed nationally and internationally.

She is a graduate of The National College of Art and Design. Sarah was Artist in Residence at VISUAL Center for Contemporary Art, Carlow 2020-22. She is co-artistic director of the acclaimed queer performance night SPICEBAG :an ad-hoc, grass roots, queer variety show. Her first solo show was presented at Dublin Fringe 2019 “My Fringe Show” was nominated for “Spirit of Wit Moira Brady Averill award”. And most recent performance “I can’t believe it’s NOT psychosis” also was just nominated for the “Spirit of Wit Moira Brady Averill award” at Dublin Fringe Festival 2023.

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