Sarah McCormick’s research considers the role of colonial agendas at play in the narrative of our global, ecological crisis. Through methods of social practice, digital transmission, and sculpture, she looks for possible solutions to an objectifying model of approaching ecology—a patriarchal holdover in phenomenological thought.
Her work wrestles with the complex and paternalistic relationship between humans and nonhumans, specifically within the context of land preservation. She examines the act of protection when applied to an entity that may have never given consent and the battles waged over land’s extractive potential.
“Since 2014 my predominant media are painting and installation while exploring different random processes. My work has been very influenced by residency times and travels to Iceland where my observations of the color of the sky over a day, a week, a month led me to the Weathertranscriptions.
This practice has been more and more conceptualized and is rooted in the taoist philosophy and the idea of the sky of as a continuous movement and creative energy. I work with materials that are not very common for painting as plotter foil, other plastic materials and tracing paper which have the translucence that reminds of the sky’s impression.
So while as in a traditional landscape painting the sky and the earth are on one ground the result of my work is both vertical and horizontal as I work on the wall, performing a very simple gesture of tracing a line on the underground and in parallel collect the paint on the floor on paper, foil or other materials.
Often the process is documented by photography or even video. Deliberately I do not control the dripping paint, the notion of letting go or letting happen is part of my approach.
The results are abstract paintings that embody the notion of time and space and can be seen as landscapes in some ways.
Alongside my painting practice I dance a lot since a few years and I started to make video captures of those dances in the lasts months as it links to my older photographic work where I staged myself in different settings. I want to dedicate my time at Nes to find out if and how I could combine those two approaches to something broader like performance or choreography.”
Lieselle McMahon is a visual artist from Dublin, Ireland where she studied Music & Media Technologies at Trinity College Dublin and Art & Design at CEAD at the National College of Art and Design. Her practice is mainly sculptural, encompassing 2D, 3D installation, live art and sound sculpture. Drawing on the assertion that the personal is political, conceptual themes around feminism and anti-capitalism manifest in her work and she has been a member of A4 Sounds Arts Community since 2017, where she bases her practice. She draws on both music and art sensibilities in her work and her central focus is the body.
Currently she is exploring themes of intimacy, how we relate to the other and to ourselves, and our connection (or reconnection) to the body-mind. Whilst at NES she is investigating this through sculpture, performance and sound, drawing on local mythology, storytelling and folklore (particularly as it relates to Prophetess Mountain), engaging with the natural elements in Skagastrond and the execution of her artistic endeavours in the prolonged darkness – a time with an almost magical quality in the air when the intuition seems more easily accessible.
Many thanks to the Arts Council of Ireland for funding this artist residency with a travel and training award @artscouncilireland #artsireland @a4sounds @lieselle.mcmahon