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Student Forum Group 2021 | 2022

The Student Forum is a group of students and recent graduates who engage with The Douglas Hyde Gallery and its programming in different ways over a period of twelve months. These engagements include leading tours of our exhibitions, participating in reading and discussion groups, and group trips to exhibitions and events. Through these engagements, Student Forum members bring their own research and artistic practices into reflections on the artworks they see, as well as into an ongoing interrogation of the purpose and possibilities of the gallery space.

Ava Chapman

Ava Chapman is a third year English Literature and History student at Trinity College Dublin. They enjoy taking photos, making comics, drawing, and writing poetry. They are interested in queering narrative structures and challenging the boundaries of form. Their art often explores the experience of being online and its effects on our memory and connections with others. They also focus on how our society constructs and enforces femininity. Their poetry has been published in Icarus, The Shallow Ends, and Peach Mag. More of their art can be found at

Matthew Coll

Matthew Coll is an artist based in Dublin and a final year Fine Art Paint student at NCAD. Working primarily in painting, photography, sculpture and installation. Matthew’s work attempts to convey our experience of memory. Everyday images of passing moments frequently act as the starting point for his work. Creating distorted paintings that try to evoke a sense of passing time. Representing the uncertainty and fragility of memory by removing his control over the painting. Submerging, dragging and pouring paint across their surfaces and occasionally deconstructing their structural components.

Recent exhibitions include Rising 2021 at the Hangtough Gallery and Circuit Arts Festival 2021 in Galway City. He has previously participated in the RHA 2020 Young Art Writers Programme and the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios 2021 Spring School. He also recently edited and organised a Zine showcasing the work of his fellow NCAD Studio+ Micro Studios group, titled Thinking Space, which will feature as part of the 2021 Dublin Art Book Fair.

Rachel Gartlan

Rachel Gartlan is a Dublin based artist and student teacher. She recently graduated from TUD with a first-class honours BA in Fine Art, and is currently in her first year of study of a Professional Masters of Education in NCAD. Over the course of her studies, Rachel has developed a multi-disciplinary practice, but one that consistently has its roots in social engagement and forms of dialogical process. Through this engagement Rachel aims to explore the expression, representation and documentation of particular individuals/groups/communities who are close to the artist in varying ways. These engagements typically concern women and feminist themes, and are physically manifested by traditional women’s craftwork, textile embroidery and text installation. Rachel’s IDI Graduate Award Shortlisted thesis questioned the socioeconomic foundations and implications of the female-led craft industry of Carrickmacross Lace, which is specific to her hometown in Co. Monaghan. Rachel is interested in the collaborative learning that takes place in social engagement to the extent that this interaction is at some level the art, which is something she wishes to bring to both her teaching career and the DHG Student Forum this year.

Bill Harris

Bill Harris is a visual artist, DJ and a writer, who is currently a Sculpture + Visual Culture student in NCAD. His diverse practice borrows elements of performance, video work, craft and sound to focus on modern systems of ecology & social wellbeing and how these impact the world we make, which can in turn make us. Harris’ critical stance looks toward the possibility of other worlds and how these can be nurtured through the construction of new, queer narratives, new media and with collective & individual participation in world-making practices. Most recently, he has participated in group exhibitions, DIY raves / fundraising events and collaborative independent publications.

Rachel Heavey

Rachel Heavey is an artist and PhD student at Trinity College Dublin. She holds a BCL in Law with Philosophy from University College Dublin, and an MMUS in Sonic Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London. Spanning the Department of Film and the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering at TCD, and the School of Arts Education & Movement at Dublin City University; Heavey’s practice-based research exploring the potential of listening in creative, social, and pedagogical exchange is supported by the Irish Research Council. 

Evan Kelly

Evan Kelly is a final year fine art media student in the National College of Art and Design. He is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is primarily situated in the realm of video, photography, writing and publishing. His work looks at environments – urban, natural and social – and charts how the individual or the collective processes these terrains and the changes that take place within them. Within this context he has worked within community engaged art structures in both Rua Red and Rialto Youth Project. His work has been featured in the Temple Bar Art Book Fair and he was shortlisted for the EIB’s Artist Development Programme residency in Luxembourg in 2019.

Day Magee

Day Magee is a performance-based multimedia artist based between Limerick and Dublin. They are a 2021 graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design, having exhibited across Ireland and abroad. Their work concerns the performance of automythological images, enacting a queer and chronically ill subjectivity navigating religious thought.

Hannah Martensson

Hannah Martensson is a final year NCAD student doing her BA in the joint degree course of Sculpture and Expanded Practice and Visual Culture. She predominantly works through the mediums of drawing, painting and printing. At present, she is interested in art as a form of activism and as a catalyst for change. She is interested in creating strong visual imagery exploring and highlighting current issues present in our society. She believes art should be used to question current political and social systems and that art is capable of presenting us with alternative ways of thinking.

Fionn Mcerlean

Fionn McErlean is a final year student at NCAD, Dublin. His art practice includes the application of deep learning, artificial intelligence and the ethics of algorithms.   He has participated in multiple writing groups including the RHA 2020 Young Writers Program and Sophie Robinsons ‘DEVOTION’ 2020 Workshop. In 2020 he attended the prestigious Bauhaus Universitat, Weimar for one semester as an Erasmus exchange student. He has exhibited at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and TheSum (Weimar)

Courtney McKee

Courtney McKee is studying for an M.Phil in Medieval Studies at Trinity College Dublin. She holds a B.A. in Art History and Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. Her multidisciplinary background informs her approach to curation and museum education, drawing on disparate streams of knowledge and cultural practice to impart fuller narratives and reach common ground. Interested in the stewardship of Ireland’s material remains, she is currently conducting research into the sacred art and architecture of Ireland in the pre-Norman period. Aside from her academic pursuits, Courtney is a painter, baker, hiker, and poet. She has recently begun compiling her first collection of poems, which she hopes to publish in the future. After university, Courtney plans on pursuing a career as a curator.

Cáit Murphy

Cáit is a Year-1 Ph.D. student in Film Studies at Trinity College. She holds a B.A. in Film Studies and English Literature from Trinity College. Cáit’s dissertation research focuses on digital media, documentary, authorship, postcolonial cinema, and the avant-garde. She has published papers on Claire Denis and on Netflix’s studio practices. She is also a creative, working with multiple media forms, including photography, fiction, and experimental documentary.

Sofia Rudi Kent

Sofia Rudi Kent is a newly graduated practicing artist and researcher. Sofia holds an B.A. in Fine Art Media from NCAD. Her degree show work was awarded being Shortlisted for the RDS Visual Artist Award 2021 and received a 3 month residency at The Concept Gallery, Howth, Dublin. Her work attempts to live as a piece of institutional critique, looking at political acts of storytelling by using 3D modelling, gaming software and archival research to investigate the paradigms and archaic conventions of the museum space. She looks to the past to uncover the issues behind the current retention of plundered artefacts and their imperial histories. In particular, she explores the ethics of ownership, as the ghosts of colonialism continue to haunt modernity. The union of technology and art motivates her process.

Most recently she has exhibited with Dublin-based film group, aemi, which showcased her degree show work, may the peacock have its call and dance (2021). This same work was also selected to be shown at The IndieCork Film Festival and Waterford Film Festival 2021. She co-curated a solo online exhibition for Emerge Magazine and has displayed collaborative digital video work at the IMMA Pavillion alongside print artist, Ami Jackson.

Helena Scanlan

Helena Scanlan is a final year medical student in Trinity College Dublin. They are a writer and multidisciplinary artist whose work is predominantly realised through drawing and painting. As a Trinity Access Program student, Helena is interested in the socioeconomic boundaries surrounding access to education. Their work explores themes such as poverty, housing, and queer identity, and they have most recently had their work published in Icarus. Helena is fascinated by accessibility in art spaces, and the use of unconventional spaces to engage wider communities in art, in particular within the context of healthcare. They have been involved in DU Biological Association’s annual Medicine Through The Arts exhibition, winning first place in 2018, and acting in an organisational and judging capacity in 2021.

Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson (b. 1997) is an artist living and working in Northern Ireland. A recent graduate of Belfast School of Art, he has previously been included in exhibitions both locally and internationally. In 2019, he was granted a scholarship to attend the New York Academy of Art Summer Residency. He has worked on a number of commissioned projects, both with institutions such as Ulster University and Queens University, and within the local community. Following his graduation, he was appointed Artist in Residence within Fine Art at the Belfast School of Art for the 2020-2021 academic year.