Student Forum Group 2022 | 2023
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.
Alice Hesnan is a second year English Literature and Philosophy student at Trinity College Dublin. Drawing on her studies in computer science and experience with digital art, animation, and game development, she is interested in thinking and writing about the ways in which technologies have been used as mediums for art. With questions of identity, geopolitics, morality, and communication at the heart of her work, she hopes to explore the influence of such areas on contemporary art and artists. Besides writing, they enjoy illustrating, painting, and digital forms of creating.
Caitlin Leach is a first-year undergraduate student at Trinity College Dublin studying the History of Art and Architecture with Ancient History and Archaeology. Her interest in art history has helped her develop a fascination with not only galleries and the work within them, but the art of curation as well. While Caitlin is not currently a practising artist, she has interests in both writing and theatre. Through the student forum, she hopes to engage more of her peers with the Douglas Hyde, and emphasize the power that open art spaces hold. She believes in art as a vessel for conversations not only between the artist, their work, and the viewers but also for discussions about the politics of their subject matter and their relevance in contemporary society.
Chloe Maguire is a researcher and emerging curator based in Dublin. She holds a BA in Arts Management at IADT, and is graduating from the MA Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD in 2023. She is interested in publishing, such as artist books and zines, and aims to develop arts in education programmes for children. Apart from realising research around Irish contemporary lens-based practice for PhotoIreland, her main research project titled, mothering spaces, aims to contextualise perspectives of motherhood in contemporary art practices through exhibition making, archiving, facilitating workshops and collaborative projects. Specifically by exploring the multiplicity of maternal works extended by various themes, including, early representations of maternity, realistic representation of the pregnant form, and the issue of feminine identity that may arise with not being able to, or wanting to be a mother.
Daranijoh Sanni is a Nigerian-Irish sound & visual artist from Coolock, North Dublin. His work explores multicultural themes within the contemporary Irish social and political landscapes. Currently working on his BLACKBOYSBLUSH* project, he is documenting and platforming the work of first and second generation migrants in Irish art spaces.
Deb Nuga is a writer that explores themes of autonomy and agency through poetry and prose. She recently graduated from Newcastle University with a LLM in Law and Society. Her master’s dissertation explored these themes specifically in the area of bodily autonomy and in relation to obstetric violence and reproductive justice. Moving forward she hopes to expand her creative medium and wants to use other art forms to create imagery that focuses on these themes.
Ellen-Rose Wallace is a visual artist based in Roscommon. Her practice incorporates lens-based media, sound installation and sculpture to reflect on ideas of legacy, history and narrative.
She is a recent graduate of the Limerick School of Art and Design where she achieved a first-class honours degree in Sculpture and Combined Media. Upon graduating, she was awarded the Ormond Studios Graduate Residency Award, which culminated in her first solo show ‘Ascend | Recede’. She was shortlisted for the RDS Visual Art Awards 2021 for her work Vessel, Tempus, Shore, and was a runner-up for the Screaming Pope Prize at K-Fest 2021. She has recently won the top prize for her work in the show you breathe differently down here 2022 at Draíocht Gallery.
Recent group exhibitions include After our own at Sailors Home Limerick, and Generation at Birr Vintage Week. Most recently, Ellen-Rose was a recipient of the Arts Council Agility Award 2022, which she is using to develop a body of work through the medium of dry stone walling to investigate human interpretations of geological time.
Emily Miller is a multidisciplinary Irish artist and researcher who recently graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin with First Class Honours in Fine Art Paint. Growing up on a sheep farm in County Laois inspired her deep respect for the natural world. An environmental advocate above all else, she researches and examines climate injustices, inequalities in the Art World and the relationship between Irish history and mythology. Much of her research, motivation and imagery comes directly from the natural world which in turn, makes her feel very protective of it. It is through delineating the beauty within the overlooked, perceived worthless detritus that she highlights the beauty of all living things, having spent the past 3 years refining this into her own visual language. Emily is currently completing a body of work she calls “Altar Piece” in which she is collecting, treating and stretching the found remains of animals. She recently undertook a residency at Laois Arthouse, Stradbally and exhibited her work at the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Earth Rising Festival in October.
Julie Landers is a writer and musician based in Cork. She is currently doing her MFA in Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD. In 2021 she graduated from UCC with a first-class honours in French and Art History. Her research concerns the queer potentialities of the glitch, identity and the internet. In 2022 she was an inaugural participant in the Bloomers Art Writing Programme. Her artistic practice spans across music, mixed media and writing, focusing on ideas of empathy and vulnerability and what these ideas mean in conceptions of community. She has written for various publications and sites including District, Not4U and Motley. She is a vocalist and drummer for the noise band I Dreamed I Dream.
Katie Cotter is a multidisciplinary artist who recently graduated from NCAD with a BA in Fine Art Media and Visual Culture. Katie’s practice began at age 15 with a 7-year floristry career. Through this and her studies, she developed an interest in spacial works and installation and incorporating interactivity in her work. She has exhibited in several group shows and at the Digital Skin open studio at IMMA in response to their 2019 Desire exhibition, and took part in the 2020 RHA Young Writers Program. Up to now, mediums she has worked with include computer technologies, experimental animation and moving image, textiles, and photography. Katie’s final year and degree show work were concerned with exploring nostalgia and the concept of emotional attachments to technology and the digital, through tactile and digital means.
Louise Norris is a second-year History and Political Science student at Trinity College Dublin. She enjoys writing, ink drawing, and painting. Currently, she is interested in the experience of art as transient and transferrable. She looks towards the possibilities of further interrelation between art and viewer, nurtured by explorations of queerness and the enforcement of femininity.
Ly Hagan is a writer, DJ, artist, and ex-Philosophy student. They are particularly interested in media theory, exploring how the art we consume reflects/informs our personal, social, and cultural values. Growing up between East and West and being non-binary has altered their own understanding of societal conventions, and their work seeks to understand and deconstruct these self-imposed ideas. They write mainly about music, cinema, and the Internet, examining specific media and phenomena to demonstrate how they can fit into a wider cultural sphere. As a DJ, they pull together vast global influences to create hybrid sets that are ethereal and glitchy. Their DDR show d150rd3r focuses on the complexities of being an online entity, exploring themes like gender dysphoria, nostalgia, and suicide in the context of a digital world. They co-run parties with BPM (B*tches Play Music,) a club night centered around manufacturing countercultural cultural production and creating clubbing spaces that are uplifting yet rooted in social awareness. In general, their work deals with the effect music and art have on our embodiment and our relations to others– questioning whether art is ever truly intrinsic.
Margareta Ruysschaert is a Photography and Digital Imaging student at the National College of Art and Design. She holds a BA in Political Science and Geography from Trinity College Dublin and spent three years on the committee of Trinity’s photography association. In her final year, she was in charge of curating the society’s exhibitions and also served as the secretary of Trinity Arts Festival.
Using photography as her primary medium, she aims to touch on social and political issues and explore feminist themes. Most recently, she completed a documentary project on a female-led quad skate group and examined their interaction with the urban environment.
Maria McSweeney is a recent graduate from Limerick School of Art and Design, specializing in Sculpture and Combined Media. She is both a conceptual artist and documentary photographer. Maria works with a range of media including drawing, dance, animation, video, photography, and experimental film. She has exhibited extensively in Ireland, England, Spain, Germany and Indonesia.
Her work is often conceptually based and focuses on concepts of place, such as psychogeography, the derive, rhythm analysis, and the flaneur. She is interested in exploring different places and identifying diverse patterns in the landscape and the behaviour of the people who interact with these landscapes. She likes to wander and explore the city or landscape and find, react to, and capture moments of everyday life.
She is a co-founder of the collective Women from the Inside that explores and documents Limericks women. Upcoming projects include a two-month exhibition residency with Leitrim Sculpture Centre, a super 8 film residency with the Darkroom Dublin, the Aran Islands underwater photography project, and a non-profit publication exploring the lives of the people that live in rural Bali and Lombok, islands in Indonesia.
Patricia Hennessy’s painting practice draws on performance in its subject matter and approach which connects to immersive theatre practices. Painting for her is a form of reconstitution, an attempt to restore the division from self, other and the world. The work morphs between two and three dimensions across a variety of surfaces to allow a fluidity of spatial and temporal boundaries in the process of seeing and interpreting. Wall hung works on traditional surfaces such as canvas, cloth, wood share the space with three dimensional prop like pieces made from materials such as foam, plastic, metal, cement and found objects. The eclecticism and fragmentation in the work reflects the contemporary experience of a dizzying array of possibilities, to draw attention towards the process of creating and constructing reality and to stimulate the identification process for the viewer to imagine what reality might be.
Rachel Enright Murphy
Rachel Enright Murphy is a multidisciplinary artist from Dublin and a 2022 graduate of NCAD Fine Art Media. Her current work seeks to explore sound and musical timing as a state of spacial and temporal anticipation through research into animal echolocation, audio looping and live performance. She is an active participant in the Dublin Art and Technology Association and was invited to give a lecture on her practice as part of their DATA NOW series in October 2022. Her degree work V Shape, M Shape was longlisted for the RDS visual art awards 2022. Other exhibitions and performances include Caesura (2022) in Unit 44, I Love The Things I Kill The Most (2021) in Dzialdov gallery in Berlin and Digital Skin (2019) at the IMMA stables.
Tobias Vanmechelen is a Kerry-based farmer and recent graduate of Trinity College Dublin, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Classical Civilisations in 2022. His academic interests include topics such as the cultural critique of ancient literature, the contextualisation of historical writings, Greek mythological studies, the genre of epic poetry, as well as research into the history of Western philosophy, ethics, and political philosophy. At a more narrow level of focus, Tobias is primarily interested in the practical value of philosophical thought – that is, with the influence, such thought has as applied to lived experience – drawing inspiration from the Socratic tradition of questioning why certain aspects of life matter to human beings and how the pursuit of these values may impact the way in which we choose to live.
Vivien Sweet is a second year English Studies student at Trinity College and a Dublin and New York City based photographer. She is also the station manager of Trinity FM; previously, she was a writer for the Brooklyn Reader and a photography teacher at Project Exodus. Her work explores the intersection of wilderness and urbanity, the subsequent displacement of local peoples and cultures, and how storytelling gives impetus to sustain neighborhoods. She most recently had her work published in Icarus. She is currently working on a project called Top Floor Music, which transforms ordinary spaces on campus into intimate concert venues to showcase up-and-coming Dublin musicians.