Final year project
Dance Without the Dancer [Read more]
The Light Jig
115 x 95cm. Acrylic on Canvas.
This is a map of The Light Jig - an Irish set solo dance. The painting recounts the places my legs move when dancing this dance. The blocked shapes convey the space I take up when dancing, immortalising this within time. This is how I feel a dancer views their movements before and during a dance, they view it all within one moment.
Reel Around the Sun Formation 1
105 x 95cm. Acrylic on Canvas.
This a group dance that I choreographed to a piece of Irish music. Irish group and show dances often revolve around Celtic patterns and so formations are integral. I have also mapped out the movement of the legs over the top to portray how the dancers move to get in these positions. The perfected blocked shapes portray an idealistic way of immortalising the space and time taken up in this part of the dance. I have chosen greyscale as colour is meaningless here.
Reel Around the Sun 1 to 8
30 x 22cm. Acrylic plastic, wood and marker.
This is a lightbox that presents all of the eight formations of the group dance Reel Around the Sun. I have presented this in a lightbox so that the viewer can see all of the formations of the dance in one go. This overwhelming amount of information is a representation of what a dancer has to retain when they are about to perform. The dot and arrow technique evokes the imagery of each individual dancer, something that every dancer involved has to be aware of.
Dance Above the Rainbow
115 x 95cm. Acrylic on canvas.
This image reads from left to right and portrays all of the formations in this dance, this links to my concept of translation between mind and body: reading, learning, retaining and translating that into action.
The Light Jig 3D
Welded steel. 70 x 50cm.
This is a map of an Irish set solo dance, it works with the painting "The Light Jig". I made this from metal as I wanted it to be three dimensional, this means that the viewer can walk around it like you can when a dancer dances. This evokes an insight into a dancer's mind in the way we can see their plan when stepping on stage, three-dimensionally.
Five Six Point Seven and Eight
80 x 80cm. Acrylic on canvas.
This is a performance painting in which I put paint on the bottoms of my feet. It symbolises the seconds before an Irish dancer starts the dance, hence the title of the work.
The Hop Jig
70 x 55cm. Acrylic on Canvas.
This is a birds-eye view of a solo set dance called the Hop Jig. Referring to the idea of The Grid to keep order (often used in technology-based art) this links to the idea of a dancer trying to meet a potential - an ideal destination. The Grid evokes a systematic approach to a dancer's performance, and this relinquishes the emotional element often captured in historic art.
Reel Around the Sun
115 x 95cm. Acrylic on canvas.
This image reads from left to right and portrays all of the formations in this dance. This links to my concept of translation between mind and body: reading, learning, retaining and translating that into action.
My practice is based around Irish dancing viewed through the mind of the dancer, using Conceptual Art, it hones in on the themes of mapping, tracing and translation between the mind and body.
I am currently basing my practice on my favourite hobby: Irish Dancing. I noticed that historically dance is usually only observed by artists in the figurative sense, I wanted to take my work in a different direction. I chose to view dance performance from a dancer's perspective as oppose to the audience's, this therefore involves the translation between mind and body. I utilise Sol Lewitt's definition of 'Conceptual Art' to present this dualism, I do this by mapping the movement of the dancer in an attempt to represent the way a dancer thinks when entering into a performance. I also use performance art to create a more direct trace of the movement to map a dancer's steps. My work is portrayed through paintings, sculptures and lightboxes. I see my outcomes as vehicles to represent my concept. This work situates itself innovatively within the contemporary art scene.
I have Irish danced all of my life competing worldwide, I have also won the World Championships previously, meaning I have extensive knowledge in this area. At University I have started teaching Irish Dance with the Irish Dance Society, this works in hand-in-hand with my practice as I am constantly choreographing new dances and creating new means to help others understand my thought-process also.
Final year project
Dance Without the Dancer
I have recently received a commission by Loughborough University Arts to create a Vlog documenting my run-up to the Degree Show. With this, the finished video will be published in The Limit (LU Arts magazine) and on their Youtube.
Throughout my time at the University, I have Chaired the Irish Dance Society and have won many awards from Most Improved Society to Best Performance and Arts Society. As a solo dancer, I have also won many first-place awards at the inter-university Irish Dance competition as well as being featured on Irish television for St Patrick's Day. All of my dance experience at the University integrates well with my practice as it creates constant documentation to work from.