STATEMENT



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Is ealaíontóir radharcacha mé.
I am a visual artist.


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My work is tuned to the fundamental and cohesive nature of social capital.


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Bíonn mé ag obair go crua ar mo chuid oibre.
Tá mé ag obair le daoine agus áiteanna, an t-am ar fad.
Seo é mo shaol.
Is é an saol crua agus tá mé tuirsearch.
Tá mé an-tuirseach.
Tá mé lán tuirseach.
Tá tuirse orm.
Tá tuirse an domhain orm anois.
Agus tá mé ag bogadh go mall.
Tá náire orm.
Tá náire an domhain orm anois.


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Social capital is a non-economic wealth that is generated by people and their social interactions. This social wealth may be found when people unite against a common enemy, when farmers share machinery or when fans follow sporting teams or bands. Social capital is primarily a sociological term and it is central to my art making practice. I investigate different social capitals- how they form, how they change and how they interact with each other. They create very cohesive networks and generate collective activities, values and specific physical structures. How individuals place themselves in these (big/small), (underground/established), (endemic/illegal) social groups and generate social capital with their activities, is a place that we should focus our attention on these days.

For many age groups today traditional and new social capitals are in rapid flux and have profound effects on suicide levels, crime, altruism, demonstration and exhibition (this connection between suicide levels and social capital levels was described by Emile Durkheim). Examples might be found when a rapid move away from a religion takes place, when the price of coal changes suddenly or when boy racers meet to show off their modified cars. In these social happenings social capital is generated, exchanged, changed, destroyed and recharged.

To this end, I investigate environments, sites, contexts and communities empirically; placing myself within them and carrying out live activities aimed at generating first hand knowledge on a given focus. I call this methodology performative research and in the past these activities have taken the form of mining for iron and coal, modifying cars in public, giving tours, and playing GAA. Central to my investigations into social capitals is the examination of the physical materials that they generate. In doing so I use objects and constructions to physicalise research, materialise the social and move towards exhibitions of my work. I work around specific sites while on residency, both in the field and in studio. Recently these sites have included the bog of Allen, Ireland, the roads of North Missouri, USA and the scrap metal yards of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


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