Artists exploring life from primitive times to social media

The Kilkenny County Council Arts Office is once again a hub of activity as three new resident artists are all now in situ.

The Kilkenny County Council Arts Office is once again a hub of activity as three new resident artists are all now in situ.

So once again on a daily basis the open studio spaces at 76 John Street, Kilkenny are once more being transformed.

Tipperary-based artist Aoife Barrett’s practice is inspired by archaeologists, investigators and by, on this occasion, exploring the simplicity of life in a more primitive age.

For the duration of this residency, Aoife is researching and investigating the concept and ethos of those who went into unexplored territory in search of a new life.

She is keen to explore new ways of working within her own practice in order to take full advantage of the expansive space available to her at 76 John Street, further pursuing installation work and creating larger more ambitious pieces.

Aoife is also a member of Cork Printmakers and will also be utilising Kilkenny’s Blackstack Fine Art Print Studios during her time in Kilkenny. She intends to broaden her printmaking practice and to experiment more with ways of printing pieces that break away from the limits of the flat page.

So far Aoife has, amongst many other things, created a camp area surrounded by fragments of text and images that hint at their possible meanings.

London-based artist Jane Ward is currently working with digital print. Her work is constructed from digital photographs that are repeatedly broken down and collaged, thus creating images of imaginary, fragmentary and transient land and cityscapes.

Once the work has been printed, Jane dissolves the ink and manipulates the images by hand, leaving traces of earlier forms and injecting the works with a sense of memory and the passage of time. These cityscapes, villages, rural and industrial settings are both familiar and disturbing as they allude to the cycles of destruction and regeneration witnessed in our everyday surroundings.

Jane will spend part of her time here walking in and exploring Kilkenny and the surrounding area photographing as she goes. This way of collecting visual information is a vital part of her practise and these photos will gradually be incorporated into the new images that she makes.

Jane will also begin to move away from printing her work onto canvas and continue to experiment with works on paper.

Joanna Hopkins is a Limerick- and Mayo-based artist. Throughout her six-week residency here she is exploring how an online society works and interacts with each other. Working in the medium of video, photography and object making, she aims to explore the question: Are these various new technologies increasing our self-awareness and perception therefore making us more paranoid, or increasing our quality of living?

As part of this research Joanna will host a film screening night at the Arts Office in early July. This film screening night will explore the notion of self-perception, and how different factors may have altered and intensified how we view ourselves when we interact both online and in real life. This screening will be free and open to the public, and will include an open discussion on the films after the screening.

The residencies are open to the public, with Jane and Joanna in the space Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm and Aoife there Wednesday to Friday (the Arts Office is closed for lunch from 1-2pm). All three artists will work in the space until July 20.

Their progress is also documented on the residency blog at

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