Emma Brennan (She/Her) is an interdisciplinary artist who works predominantly in performative practices to include multi-media installation, moving image and collaborative processes. Originally from Dublin, she is now based In Belfast. She is a former Co-Director and Chairperson of Catalyst Arts and a current studio member of Flax Art Studios Belfast. She has recently been chosen as one of the BBeyond performance collective’s new commissioned artists of 2021 to present a new work to be shown as part of the Cathedral Arts Festival, Belfast. She has performed as one of the invited artists at the Belfast International Festival of Performance Art, March 2021. Alongside these performances she is working towards exhibiting work in the Glór gallery, Ennis, Co. Clare in an upcoming show curated by Moran Been-Noon.
At the core of my practice is the persistent draw of the material of dough. With the unyielding bond between it and I, my relationship with this material is not just physical, it is also emotional, spiritual and political. The incorporation of dough into my work holds both ancestral and sentimental value. In capturing the processes of this material, in all of it’s alchemic, formal and sensory properties, I explore the complexities of the creation of a living, breathing thing.
My work is currently occupied with the cyclical processes of breathing/living and is formed upon the four pillars of; gestation, birth, life and death. My practice is concerned with finding balance within the contradictions of the transient and the fixed. Through process-based methods I explore the space between the two, where magic and ritual, landscape and the body all fold in on one another. My current research concerns feminist readings of a Pagan Ireland and the maternal body, exploring the ritualistic, mythological and traditional practices through the pillars outlined above. By comparing these practices I hope to capture the physicalities of the intangible, visualising the weight of intimacies and palpable tensions between living things.
The global pandemic has threatened all aspects of the ‘live’ within cultural practices. Within this context we must all re-evaluate how we all make and create in relation to shifting distances between the artist and viewer. I am eager to investigate alternative intimacies within this crucial relationship, striving to create work with integrity that honours its community by respecting the time and commitment of all who engage and participate.