Thinking as Praxis in a Radically Altered World

Date: 10 Jun 2021
Time: 11am - 7pm
Duration: Event: 6hrs / Post event drinks: 2hrs

Team & Cast



Session 1: Niamh McConaghy and Claire Carswell

Niamh McConaghy is a practicing artist and arts and health researcher. Her PhD research explores how a combination of visual and literary methods can impact chronic pain communication and understanding. Investigating the lived experience of pain in NI, she explores how perceived barriers like rapport, behaviour and awareness can disrupt effective communication and understanding. Her practice as an artist has influenced her approach to combining arts-based methods, which focus on abstract poetry and visual mark-making.

Claire Carswell is a Research Associate within the Mental Health and Addiction Research Group, currently working on the Diabetes and Mental Illness Improving Services and Outcomes (DIAMONDS) team. Her research focuses on the relationship between physical and mental health. She is a registered Mental Health Nurse and her PhD research focused on developing an arts-based intervention for patients with end-stage kidney disease whilst receiving haemodialysis and exploring the feasibility of a cluster randomised controlled trial. Claire’s artwork focuses on medical illustration using coloured pencils, with subject-matter centred on disease, injury and surgery. During each illustration she focuses on emphasising colour, texture, light and dark in an attempt to create a finished hyper-realistic visceral image. Her arts practice helped ground her approach to the research she conducted with Renal Arts Group, enabling her to draw on her own experiences whilst implementing an arts-based intervention for patients receiving haemodialysis.

Session 2: Jingshu Tang

Jingshu Tang is currently a PhD researcher at Ulster University. Her PhD is examining how to improve the wellbeing of the elderly through the use of public space design, in the context of urbanisation.

Session 3: Jan Uprichard, Clara Weale and Dr Kate McLean

Jan Uprichard is an artist and freelance curator/producer based in Belfast. She is currently a PhD researcher at Ulster University. As an artist and researcher she engages with the olfactory sense, whilst themes of friendship fuel her curatorial practice. In her PhD research she is developing a method of Deep Smelling. Deep Smelling is a meditative, experiential and process-based art practice, bringing attention to our sense of smell. The term Deep Smelling is derived from renowned composer Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening. By using smell as a strategy of sensory provocation in her work Jan aims to create agency that allows for deviation from geographies both culturally and physically.

OlfactoStroll; A Smell Walk, Jan Uprichard, CCA Derry - Londonderry, 2021. Photo credit: CCA Derry-Londonderry and Paola Bernadelli.

Clara Weale is a Scent Designer and Educator, based in Glasgow. Clara uses scent to make abstract ideas tangible, reveal hidden narratives, and to connect people to one another. She creates artworks, installations and participatory projects utilising this overlooked sense as a point of access to deeper conversation and understanding. Clara is the Director of A Library of Olfactive Material, a resource for scent education, exploration and experimentation in Glasgow City Centre. The Library provides low cost access to the means and materials of scent creation, encouraging new voices and supporting new creative work with scent.

Dr Kate McLean is a lecturer, artist, designer and researcher working at the intersection of human-perceived smellscapes, cartography and the communication of ‘eye-invisible’ sensed data. To achieve this, she leads international public smellwalks and translates the resulting data using digital design, watercolour, animation, scent diffusion and sculpture into smellscape mappings.

Session 4: Emma Campbell and Helena Walsh

Emma Campbell gained her Documentary Photography BA (Hons) at U.W.C.N Newport in 2001, an MFA in Photography at Ulster University in 2012, and continues her practice-based PhD addressing photography as an activist tool, an artist practice and as reflexive academic inquiry in the movement for abortion rights. Inspired by practices employed by the women photography collectives in her historical research, she plays with archive images, documentary, film, group performance, found images, street art and collage. For her forthcoming practice supported by University of Atypical she is using photography and sculpture to create a series of pre-Christian-esque artefacts which reimagine fantastical queer feminist icons.

Emma collaborates frequently with Irish artist Siobhán Clancy and is co-convenor of Alliance for Choice. Emma has exhibited in solo shows in Belfast, Dublin & Berlin and in group shows in London, Liverpool, Donegal, Dublin, Belfast, Stockholm, and Bangkok as well as street art and online. /

An Appropriate Hobby, Belfast City Intervention, 21st October 2019, Photo Credit: © Emma Campbell 2019

Helena’s current research practice is focused on the legacies of feminist activism. In 2016, Helena performed a new site-responsive live artwork that considers the activism of the women imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin following the 1916 Rising in relation to contemporary tensions between nationalism and feminism. This was featured in 'Future Histories' at Kilmainham Gaol in 2016 as part of the Arts Council of Ireland's 2016 programme. This research also includes an exploration of the feminist activism of London-Irish women. Relevant to this, Helena is a founder member of the direct-action feminist performance group Speaking of IMELDA (Ireland Making England the Legal Destination for Abortion). Since its formation in December 2013, this intergenerational collective has undertaken a number of public interventions, which challenge the severe restrictions on access to abortion in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Between 2013 and the successful referendum to repeal the 8th amendment in the Republic of Ireland on 25th May 2018 that enabled the government to legislate access to abortion, Helena Walsh played a key role in sustaining the collective collaborations of Speaking of IMELDA, contributing to the development of the groups public performances, publications and media campaigns.

Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A, at the March for Choice, Dublin 2014. Photo courtesy of Mark Benson (2014)

Session 5: Sarah Tehan and Anna Maguire

Sarah Tehan is a visual artist and researcher based in Belfast. Her PhD examines how photography and its archives have aided in creating a Eurocentric memory and representation of war. It explores historical remembrance, collective memory, culture and race within the presentation of the Second World War.

Anna Maguire is a historian of migration and war at Queen Mary University of London. Her first book (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press) examines colonial encounters during the First World War, exploring the experiences of troops from New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies through cultural artefacts and with an emphasis on race and gender. She is now working on a history of 'sanctuary' in Britain during the second half of the twentieth century, through the work of refugee charities and refugee organisations, to understand 'sanctuary' as a concept and as a process, and its interrelationship with charity, hospitality and solidarity.

Session 6: Jane Morrow and Benedetta D’Ettorre

Jane Morrow is an independent visual art curator, writer and PhD researcher with a specialism in artist development. Jane is interested in infrastructure; working across network and production contexts, and formal and informal learning environments for practitioners. Resourcing, nurturing and profiling others’ practices has been a longstanding facet of her work. Jane’s PhD research focuses on the precarity of artists’ studios and workspaces in Belfast; labour and practice, collaborative and cooperative models, and permanence and peripateticism.

Benedetta D’Ettorre is a PhD researcher, and a freelance curator/organiser, currently supporting individual artists' development, communication strategy and bid writing. Her collaborative PhD, between the University of Leeds and East Street Arts, engages with the themes and aims of Guild, a four year project (2018–2022) led by East Street Arts and conducted with significant national and international partners, funded through Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.

Guild is focused on developing sustainable artists’ spaces, and examining their value and impact on the national cultural landscape. Guild will support the growth of innovative operating models for artists and art spaces by providing learning programmes that are embedded within localities. Benedetta’s research looks at how organisational structures can support the sustainability and development of artists’ groups.

Found image, The NewBridge Project studios, Newcastle, June 2019

Session 7: Alessia Cargnelli and Giulia Damiani

Alessia Cargnelli is a visual artist, programmer and researcher based in Belfast. Former co-director of artist-led gallery Catalyst Arts, Alessia is currently 2020-21 Research Associate at the Centre for Contemporary Art of Derry~Londonderry and PhD researcher at the Belfast School of Art, where she is developing a combined theory and practice-based project on feminist-led and women-led artist initiatives within the Island of Ireland. Along with artist Emily McFarland, she is co-founder of Soft Fiction Projects (2018-ongoing), an artist-run initiative dedicated to producing digital and printed matter on artist moving image culture. She is also a member of Array Collective, who create collaborative actions in response to the socio-political issues affecting Northern Ireland.

Destruction of Pleasure is a radical weapon, performative lecture and workshop with Soft Fiction Projects, as part of Printing Plant, Looiersgracht 60 Art Gallery, Amsterdam, November 2018. Photo credits ©IrisDuvekot.

Giulia Damiani is a writer, curator and dramaturge working in London and Amsterdam. In Amsterdam she is the fellow of the current edition on Ritual and Display at If I Can't Dance, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution (2019-2020). She is completing a PhD in the Art department at Goldsmiths University, London (2020, AHRC scholarship) and has been teaching on the MA Curating at Goldsmiths as well as guest lecturing and tutoring at Sandberg Instituut, Dutch Art Institute and SNDO in Amsterdam. She has been thinking with the archive of the feminist group Le Nemesiache from Naples and has been writing new performances inspired by the group’s ritual investment in their natural, supernatural and urban landscape. Her collaborations with artists bring together practices of myth-making, magic, landscape and the language of evocation and invocation.

If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want Be Part of Your Revolution introduction programme 2019-2020 at Not Yet SheBang, Amsterdam, October 2019. Photo by Marcel de Buck