April 2016 Resident
“My time in Dublin on the international residency exchange programme was devoted to gathering research on the housing crisis and carrying out experiments based on my findings, in continuation of my project Darkhouses.
Darkhouses explores patterns in housing and construction, particularly the overlaps, mishaps and quirks, with a view to gaining an understanding and developing a reflection of this issue on a global scale. Dublin was therefore a key area of focus following the recession and the end of the Celtic Tiger, particularly after I had heard about the suburb of Adamstown and the section of the development which was left unfinished. It was somewhere I visited several times during the residency.
The process consisted of taking a lot of photographs of Adamstown and other areas all across the Dublin area with the valuable guidance of the residents at MART and other people I met along the way. I also created a few improvised sculptural responses using found building materials and other discarded debris. I took the materials that I found but didn’t use back with me to Norwich for future stages of the project.
My time in Dublin has proved to be a crucial part of the project’s development. I am currently working in places across Asia where the process continues.”
Visit : helenmacmahon.com
Helen Mac Mahon is an Irish artist currently based in Dublin and exhibited in Ireland, Europe, the US and Asia. Her work takes the form of installations, sculpture and photography that explore light and perception.
“My practice is concerned primarily with the phenomena of light, movement, perception and space. The work strives to observe and reveal the ecosystem that exists between the viewer and these intangible elements that exist in a perpetual state of transformation. Changes occurring in each facet has a perceptible impact on others, revealing previously overlooked properties and characteristics.
My investigation of these elements is experimental in nature, and this exploratory process is as important as the finished piece, the unpredictability of the techniques often being key to discovery. I use commonplace materials, such as light, glass, and lenses that have the potential to act in surprising ways, distorting and obscuring the very things it is their function to reveal. Each component acts as a catalyst, bringing to light unseen potential in the simplest of materials. Maintaining the integrity of the materials is also important, so the viewer is allowed to experience the everyday objects in new and often unexpected ways.”