Zoë Uí Fhaoláin Green has been awarded this year's Visual Arts Residency at Siamsa Tíre
Zoë Uí Fhaoláin Green has been awarded this year's Visual Arts Residency at Siamsa Tíre. This residency aims to reflect creatively on the impact of Climate Change on Siamsa Tíre's local community and to use cultural practice as a way to communicate an imagined future with a local and international audience. Zoë will take up her residency on the 1st of July and the residency will culminate in a public event for Culture Night on the 20th of September.
Born in Hull, Yorkshire, Zoë Uí Fhaoláin Green studied at Wyke College (Hull), the University of Wales in Aberystwyth and most recently at the Crawford School of Art in Cork. For the past 12 years, she has been living and working in West Kerry.
Zoë’s practice covers a wide range of artforms, particularly dance and visual arts. She has made artworks, films and performances with groups of children and people with special needs. She is a skilled and experienced visual artist, dancer and facilitator, and works in a range of media including drawing and film.
Most recently, Zoë performed in Cláirseach ina dTost (The Harp Silenced) devised and performed by Giorria theatre collective at the Mick Lally Theatre in Galway in May of this year. As part of Féile na Bealtaine 2019, Zoë took part in Tógra 8 Project 8 where eight artists created micro residencies throughout Dingle. In 2017 and 2018, Zoë produced A Walk In My Shoes, a project with the Dingle Camphill Community with an award from Create’s Artist in the Community Scheme.
Zoë is passionate about nature and biodiversity and tries to live sustainably. Her work increasingly focuses on environmental issues and she believes that we can learn deeply through engagement in creative activities. In responding to the brief of the residency which focuses on the challenge that climate change represents to coastal communities, Zoe plans to engage with the local community in Tralee and around Siamsa Tíre. She hopes to nurture a cultural shift in understanding and initiate a call to action in an enjoyable and inclusive manner.
Commenting on her appointment, Zoë has stated: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Artist-In-Residence at Siamsa Tíre this summer. The residency is a wonderful opportunity which I'm very grateful for and excited about. I'm particularly looking forward to engaging creatively with the people of Tralee and Kerry. I hope we will learn from each other in order to deepen our understanding of what the future may hold for us and how we may rise to the challenges that climate change will bring to our coastal communities.” Zoe continued, “Making particular reference to the predicted rising sea levels, and through map-making, I intend to ask the question, ‘What is home?’. By engaging with nature through art, I will respond artistically to the hopes and fears that arise.”
Visual Arts Curator, Catríona Fallon noted: “Artists have the capacity to communicate difficult issues to their audiences. We are delighted to be working with Zoe to engage with local communities creatively on how we confront and adapt to climate change.”
As part of the residency, Siamsa Tíre will work with Zoë to calculate the carbon footprint of any associated travel. Every effort will be made to minimise the residency’s carbon footprint and there will be regular updates on social media as the residency progresses. There will be a number of public events associated with this residency, including community engagement initiatives. Fuller details will be posted here over the coming weeks. The residency commences on the 1st of July.
Context And Brief For The Residency
Over the last number of years, Siamsa Tíre has been working to reduce its environmental impact, in particular, its carbon footprint.
The organisation is located in Tralee, Kerry’s County Town, within a very short distance of the sea. Climate Change will have a potentially very significant impact on towns like Tralee if sea levels rise as much as is predicted, and on organisations like Siamsa Tíre which is situated in an area at risk from future flooding.
As a cultural institution, and as part of our Greening Siamsa initiative, we want to support artists who creatively address the culture shift which will be necessary in order to adequately confront Climate Change.
Zoë Uí Fhaoláin Green – Artist’s Statement
I moved to West Kerry over 12 years ago and have been making a variety of art works in the local area, as well as nationally and internationally.
I am very lucky to be able to spend my time as an artist which means I can use my unique way of seeing the world – in all its fascinating detail and patterns, to its huge and wide ranging concepts – to birth ideas, manage projects and deliver original artwork, often with the involvement of the community. I have made artworks, films and performances with groups of children and people with special needs. I am a skilled and experienced visual artist, dancer and facilitator, and I work in a range of media including drawing and film.
I’m passionate about sharing creative experiences and believe that artistic freedom is essential to a full life, particularly for children as they grow. This goes hand-in-hand with my love of nature and belief that we all need time in wild places. Children must be encouraged to love and respect nature if they are to protect it as adults. I also aim to encourage empathy through my work, which often responds to the ideas of identity and belonging. My work increasingly brings together these things and is becoming more focussed on environmental issues, in so doing I hope it enriches others' lives – through experiencing my exhibitions and performances, and through spending time in my workshops or working with me on an installation or dance performance. I think my artwork should ask difficult questions, inspire change, and avoid alienating people.
Current work in development: Men and Flowers – interviews with and paintings of men with their favourite wild flower (inspired by Mucha's flower panel series), celebrating wild flowers and hedgerows, playing with and rejecting the stereotype of flowers being 'girly'.
The Tree Project - brings together art, nature and community. Its aim is to create a deeper sense of belonging and well-being through creative connection to nature for those who participate, those who witness the art works created, and those who encounter and enjoy the legacy of the project (the planting of trees) in the future.
Flower (art) Cart – to promote bee/ pollinator awareness, selling real planted flowers and origami insects for bee charity at farmers market.
Scissorbeak – bird sculptures made from bones and found metal objects. I have recently started working as an ensemble of four local artists of different disciplines, creating