Shortlist 2021

Aideen Barry

Aideen Barry

Aideen Barry lives and works in Tipperary. She has a BA in Fine and a National Diploma in Art & Design from GMIT and completed an MA in Visual Art Practices at IADT in 2007. Her work in video, performance, sculpture, installation, drawing and text attempts to deal with anxiety and the persistent feeling of monachopsis – being out of place in the world.

She employs visual trickery and fiction in her work to generate a sense of cognitive dissonance, though which the viewer is simultaneously attracted and repelled, horrified and humoured. Slapstick is used to activate subject matter that borders on difficult and dark themes: mental illness, depression, perceived gender roles, maternal dislocation, and abuse. There are moments of I can’t go on, I’ll go on with the presence of the ‘self’ in front of and behind the lens, with this Beckett-ian approach causing the audience to experience both discomfort and hilarity. Semiotics of the Gothic and the monstrous are employed to act as a McGuffin (after Hitchcock). These comments are a tool in expressing human behaviour in the strange area of the in-between, in an odd time of uncertainty and universal unease.

Aideen Barry applied for a Golden Fleece Award to facilitate the expansion of a recent body of work, 'The Monachopsis Drawings'. Initiated as a response to COVID-19 and informed by artists and writers whose work was inspired by other seismic pandemics, it began as an “a drawing a day” project shared on her social media feeds. She would now like to evolve these drawings into moving image works using customised viewing apparatus, and an Award would allow her to invest in the time needed to develop and realise this project.