Maria McKinney makes context-responsive work in a variety of media about agriculture, genomics and cattle breeding.
Ursula Burke works in a variety of media, including porcelain sculpture, embroidery and drawing. Much of her work deals with issues of representation and identity in contemporary Ireland, and she completed a practice-based PhD exploring these themes at the University of Ulster, Belfast, in 2011.
Her methodology often involves layering art historical references with the social and political. Recently much of her work has dealt with the psychosocial landscape of Northern Ireland following the Peace Process, exploring the unique slippages and schisms through which competing identities in the region are reproduced. She is also interested in abuses of power in many realms of the social and political in the West. Formally, her work appropriates tropes deeply invested in the Classical, and re-inserts them into the contemporary – her aim is to create a conceptual bridge between the Classical ‘ideal’ (in form/society) and post-conflict Northern Irish society. She often takes a Northern Irish context as a critical point of departure from which to generalise an approach to international concerns, like the Black Lives Matter campaign and the perceived success or failure of political enterprise.
Ursula Burke applied for a Golden Fleece Award in order to facilitate the production of new work in porcelain and textile sculpture on a much larger, monumental, scale using more complex and sophisticated production methods. The Award allowed her to invest in the materials, equipment, time and space required to create an ambitious new body of work.