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Professional Development Residency 2024

Sorcha has no urge to add anything more to the world, only to take from what is left and make new shapes with it. Her practice explores transgressive possibilities of painting, specifically looking to dismantle how painting is framed, structured, and positioned in any given space. These possibilities are guided by a sense of material resourcefulness, gestural inventiveness, and moments of improvisation, often taking place in the context of the artist’s studio. Highly led by contingency and site-situation, Sorcha’s work frequently responds to found objects, architectural, infrastructural nuance, and certain conditions of light. Within her practice, she seeks to bridge the gap between playful whimsy and methodical seriousness. Using both traditional and unconventional means of making, her research is in perpetual pursuit of how painting as a form can enter networks outside of itself. How it can move, change, transform its material potential, and infiltrate alternative systems of thought.

Sorcha McNamara is a visual artist living and working in Mayo, Ireland. She holds a BA in Fine Art - Painting from Limerick School of Art and Design (2019) and is currently completing her MA in Art + Research Collaboration at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (2024). Her works have been exhibited in Ireland and internationally, in Tokyo, Lisbon and London. Recent solo exhibitions include 'Fathomless Arms' at Ballina Arts Centre, Mayo (2023), '(dis)attachments' at the Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo (2022) and Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin (2022). She is the recipient of a Mayo Artist Bursary Award (2023, 2022) and has received an Arts Council of Ireland Agility Award (2023, 2022, 2021) in support of her practice. She has previously been selected for residencies at Totaldobze Art Centre, Riga (supported by Ormston House, Limerick and the Artist-Run Network Europe project, 2022); Joya AiR, Almeria (2022); Tangent Projects, Barcelona (2021); and PADA Studios, Lisbon (2020). Collections include The Office of Public Works (OPW) and The Hunt Museum, Limerick, as well as private collections in Europe and the UK.

Image captions:

Semblance, 2023, masking tape, voile, cotton, sunlight. Dimensions variable. Site-specific installation, Brackloon Handball Alley, Mayo.

installation view - solo exhibition at Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, 2022. Photo credit: Louis Haugh

Current Residencies


Landscape, Ecology & Environment Research Residencies