AAEX Zoom Making

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Can we use zoom as a shared space for making, together apart? The Zoom screen presents us with a grid. The grid is present in many art movements, both as a tool to observe, categorize and compose images. Now zoom is another platform, another stage on which to perform.

Susan Farrelly: Proposal to AAEX – Zoom as Creative Platform

Following a proposal by AAEX member Susan Farrelly, we have decided to re-purpose Zoom for collaborative creative practice and develop a set of Zoom sessions that allow us to work together (or at least alongside each other) for a set time and record this in Gallery view, producing grid view recordings as collaborative artworks in their own right.

The first such session took place on Wednesday, 18th October 2020. 16 AAEX artists took part in the session, in which cameras were turned away from the participants onto a work or performance space of their choice. Instead of participant’s names, snippets of poems and other text were displayed.

List of participants and short statements about their contributions (left to right in the grid view):

Bernhard GaulAAEX spelled in flag alphabet
Jenny SlaterMy piece was a tableau of objects that I found during lockdown, on walks around my local area and in my garden. It was also about the opportunity the lockdown gave me to re-find or reconnect with a deeper sense of self through working with nature.
Ciara AgnewI am working on wood and a stretched linen canvas, I’m working with oil paints, charcoal, pencils and palette knives. I have no predetermined idea what the finished piece should look like, I’m playing with materials and colours.
Catherine McCourtI was thinking about how this lockdown is all about the promise of Christmas spent with loved ones. For my zoom video I started to make Christmas tree decorations to gift to my family which I hope to give to them in person after these restrictions are lifted.
Jean MarshallMala Meditation Necklace – 
“For every knot I make, I untie a knot within myself!”
Geraldine MartinI painted words in black on an old yellow brick – A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing , because of Lockdown. This brick was at the farm. The lines were from Ecclesiastes. I was really experimenting with what I could do with old bricks.
Aileen DurkanI used a symbol of the labyrinth as a means of self-exploration and reflection, a way to find stillness in the storm. 
Michael StaffordOut of necessity, my work was made in my house and not in my studio where there is no Internet coverage, so I decided to use my laptop to be creative on. With no preconceived ideas on what to do, I scrolled through my folder called collected images and found a photo of a magpie. I use the bird as a symbol often in my work, superstition, fear hope, I leave it to the viewer. So in Illustrator I quickly made the paths and layers to make an illustration of the magpie. I then set about making a back ground then followed it by more spontaneous images to build a small narrative maybe slightly ambiguous and open to interpretation. It looks fresh because I felt unrestricted by the fact that it wasn’t preconceived……
Sinead McCourtMedium :wet felt ,beads and threads 
This is a wet felted piece taken from a painting I did of a bouquet of flowers from a friends funeral I was compelled to capture, as there was so much joy in the flower’s colours at  time of such sadness. It’s something I keep coming back to and have been working on it for 2 years on and off I reminds me of my friend and brings me joy simultaneously 
Heather CassidyA hanging form depicting how we are contained, closed in, restricted and how nature is our cocoon. 
Bamboo. Mixed Media
Susan FarrellyI chose to work on a surface that was a collaborative artwork created (with Bernhard) in 2016 that contains the marks made by many contributors. On it I placed two handsewn soft sculptures used in Craobh Rua (Muirhevnamore), the fabric was co-created at the opening night of ‘Installations’ and digitally printed. In my practice I am interested in the layers of memories that can be created by making. Some materials disrupt. Mirrors reflect and gel filters alter the screen colour, analogue (painterly) interventions on the digital canvas of Zoom. The blue gel (successfully at 16mins in) reflected portions of the computer screen where everyone else’s making was visible. I’ve tried to create a multi-perspective, entangled portrait of places and makers, past and present. Built by the hands of AAEX. 
James McLoughlinMy piece was titled ‘life through the bell jar’ and was about how we live now in our confines and our projected/online lives are where we interact and live another life.  It was also about getting a second life out of a piece of work and bringing it to life with light and shadow play. 
Una CurleyI worked on a ‘Perfectly disordered contemporary sampler showing the alphabet for artists’ 
Caoimhe O’DwyerShadow and Light part II – Watercolour
The impermanence of the Japanese Maple through the window and how it casts and retracts shadows always fascinates me. As autumn turns to winter the Maple is at its brightest and most vibrant with the leaves seeming to hang by the barest threads until eventually an overnight wind yields bare branches one morning. To paint this I set a light above the table which allowed me to look obliquely and indirectly at the shadows and to line out their shapes.
Santa DrozdovaMy  evening project was to create a “2-meter-distancing” broomstick for sweets and Halloween face mask
Niamh HannafordI took my inspiration from an excerpt of text by James Joyce. “Pull out his eyes. Apologise”. 

Humans are hard-wired for collaboration and new technologies of communication are currently being seen as a super-amplifier of this collaborative mindset. Digital innovations and representation continue to reshape and reform our society, economy, culture and lifestyle. In this current working within the restrictions of a pandemic we have been forced to interact, to copy, to mimic, to repurpose as well as revalidate our own reality through the screen. We have learnt to navigate, update and continually adjust from both within and beyond an action, to enact, to construe and to reflect back our innermost social and political anxieties.

Susan Farrelly: Proposal to AAEX – Zoom as Creative Platform

For the second session on 11th November 2020 we chose to impose a colour scheme (blue and/or red) and let performance artist Niamh Hannaford play with peoples text/name tags and choreographing order of appearance by removing and re-admitting participants to re-arrange the screen layout. We also increased the work duration to 40 minutes. Participants enjoyed the aspect of just working alongside each other as absorbing and calming, but felt interrupted after 20 minutes.

Participant’s statements:

Bernhard GaulAAEX spelled in flag alphabet
Jenny SlaterMy piece was a tableau of objects that I found during lockdown, on walks around my local area and in my garden. It was also about the opportunity the lockdown gave me to re-find or reconnect with a deeper sense of self through working with nature.
Ciara AgnewI am working on wood and a stretched linen canvas, I’m working with oil paints, charcoal, pencils and palette knives. I have no predetermined idea what the finished piece should look like, I’m playing with materials and colours.
Catherine McCourtI was thinking about how this lockdown is all about the promise of Christmas spent with loved ones. For my zoom video I started to make Christmas tree decorations to gift to my family which I hope to give to them in person after these restrictions are lifted.
Jean MarshallMala Meditation Necklace – 
“For every knot I make, I untie a knot within myself!”
Geraldine MartinI painted words in black on an old yellow brick – A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing , because of Lockdown. This brick was at the farm. The lines were from Ecclesiastes. I was really experimenting with what I could do with old bricks.
Aileen DurkanI used a symbol of the labyrinth as a means of self-exploration and reflection, a way to find stillness in the storm. 
Michael StaffordOut of necessity, my work was made in my house and not in my studio where there is no Internet coverage, so I decided to use my laptop to be creative on. With no preconceived ideas on what to do, I scrolled through my folder called collected images and found a photo of a magpie. I use the bird as a symbol often in my work, superstition, fear hope, I leave it to the viewer. So in Illustrator I quickly made the paths and layers to make an illustration of the magpie. I then set about making a back ground then followed it by more spontaneous images to build a small narrative maybe slightly ambiguous and open to interpretation. It looks fresh because I felt unrestricted by the fact that it wasn’t preconceived……
Sinead McCourtMedium :wet felt ,beads and threads 
This is a wet felted piece taken from a painting I did of a bouquet of flowers from a friends funeral I was compelled to capture, as there was so much joy in the flower’s colours at  time of such sadness. It’s something I keep coming back to and have been working on it for 2 years on and off I reminds me of my friend and brings me joy simultaneously 
Heather CassidyA hanging form depicting how we are contained, closed in, restricted and how nature is our cocoon. 
Bamboo. Mixed Media
Susan FarrellyI chose to work on a surface that was a collaborative artwork created (with Bernhard) in 2016 that contains the marks made by many contributors. On it I placed two handsewn soft sculptures used in Craobh Rua (Muirhevnamore), the fabric was co-created at the opening night of ‘Installations’ and digitally printed. In my practice I am interested in the layers of memories that can be created by making. Some materials disrupt. Mirrors reflect and gel filters alter the screen colour, analogue (painterly) interventions on the digital canvas of Zoom. The blue gel (successfully at 16mins in) reflected portions of the computer screen where everyone else’s making was visible. I’ve tried to create a multi-perspective, entangled portrait of places and makers, past and present. Built by the hands of AAEX. 
James McLoughlinMy piece was titled ‘life through the bell jar’ and was about how we live now in our confines and our projected/online lives are where we interact and live another life.  It was also about getting a second life out of a piece of work and bringing it to life with light and shadow play. 
Una CurleyI worked on a ‘Perfectly disordered contemporary sampler showing the alphabet for artists’ 
Caoimhe O’DwyerShadow and Light part II – Watercolour
The impermanence of the Japanese Maple through the window and how it casts and retracts shadows always fascinates me. As autumn turns to winter the Maple is at its brightest and most vibrant with the leaves seeming to hang by the barest threads until eventually an overnight wind yields bare branches one morning. To paint this I set a light above the table which allowed me to look obliquely and indirectly at the shadows and to line out their shapes.
Santa DrozdovaMy  evening project was to create a “2-meter-distancing” broomstick for sweets and Halloween face mask
Niamh HannafordI took my inspiration from an excerpt of text by James Joyce. “Pull out his eyes. Apologise”. 

AAEX invite you to make with them on zoom. It will be a relaxed, non judgmental space. It will give attention to our making (not talking). We can consider the roles we play as observer and observed. A temporary microculture, us all producing sample like petri dishes, presented as a grid. A virtual sampling of how we (AAEX) make. Our multiple views and value systems portrayed.

Why? It’s a way of visually exploring how we communicate as a group, our relationship with how we make, our AAEX peers and the virtual world we inhabit temporarily – a testing ground for dialogue. A chance to perform and participate in a pool of common meaning, capable of constant development and change.

Susan Farrelly: Proposal to AAEX – Zoom as Creative Platform

Our 3rd Zoom making Session went international. In a collaboration with Creative Spark (Dundalk, Ireland) and Anda Cowork (Granada, Spain), AAEX members were asked to correspond to Haikus, photos and videos related to a project by Spanish artist Manuel Navarrete López, in which he raises chickens to distribute eggs to people in need. Some Haiku snippets were inserted into the recording.

P2P EXCHANGE PROGRAM: The Creative FLIP P2P exchange program is aimed at engaging leading, established, and innovative creative hubs with peers from emerging creative hubs across Europe, as well as with relevant educational institutions. The idea of the exchanges is to seek new formats of cross-sectorial cooperation between creative hubs and the educational sector, initiate projects of co-creation or collaborative plans, as well as to share knowledge and expertise across Europe through public and/or community events. https://creativeflip.creativehubs.net

List of participants, chosen Haiku and short statements about their contributions (left to right in the grid view):

Ciara AgnewThe fowl headed hen
Getting ready to peck
Her way to the top
Grainne MurphyKikiriki
Or
Scairt an choiligh
/ cock-a-doodle-doo

I made drawings in response to the Spanish, Irish and English version of cock-a-doodle-doo
Susan FarrellyI introduce the eggs of my hybrid hens that are laying: Joan Jett (Big Brown shelled egg), Coco Chanel (Medium size cream brown shelled egg) and Charlotte (small china blue shelled egg). Presented on a red pillow, edible treasure. I collected the shells from the eggs, feathers from the wing clipping and the cock feathers (from the lost cocks that had to be returned). I used plaster to make the hen-made materials into totems and relics in thanks and remembrance. There are 3 haikus that I have taken inspiration from. Coloured ears and punk is a translated line from one.
Heather CassidyLine from poem – And so scary

The blood sucking mite that terrorises the chicken.. 
Bernhard GaulCostume 
What day is it today? 
I look at the moon


Animated GIF and images for postcards made by altering one of Manuel’s photos
Claire McAteerI run, I fly
I do everything I want
I peck at everything I see


I used pre-gathered black, white & red materials & yarns to freely play in response to the haiku. Moving fabrics became a loose collage of a hen pecking. This was repeated. Finally 3 hens were drawn with fast, free marking making using ink, twigs, fabric & brushes.
Una CurleyMy first was a quick drawing, a humerous response to which came first the chicken or the egg.
In response to:
Fuimos lo que nos coméis
Fue antes el agua
Y antes la nada


My second is collage of images of Spent Hen and Síle-na-gig with text and Haiku
Spent Hen, eggs all laid
Body lean, legs long and splayed
Síle-na-gig like?

In response to:
Se me pone la piel de gallina: I get chicken skin (Goosebumps)
Aunque ya la tenía : Although I already had it
Gallinescu

The ‘Spent Hen’ (a hen which has finished Laying) which has very little flesh on the breast and longer legs compared to a chicken bred for eating. I thought it looked like our sile-na-gigs (grotesque stone carvings from the middle ages showing figures of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva) www.irelands-sheelanagigs.org. Sounds like She-lay-no-gug (‘Gug’ was our childs pet name for an egg)
Catherine McCourtSo curious 
And so myedica 
My intrigue


I printed off Manuel’s Haikus, and glued them to a canvas sheet  to create texture and then used one of his photos as a reference for a charcoal, chalk and pencil drawing. While I was drawing I tried to emulate the scratching actions of chickens as they explore their surroundings. I may manipulate them digitally.
Isabel LapuyadeFuimos lo que nos coméis
Fue antes el agua
Y antes la nada

I used a cyanotype coated paper, to paint over with water. I then placed a golden paper shaped like an egg and exposed the cyanotype to my luminotherapy lamp for 20 minutes. Once done, I cleaned the cyanotype using a paint brush and water, to slowly bring out the design. By using cyanotype, and accessible source of light and water, I brought the golden egg to life.
Niamh HannafordMala puntería
Me pica el dedo,
No coge la comida


I chose to represent the haiku which describes the hens feeding and lack of coordination. The hen missed the mark. I too often feel I miss the mark, and so this poem spoke to me. During our zoom making session, I cut lino ready for printing and made some clay eggs, which I plan to fill with the words of the haiku. 
Caoimhe O’DwyerHaiku by my son Lochlann in response to my water colour:

At the crack of dawn,
The old cockerel crows loudly,
Waking all from sleep

AAEX Flamingo

A Flamingo Has Landed in Dundalk

AAEX were kindly invited to provide a contribution to the closing event of the Seek Festival 2020, planned for the 8th of August at the Spirit Store.

In the spirit of connecting to the town’s history, AAEX members decided to create an installation of an oversized flamingo sculpture with mechanical wings to commemorate the flamingo, which in 1985 took residency at Dundalk Bay and drew large crowds, even prompting a photo competition in the Argus. The AAEX Flamingo was originally meant to be installed at the small island opposite the Spirit Store, the habitat of the original one. However, as that event had to be cancelled due to the postponement of Phase 4 of the easing of Covid 19 restrictions, it was installed on the roof of the Dundalk Tourist Information on Market Square instead and became part of the attractions in town, intended to attract visitors like its original predecessor.

It managed to put a smile on many people’s faces as a lighthearted edition to all the other fantastic artworks that went up during the Seek Festival!

We enjoyed producing the flamingo as an opportunity to collaborative work coming out of lockdown and before more stringent COVID restrictions were re-introduced.

Impressions

Production and Installation

Cardboard Prototypes

Some photos of the original flamingo and background info

Main photo: Isabel Lapuyade

Photos of the original flamingo courtesy of Charley Mc Carthy and Joe Quigley from the Dundalk Northend and Friends Facebook group.

#GraspTheArts – Show Your Hand

AAEX is delighted to support https://www.graspthearts.com, a campaign of solidarity with the Irish Cultural Sector during the COVID 19 crisis, initiated by AAEX member Niamh O’Connor.

In response to the recent debate about insufficient funding for the arts sector, artists, writers, performers, administrators, invigilators, frame makers etc., in short anybody contributing and being part of the cultural sector is asked to cast their grasp in clay, salt dough, paper pulp or similar, add a label with their name, profession, location and comment and then post a photo on social media with the following hash tags:
#graspthearts #showofhandsIRE #mycontributinghand #cultureworks #weareirishculture

Keep your cast for a physical display yet to be developed, once it is safe again to do so.

For full details and instructions, including salt dough and paper pulp recipes visit https://www.graspthearts.com

AAEX Installations (Dundalk)

Two Weeks of Art Installations in Dundalk

15 – 29 November – 41-42 Clanbrassil Street

Long Walk Shopping Centre – The Demesne – County Museum – Train Station  / Park Street

AAEX_Installations_Map

AAEX (Art as Exchange) is a dedicated group of over 30 local artists, who over the last 3 years have provided a variety of local arts initiatives.

From 15th -29th November 2019 AAEX will be showing visual art installations in a central exhibition space at 41-42 Clanbrassil Street and selected locations in Dundalk.

20 AAEX artists have created a wide variety of art works including video installations, sculptures, tree wrappings, projections, hangings in public spaces and performative interactions.

Exhibiting artists: Anna Marie Savage, Bernhard Gaul, Caoimhe O’Dwyer, Caroline Duffy, Ciara Agnew, Geraldine Martin, Grainne Murphy, Heather Cassidy, James McLoughlin, Jebun Nahar, Jenny Slater, John Moloney, Michael Stafford, Niamh Gillespie, Niamh O’Connor, Omin, Petra Berntsson, Samantha Brown, Susan Farrelly, Úna Curley.

Curatorial Support: Anne Mager / the corridor

Open daily 12 – 5 pm (except Sunday 17th November)

Opening reception:

Friday 15th November 7 pm. All welcome.

Other events:

WHERE IS THE ART IN DUNDALK? – 23rd November 5 pm
Panel discussion  hosted by the corridor

What are the working conditions for artists and creatives in County Louth and why are there not more opportunities and experimental spaces for visual artists in Dundalk to present their work? Which ways of collaborations and partnerships can lead to a vital and versatile arts scene? Together with artists and business owners from Dundalk, we want to discuss the infrastructure, needs and challenges for artists in the region.

Participants:
Tom Muckian, Roe River Books
Paraic Mc Quaid, visual artist and lecturer
Úna Curley, visual artist and AAEX member
Moderation: Anne Mager & Marcel Krueger, thecorridor.ie

Followed by:

Brochure Presentation // Meet the Artists – 23rd November 6 pm

The exhibition is supported by Dundalk BIDS, Creative Spark, the Dundalk Credit Union, the Local Enterprise Office Louth and Ronan Halpin. AAEX would like to thank the various locations for letting them put up artworks.

Exhibition Video

Video

Exhibition BrochureDownload as PDF

Floor Plan / MapDownload as PDF

floor plan_map

Supported by

Creative_Spark_Logo         BIDS    DCU_master logoLEO_master_LS_Pos Ronan Halpin

First Fortnight 2020: I Am What I Am

On 15th January 2020, Creative Spark, hosted its fourth free First Fortnight event in association with Inspire Wellbeing, Belfast, again inviting everyone to bring their art and creativity out of the home or studio and into the community.

Alongside a musical warm up by Dundalk based singer and artist Sophie Coyle and music and writing presented by Inspire Wellbeing, AAEX members provided participatory visual arts activities and presentations.

  • Sew Happy – creative stitching (Úna Curley)
  • Sweet wrapper collage (Ciara Agnew)
  • Mono-printing (James McLoughlin)
  • Blind drawing (Bernhard Gaul, using postcards by John Moloney)
  • Meet the artist presentation (Claire Conway)

First Fortnight is a charity that challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action. It aims to make the First Fortnight of each year synonymous with mental health awareness, challenging prejudice and ending stigma.

 

AAEX on the Radio

Following up on our very successful exhibition at the Long Walk Shopping Centre in May 2018, Dundalk FM invited AAEX artists for individual interviews about their approaches, history, upcoming events etc.

The radio station also provided podcasts of the interviews and kindly allowed us to publish them here. Enjoy.

Podcasts

Bernhard Gaul, 31st May 2018

Susan Farrelly, 6th June 2018

Úna Curley, 8th June 2018

Niamh Gillespie, 25th June 2018

Caoimhe McCarthy, 28th June 2018

James Mc Loughlin, 29th June 2018

 

Scratch Drawings 2018

Art as Exchange will be represented at this year’s Drogheda Arts Festival and National Drawing Day at Creative Spark, Dundalk.

We will prepare giant scratch drawings for the public to join in and complete.

Dates

Drogheda Arts Festival – Saturday 5th May 2018 – 12:30 – 5PM – St Dominic’s Park

http://droghedaartsfestival.ie/events/family/rollup/

Creative Spark – Saturday 19th May 2018 – 2 – 4 PM

http://creativespark.ie/national-drawing-day-2018-19th-may/

 

First Fortnight 2018: Inside Out

Selfie Expression wall

First Fortnight is a charity that challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action. It aims to make the First Fortnight of each year synonymous with mental health awareness, challenging prejudice and ending stigma.

On 11th January 2018, Creative Spark, in association with Inspire Wellbeing, hosted a free event as part of this project with the theme of bringing the artist inside out, inviting everyone to bring their art and creativity out of the home or studio and into the community.

AAEX members were actively involved in preparing the event and provided a good number of the contributions by various speakers, artists, photographers, songwriters and poets, which made the event a success. In particular:

  • Selfie Expression: complete your self-portrait and post a selfie with it (Heather Cassidy, Rachel Burke)
  • Treasure Hunt: mingle and identify contributors by random facts (Rachel Burke)
  • Meet the Artists: Presentations about personal arts practice and mental health (Bernhard Gaul, Barry Finnegan, Úna Curley)
  • Zentangle: A mindful drawing activity (Jean Marshall)
  • Presentation of work (Michael Stafford, Úna Curley)
  • Music (Barry Finnegan)
  • Collective Poetry Activity (Úna Curley)
  • Perpetual Drawing + 2 Landscapes: Collaborative drawing project (Bernhard Gaul)

Our Poem
Of Happiness, Intrigue, and Power Animals

If I was a cat, I would roam a city
painting a picture
beach, sky balloons colourful free
Swallow, agile flyer
hardly seen alone
Loving.
Local social history
Old abandoned House
Who lived there?
When?
Why?
In the Louvre looking at the Mona Lisa
a fluffy koala bear cute and cuddly but
with claws, roar!
A spider, So I could scare people just by
sitting on the wall
Jumping from a height
Wise as an Owl
Swimming in a blue sea.
Loyal Dog, Lion, skate-boarding
Hawk,
flying through the air in the sunshine
A seat, drinks with friends
A tree, Giraffe, because they are tall unlike
Teeny tiny me.
Stones, celebrating
Leopard, The mind.
Gazelle and Owl  a Gazowl
Slim & Lithe & Fit & Beautiful & Wise
& doesn’t need much sleep.
Fossils of Dinosaur Poop!
History
Rock from sand.
Making the song ‘Imagine’ come true
John Lennon
Turings “Colossus” computer
Spending time with the love of my life
An old vinyl player
(the ones with the big funnels)
Koala, I would be a tiger
furry and run like the wind.
A Whale, swimming in the sea
Donkey, Odd shaped pumpkin
A wooden vessel, hold tea,
its warm and intermittent touch to the lips.
Hands held tightly around
Falling from the sky (Skydiving)
Sloth
Running up a mountain
In Rain and Sunshine
My favourite weather.
Swimming in a warm sea
under the blue sky.
Deer, strong and confident
Walking the hills
An Alsatian dog
Attractive, clever, loyal, fierce and taking no nonsense
The clouds in the sky
Cat, Mouse,
A giraffe with lovely long legs
Creating stuff
Copper Wire
Making love
Other people
A spider with small worlds unexplored
A cup of steaming hot tea
to stare into
Drinking with my wife in a vineyard in the South of France
Klimt The kiss painting
Writing poetry to my favourite music
Xylophone
to be with family
at ease and accepted or
to be in world without technology.
Walking amidst a forest
A dolphin cheerful, friendly
Elephant
Relaxing and listening to music
and reading a comic
A Dog
Intelligent and well behaved – generally
Painting
Leopard
Laptop, internet
Stones, Antique urns,
A Dog
Coins, Rubix Cube, Dice
All my family together,
I need a superpower to help my family get on together again
I am Happy
When I am being Creative
Gliding through the sky

A Creative Collaboration by

Janice Pollock Mary Clarke Úna Curley
Rosie Moore Shane Millar Sandra Butterly
Robert Sozi Vincent Gilmore Dympna Mahoney
Rachel Burke Bernhard Gaul Michael Stafford
Heather Cassidy Nella Weatherup Dee Brannigan
Geraldine Martin Emma McCabe Joe Sweeny
RJ Patterson Sarah Daly David Davies
Natalie Smith Jean Marshall Tracy Chan
Billy Smallwood