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 C O N T A C T 




B I O G R A P H Y 


Emma Brennan is an interdisciplinary artist who works predominantly in performative practices to include multi-media installation, moving image and collaborative processes. Based between Belfast and Dublin she is a former Co-Director and Chairperson at Catalyst Arts Belfast and a current studio member of PS2 Studios Belfast. She has shown work as part of the multiple exhibitions and festivals locally, nationally and internationally including the Belfast International Festival of Performance Art (BIFPA), the Live Art Biennial, FIX21, as part of Black Kit Performance Archive in Cologne, Livestock Dublin, Dublin live art festival, on residency at Live Art Ireland and more. Brennan has worked extensively with Turner Prize winning collective, Array Studios, as part of their winning exhibition The Druthaibs Ball and its coinciding programme of events. Recent projects include a solo show GIRLÍN at PS2 gallery space, February 2023 ,made possible by funding from The University of Atypical. In the same month Brennan  exhibited work as part of Alice Maher’s show Vox Hybrida at the Golden Thread Gallery in February 2023, and on residency at Haihatus in Joutsa, Finland. Brennan is a board member of both Bbeyond Belfast and Live Art Ireland, Tipperary. She is also the founder and facilitator of QRIT Belfast, a queer crit club for cultural practitioners based in Northern Ireland. 

S T A T E M E N T 


For some time now my practice has been occupied with the cyclical processes of gestation, birth, life and death. I have been exploring these four pillars in how they relate to the female form and more intimately where I, as a Queer, Irish, Female Creator am positioned in relation to these concepts. Using the tradition of oral histories from the Island of Ireland I am  preoccupied with the presence of the Grotesque within our mythologies and how this can relate to the four pillars outlined above. I am particularly interested in the notions of queerness, trans species and polyamory that populate our oral histories and their expression through the use of visceral imagery, bodily symbolism and exaggerations of scale.

At this point in my research I have arrived at a personal motivation that I am engaging in my practice. It is & I am” is an assertion and personal manifesto i have adopted and  arrived at through conversation within the community of Queer and Feminist and fellow working class artists and cultural practitioners. In its certainty, this affirmation points to questions of self-identification and the politics of presentation that I hope to expand upon throughout my work. It is one answer to the questions of what is Queer art? Who is a Queer artist? 


Taking these questions as a starting point, I wish to move through material exploration to reflect on Queerness in art-making, seeking expansion and fluidity, remaining open to multitudes of meanings rather than limiting definitive answers . The aim of my most recent work has been an exploration and celebration of the grotesque in relation to Queerness and material processes. This statement also acts as a springboard in which I engage active research methodologies of which there are currently two avenues of interest:

1. Personal and professional investigations into identity politics locally, nationally and internationally.

2. The nature and socio political impact of our oral histories: Mythology and folklore embedded in our sense of place with a particular lens on expressions of the grotesque within these histories. 

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