STATEMENT | BIOGRAPHY | CV

Independent research-based visual artist attending to complex environmental issues, iterated through a range of site-specific and socially engaged contexts. Conceptually and physically pursued through the subject of the seed and the agency of plant matter. Here seeds are defined not as a thing, but as a set of social variables that must be continually nourished to survive, grow, adapt and evolve. She digs, draws, plants, collects, mulches, narrates and  ‘care’ for ‘other’ beings in ‘other’ spaces in response to our anthropogenic times. These multimodal processes parallels the labouring activities of the ‘gardener’. Combining poetic language, natural history, ecofeminist ‘herbal’ tales and thoughts her work draws attention to vulnerable habitats and species through our ineffectual responses cohabitating with non human entities. Through this eclectic and microscopic lens the entangled narratives and often antagonistic relationship between human and non-human species are made manifest across multiple forms. The evolving projects, public engagements, publications and exhibitions are meticulously researched, which pursue a narrative structure based on an assemblage of key research material, sites of interest and social integration. This generative approach attempts to activate new ideas related to site, agency and ecology. In recent times, she completed two solo exhibitions ‘The Long Field’ (2021) at The Leitrim Sculpture Centre which explored Irelands hedgerow systems as cultural repositories of knowledge and ‘Safe Hold’ (2020) for the Wexford Arts Centre which revolved around a series of discussions with communities, expanded through an educational programme exploring local habitats whilst planting public ‘waste’ sites with pollen rich seeds. Both these projects are evolving and have laid the foundation for the future development of new material and conceptually driven approaches that attend to the extinction of plant species and the textual narration of these and other speculative fictions – real and imagined communities as a metaphor for environmental change, habitat loss and species adaptation.

Her educational background includes a Fulbright Irish Scholar Award USA LandArts University of New Mexico; 2012 PhD University of Ulster Belfast; 2002 MA (Taught) Time based Media/Performance Studies Dartington College of Arts; 1992 BA Sculpture 1992 NCAD Dublin.

Solo exhibitions includes, The Long Field (2021) at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre and Safe Hold at Wexford Arts Centre (2020). Residency with two-person show SHUL held at the Tipperary Arts Centre (2021) and this Autumn she began a long-term site-specific engagement residency with Interface Inagh Valley Forest Residency Programme. 2017 Home Grown Housing The Museum of English Rural Life, England and Silent Needles Speaking Flowers SPUD Observatory, Bucklers Yard, England. 2015 Provisional AC Institute New York. 2014 The Potting Shed + Fortifying Beds Artlinks Donegal and Balsam Bashing ArtLab, Rejmyre, Sweden. 2013 Labour on, think – as if Draoicht Arts Centre, Dublin and SEED MATTER III Limerick City Gallery of Art. 2012 Seed Matter Part II ‘Living Fields’ Leitrim Sculpture Centre. 2011 Seed Matter and ‘other’ stories The Butler Gallery. 2007     Points of departure Context Gallery, Derry. 2006 Tidings – from here to there The Lab Galley Dublin.

2005 Provisional Teor/e Tica Costa Rica Central America. 2004 In Progress The Irish Museum of Modern Art The Process Room; TORQUE Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen, Fermanagh and Exploring Drawing Skibberean Arts Center Cork. 2003 Fragments The Model Arts & Niland Gallery Sligo and Belltable Arts Center, Limerick.

Her work has been supported with the Arts Council Bursary Award (2020/18/2016/2013/12/10/08/07) and most recently though the Agility Award Round 3 (2021) and Leitrim County Council Individual Artist Awards (2021/14/13/09/08/07), Culture Ireland Exhibition Travel Awards (2018/15/14/09), and the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, University of Ulster, Belfast and Open EV+A Main Award Winner Limerick.

Commissioned work for publications include Politics of Food MIT Press Delfina Foundation, 2020; Becoming Botanical Objet-a-Creative Studio, Glasgow, 2019 and Mutating Ecologies in Contemporary Art, MACBA University of Barcelona, 2018. In 2018.

International residencies include Woods Research Symposium Interface Residency Galway; 2020/21 Gallery Residency Programme Leitrim Sculpture Centre; 2021 Gallery Exhibition Residency South Tipperary Arts Centre; 2019 ­­Volunteer Residency Programme Grizedale Arts, England and EUCIDA Digital Residency Programme, Latvia. During her time on the Fulbright award she also participated on a number of residency and self-directed programmes including WormFarm Wisonsin; De-Construkt[projekts] New York; Native Seed Savers Arizona and the William & Lynda Steere Herbarium New York. In 2017  she attended the The Observatory Residency SPUD, ArtsSway, England; MERL Museum of English Rural Life, England; Charter Art Common Ground, England; 2016 Allenheads Contemporary Arts (ACA), England; 2015 ART/FOOD/CLIMATE CHANGE Agora Collective, Berlin; Politics of Food Delfina Foundation, London; Utopiana Genève Switzerland and Flanagans Field Community Gardens Dublin; 2014 Rejmyre Art Lab Sweden, Killruddery House & Gardens Wicklow. 2013 Cambridge Sustainability Residency Cambridge; Fort Dunree Residency Project ArtLinks Donegal. 2012 Exploring Pathways Sideways Arts Festival Belgium. 2009 RIAA Argentina; Drawing Spaces Lisbon Portugal. 2008-9 e-MobilArts International Research Programme. 2007 TRADE with artist Alfredo Jaar Leitrim/Roscommon County Council and Sanskritti Art Foundation New Delphi India. 2005 Community Arts Residency Award Firestation Artists Studios, Dublin; Site-ations International Wales and Fundación Arts Teor é Tica Costa Rica Central America. 2004 Irish Museum of Modern Art Dublin Ireland.

Site-specific Socially Engaged Public Art Projects include the following: 2019-2020 Safe Hold Wexford Public Arts Programme involved the community planting of various brownfield sites across Wexford, youth educational programmes with exhibition; 2018 Oceans Flowers HSE, Waterford – series of microscopic photographs of sea plants and species, 2017 Common Ground England Tree Charter Artist Residency, Belfast. 2016 The Food Club ‘Irish Food Sovereignty Event’, Leitrim Sculpture Centre, 2015 Of Land and Soil Flangan’s Field Community Garden Bealtaine Age & Opportunity + Dublin City Council Arts Office, 2014 Backlands Office of Public Works, 2013-ongoing The Potting Shed ArtLink Fort Dunree, Donegal, 2010-2012 A Year in the Field Fingal County Council, 2006-2008 RIVERworks Sligo County Council, 2004-2006 TIDINGs from here to there Dublin City Council, 2001-2002 Permanent Installation Cluid Housing Association, Sligo, 2001 Track of the Big Man’s Stick (Film) Lough MacNean, 2000 Permanent Installation The Woman’s Centre, Derry.

Selected Public Presentations 2019 Art in the Anthropocene, Trinity College, Dublin; EUGEO Conference, Galway, 2018 Art & Ecology Department, University of New Mexico – Presentation: ‘The Garden Plot: Land, History, Politics’, Land Arts of the  American West, UNM. 2016 Mutant Ecologies in Contemporary Art, Organisers: MACBA.

She is also author, designer and publisher of several books and pamphlets that focus on historical and political vegetal matter and site-specific social narratives.  Her work has received support from The Arts Council of Ireland Bursary Awards, Leitrim County Council Arts Awards, Culture Ireland Exhibition Travel Awards, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, University of Ulster, Belfast and EV+A Limerick.

Studio based at The Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. Contact details: christinemackey1@gmail.com