Nadia Armstrong and Robert Downey and Sean McGuill
1., Robert Downey, Something Bitter, oil on canvas
2. Sean McGuill, This is Fine, oil on board
3. Nadia Armstrong, Digital Native, video installation
4. Sean McGuill, Nightwalk, oil on canvas
5. Sean McGuill, Lafayett Square, oil on canvas
Digital Native (2020) video experience and performance, 12 min. 38 secs
Digital Native (2020) is an award winning video piece by Nadia J. Armstrong. It is a performance piece, produced under lockdown, that reflects upon how easily fantasies surrounding digital tools can be hijacked by networks of control to warp and influence our understanding. The work gives voice to the new identities and agendas that inhabit the digital sphere. It does not look directly at the narrators of digital deceit, but instead, looks internally, reflecting on the experience of the individual that sits in front of the screen.
Nadia J. Armstrong is an Irish visual artist and writer. She works at the intersection of the analogue and the digital, using performance, writing and expanded video. Nadia holds a first class honours degree in Fine Art Media and Visual Culture from NCAD and is currently undertaking the Art in the Contemporary World MFA at NCAD. Her video piece, Digital Native, has been shown in Irish galleries as well as internationally.
Her work calls for realisation and change, while demanding self-reflection from its audience. Her videos cry out for regulation of the virtual world that lives alongside the real, for a cyber infrastructure that protects our privacy and our autonomy while we inhabit these seemingly inescapable spaces.
In 2020, Nadia received a Digital Society Bursary Award, the RDS Mason Hayes & Curran LLP Centre Culturel Irlandais Residency Award and the Fire Station Artist Studios Graduate Award. In 2021 she received a DLR Emerging Artists Grant to support her work. She is also one of 13 European artists under 30, who received a Goethe-Institut A.I. Residency Award, which she is currently undertaking at the Centre of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture (MEDIT) in Tallinn, Estonia.
For more information about the artist and her work visit her website at: nadiajarmstrong.com
Social media: @nadiajarmstrong on Instagram
Robert Downey is a contemporary artist working in the field of painting and photography. His work deal with issues of cultural identity, identity politics and social commentary. He currently runs a studio practice based out of EASI studios in Ennis Co Clare.
This series is a celebration and depiction of all the negative emotions that built up within me as a direct consequence of lockdowns. I’ve focused on a range of negative emotions and fears such as depression, jealousy, bitterness, failure, isolation etc. These are not qualities that we associate with productivity or generally admirable traits that we admit openly about to others. Instead of ignoring these feelings within me, I have used them to my advantage to produce work and process these emotions by poking fun at them and ridiculing the situations I found myself in.
By projecting these internal feelings into a physical space, it is easier to process and dispel them as they don’t hold up to critical thinking regardless of how relevant they feel. As these works deal with sensitive personal issues, they are constructed using my own visual language and symbolism. The images depicted are metaphorical scenes formed from abstract strands of thoughts and emotions created through a process of collage and word association.
Sean McGuill was born in Dundalk, Co. Louth. He graduated with a degree in Printmaking & Contemporary Practice from Limerick School of Art & Design in 2018. After graduating, he
completed a three-month residency at An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk and held his first solo exhibition ‘The Great Filter’ in Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda in November 2019. He is
currently based in Cork, Ireland and is a member of Cork Printmakers and the National Sculpture Factory – working with a variety of processes such as screen print, monotype,
painting and mixed-media. His work often uses found imagery taken from the internet and social media as a source material. Sean’s work has been exhibited in a number of locations across Ireland and internationally, and was most recently featured in the 190 th RHA Annual Exhibition and the Halftone Print Fair in Dublin. His work has been selected for various awards including the Arts Council Covid-19 Response Award, and the John Shinnors Selection at the
2017 LSAD Drawing Awards. He was also shortlisted for the 2017 Hennessy Portrait Prize for his self-portrait and included in the exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland.