Sinead Barrett | Issue Ten Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work

In 2014, I returned to education to study Fine Art, graduating from Crawford College of Art and Design in 2019. I was awarded the CIT Presidents Prize for outstanding studentship and also received a Crawford College of Art and Design Graduate Residency award for the Materials Store for 2019/2020. I was also awarded the Sample Studios Graduate Curatorial Residency Award 2019/2020  and my work is held in both public and private collections including Cork Institution of Technology.

What potential do you feel artists have to help bring about change? 

An artist is someone who captures a moment of  imagination and has the potential to change values in society. They  have the potential to shift what is acceptable discourse but they can’t do it alone. They need access, advice and resources to shape narratives that politicians, the media, the general public can embrace, despite all the obstacles.

Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work 

My work explores our ability to be manipulated into systems of control until we lose sight of our own individuality and creativity adapting to an everyday dreariness, losing our identity and becoming a tool in our technological age and  inevitably just a number in the system. Throughout our lives we are conditioned to follow rules and adhere to regulations. Administration regimes in schools, colleges, offices, hospitals and public services compel us to fill out application forms and registration forms which ultimately reduce our identity to a series of numbers. I am interested in exploring this phenomena in particular the monotony of unimaginative routines such as queuing and waiting in line to be processed through these officious systems.

What art do you most identify with? 

Any piece that makes me stop and think. Time is something  we crave in the modern  world of technology and communications so a piece of work which offers time to stop, reflect and think is something I want to identify with.

Is there something you couldn't live without in your studio? what is your most essential tool?

Palette knives - I use them for opening,  mixing , flattening and manipulating pieces as well as just painting with them.

What do you feel the role of artists and photographers is in society?

I think that artists play a necessary part in contributing to the overall development, and well-being of our society. Artists provoke pleasure, interaction, and inspiration, while also giving a  thoughtful critique to our political, economic and social systems . They urge communities to make steps toward social progress and engage in various issues in society.

Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works?

I will be exhibiting The Way we Live  in The Space Gallery in Galway in June, where I have some new pieces  to work with the original pieces, I also have also a number of group exhibitions coming up in Cork. I am also curating an Exhibition Oileán: The Island in May 2020 in several locations in Cork City and County,  which has an Open Call until 8 March for any artists looking to submit work.


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