Artists' Voices to be continued
Breda Burns is an audio/visual artist based in Westport, working in a variety of media and interdisciplinary projects. She has developed a series of artists interviews, focusing on the future of the artist’s practice and the arts. These were produced for radio broadcast, podcast, and sound art.
For Navigating a Future, a Mayo County Council Public Art Commission, she developed a series of ‘artists talking to artists’ interviews recorded during the first lockdown. The artists talk about their practice and how they see themselves navigating a future during Covid-19 and how they envision their practice and the art world moving forward. The final outcome is an audio / visual artwork entitled ‘Artists’ Voices to be continued…’. Woven excerpts from interviews form the soundtrack. Imagery of the abandoned municipal pool mirrored the abandonment experienced by artists during the pandemic in contrast to the once abandoned and now refurbished Clare Island lighthouse on the edge of Europe.
The artists’ words are represented at each location through speakers and vinyl transparencies with printed quotes from the artist interviews. Interspersed between the artists voices is the silence recorded from her home during the first lockdown. She lives right on the Atlantic Ocean edge and for the past seven years she has documented ‘from a back door’ that great expanse of water in all it’s changing typography, weather and moods. This ongoing theme of water came into play when considering locations to represent the voices of artists.
Artist collaborators who were interviewed include Áine Phillips, Chris Leach, Hina Khan, Shania Mc Donagh and Sorcha McNamara. Videography by Frank O’Reilly.
Breda describes working on the commission:
It was interesting to search for new and unusual locations around Mayo to present sound work. Radio and podcasts bring an intimacy that is unique and have gained new audiences recently so a project with artists voices seems timely. I think it is hard to see the familiar in new ways, the silence of lockdown afforded a contemplative space to stop listen and look. The commission allowed time, space, and finances to fully engage with developing this work. I would like to bring this new series of artists voices to a wider audience locally and nationally.
‘Artists’ Voices to be continued…’
Navigating a Future is part of Mayo County Council’s Public Art Programme. Four professional practicing artists living in Mayo were commissioned to create artwork in response to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and our lives going forward. Funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage under the Per Cent for Art Scheme. For more information visit: mayo.ie