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Navigating A Future - Mayo Artists Are Announced

Date: 26-11-2020

Mayo County Council’s Arts Service is delighted to announce the successful artists for the Public Art Commission: Navigating a Future. 

The selected artists include Áine O’Hara, visual artist and theatre maker; Breda Burns, visual artist; Breda Mayock, musician and visual artist and Catherine Donnelly, dance artist. The Navigating a Future commission was developed in response to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Artists are best placed to respond to these unusual times of social change through their artistic practice. This commission will give the selected artists an opportunity to research and create new work that explores and reflects on questions, insights and themes that have arisen from the Covid-19 pandemic and our future.  The commission was open to professional practicing artists living in Mayo, at all stages of their careers and working in all artforms. An independent selection panel was engaged to review applications and they were impressed with the standard of applications.  

Based in Ballina, Áine O’Hara is an award-winning visual artist, theatre-maker and facilitator creating exciting and sensitive work for and about people who are often left out of traditional art and theatre spaces. For this commission Áine will be developing a socially engaged art project that will focus on chronically ill and people with a disability who have been cocooning during the year. Áine is a graduate of MFA at The Lir, Trinity College Dublin and the Institute of Art and Design, Dún Laoighaire. Recent achievements and commissions include: Arts Council Theatre Bursary Award 2020, A4 Sounds Studios Project Award 2020 and Arts & Disability Ireland Training Award. 

Breda Burns is an audio/visual artist based in Westport, working in a variety of media and interdisciplinary projects. Breda will be developing a series of artists interviews, focusing on the future of the artist’s practice and the arts. These will be produced for radio broadcast, podcast, and sound art. Breda will be researching different ways and locations in Mayo to present sound work. Previous projects include: Archiving Activism, Bealtaine Artist Award in Sligo and Mayo; Farbe Bekennen, International symposium, Germany; Visual Arts Bursary Award, Arts Council of Ireland and AIR-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Krems, Austria. Breda has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions.  

Breda Mayock is an artist and musician living in Ross West, Castlebar in Mayo. Breda’s background is in traditional and folk music and for this commission she will be creating new music inspired by the experience of lockdown and social distancing restrictions. Her more recent music work moves between indie folk and more abstract soundscapes. Previous albums include Learning Place released in 2017 Her album Breda Mayock released in 2015 was recorded and produced with guitarist Steve Cooney.  Recent projects include: Crown – Hair & Identity in Traveller Culture, solo shows: Dresses 2017, The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Onsight – Blaze 2018, The National Museum of Ireland and Fly by Night for Cruinniú na nÓg 2019. 

Catherine Donnelly is a dance artist based in Westport, Co. Mayo.   Catherine will research and choreograph a dance artwork that will be produced on film, a platform that enables her to share the work with a wide varied audience.  As a dancer Catherine uses the body as instrument and she feels the current pandemic offers a very interesting framework in which to create dance. Catherine is member of Dance Ireland, she founded The Elderberries, a creative movement and dance group for over 55s, in Roscommon Arts Centre over 10 years ago. In 2013 she founded Achilles Dance Initiative to attract participation in creative and contemporary dance in Mayo and Roscommon.  

This commission is part of Mayo County Council’s Public Art Programme. It is in recognition of the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the County of Mayo and it is envisaged that commissioned artwork will create a dialogue through contemporary arts and provide a legacy for the Mayo public. During 2021 there will be opportunities to learn more about the projects as they progress, and the final artworks will be showcased to the public before the end of the year.  

For further information visit:, or contact Aoife O’Toole, A/Public Art Co-ordinator,, 094 9064376. 

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