Niamh is an Irish artist, who developed an artist residency project for two months at AAlê Espaço de Arte. Her research explores self-awareness and how judgments and blame affect individuals’ behaviors, interfere with and block the production of innovative practices. The contamination of judgmental thoughts creates previously unknown inhibitions and barriers, stifling opinions and perceptions.

Niamh presents us with a creative game of self-knowledge, exploring language and collective production, which do not necessarily become final art, but a powerful process of communication and introspection.

The artist works with simple, recyclable and easily accessible materials. The process of her work is reminiscent of a children’s game, an activity we’ve all done in preschool age. The child manifests himself as innocent and unconcerned with the judgment of others and the power of the work is manifested in this simplicity. Looking deeper we notice that in addition to innocence, an adult statement is manifested in the 50 masks made of papier-mâché that invade the space. These objects are unpainted copies of the Olinda Carnival masks, they are like a reminder of those who look at us and stalk us. Niamh also appropriates the figure of Shella na Gig, figurative carvings of naked women showing an exaggerated vulva, an Irish pagan symbol banned by Christianity, and recovers it as a self-portrait in her colorful drawings of traces of her own body on paper.

The artist proposes an interactive, introspective project using performance, drawings and objects.

“Through my art, I explore my inner fears with a playful curiosity. Even so, I’m always terrified. I examine human emotions through a mixture of spoken words, object creation and self-portrait painting. It is my goal to lay bare myself and my vulnerabilities so that people can find common ground with their own experiences. By introducing myself and revealing myself, I found others interested in sharing their similar stories of doubts, fears and joys. It is this exchange of experiences that interests me.”

– N.H.