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Artist Statement

Playfully welcoming new connections between foreign ‘things’, Beattie encourages a sense of curiosity and exploration in the act of displacing quotidian objects. Assembled from a variety of everyday materials the work attempts to provide a framework for assessing our daily surroundings. The interactions between object, space and viewer create a dialogue or wider system in which all elements have a role to play. This process of engagement can be seen as a search for a tangible present through the intermediary moments where physics, philosophy, technology and nature collide.


Proposal for residency

At the core of his working processes is an interest in how Science and scientific language is used to make sense of the physical world. Using this research as a starting point, Beattie’s work manifests itself through sculpture, sound and photography. During the residency at UCD he will focus on solar energy and electrical cycles, beginning the residency by looking at paper thin forms of solar cells and investigating ways in which these could be incorporated into sculptural works. He will collaborate with researchers and scientists in the area of solar energy and solar cells specifically to explore the potential of these materials, both materially and conceptually. Alongside this initial project he intends to initiate other bodies of research into dark matter and gravitational waves.

As a hypothesised explanation for extra matter and energy in the known universe, there are interesting comparisons between the search for this matter and the open-ended approaches to art making. During his recent residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2016, Beattie began to explore gravitational waves and how conceptually it could be explored through his practice. Utilising the sounds recorded at LIGO in September 2015, he allowed the waveform to permeate an exhibition space, creating a different reading of the other works, almost altering their state of being. During his time in UCD he is going to continue this research and develop the use of gravitational waves in some new work for upcoming exhibitions in 2017/18.



David Beattie is an artist who lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. He has received a number of Arts Council bursaries, most recently 2015 and was awarded the Harpo Foundation Award in 2010. His work is in a number of public and private collections and most recently was a recipient of the Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA collection, 2016. Recent solo exhibitions include CCA Derry-Londonderry (2017), Temple Bar Gallery and Studios (2011); The Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh and Mercer Union Centre for Contemporary Visual Art, Toronto, Canada (both 2010). Beattie has been included in numerous group exhibitions including In the Line of Beauty, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2013), O Brave New World, Rubicon Projects, Brussels (2013) All Humans Do, The Model Sligo and Whitebox, New York (2012); Feedback, Galway Arts Centre (2011); Holding Together at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2010); La Part des Choses, Mains d’Oeuvres, Paris, and in Quiet Revolution, Hayward Touring, UK (2009).








Artist In Residence at UCD College of Science 2017

supported in partnership with

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Arts Office 



List of works



1 – The impossibility of an island

     Cymbal, steel wire, concrete, carpet underlay, motor

     Dimensions variable


     Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art


2 - Falling Light

   Polyurethane foam, daylight

   Diptych 71.5 x 107 cm



3 - Borrowed energy

    Galvanised buckets, plastic bowl, plastic basin, ceramic pot, cymbal, cotton cloths, various rocks,      

    seawater, salt

    Dimensions variable



4 – Approaching Reality

     Ash log, polyester, copper, aluminium, plastic, motor, fan, fluorescent light, cable

     Dimensions variable



5 - Super Collider

     Motor oil, steel bucket, record player, ping pong ball

     Dimensions variable