Doireann Ní Ghroighair is a sculptor whose work takes its lead from monumental architecture in contemporary European cities, where classical orders proliferate, imbuing buildings such as law courts, banks, govenment buildings and academic institutions with esteem and grandeur. This ubiquitous style, built since the 18th century, aims to cite antiquity, evincing a sense of timelessness and purity, functioning as signifiers of power and prestige. Reimagined in her sculptural work, architectural fragments become totems of a faltering empire; their potency suffused with flippancy and fallibility.
" Recently on archiseek.com, I came across a plan drawn by the architect Daithi Hanly, for a "New capital City for Ireland at Tara" commissioned by Ailtirí na hAiséirghe (The Architects of the Resurrection), a facist fringe party active in Ireland during the 1940's. They envisioned a untied Ireland where emigration as well as the speaking of the English language would be banned. Highly conservative and religious, it saw women's role as to produce as many offspring as possible in order to form a large army and imagined Ireland rising as a supreme leading nation after all other countries be decimated after World War II. The plan for the new capital at the Hill of Tara included " Speeresque" urban planning and buildings such as "National Avenue", a stadium, "A Garden of Heroes" and a "Column of the Resurrection". In an age where ideology is becoming increasingly polarised, the rise of the alt-right, borders becoming redefined, this way of thinking can no longer be dismissed, however bizarre sounding.
I plan to research archival plans of this city. Using those plans, through consultation with architectural students and researchers, as well as those engaged in archaeology and heritage studies in relation to the Hill of Tara and it's history, I will use contemporary architectural technologies to create images and architectural models of what this city could be like. A stage set for a cautionary dystopian tale, a digital animation, or provocative series of sculptures that call into question ideas of Irishness coming up to more centenary commemorations.
Doireann Ní Ghrioghair graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design, London in 2010. Recently, she completed a long-term residency at Fire Station Artist Studios from 2014-17 , where she was also awarded a Sculpture Workshop Residency. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at MART Gallery, Dublin (2017); Platform Arts, Belfast (2017); Eight Gallery, Dublin (2016) and CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork (2014). Notable group exhibitions include We Only Want The Earth, Adobe Gallery, San Francisco (2018); The Otherworld Hall, Solstice Arts Centre (2017); TULCA -The Headless City curated by Daniel Jewesbury (2016); VUE Contemporary Art Fair, RHA (2016); ARTWORKS, VISUAL, Carlow (2016 & 2017); Veins, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin (2016); After the Future, Eva Biennial (2012) curated by Annie Fletcher, Limerick. She was selected four times to exhibit at Creekside Open, APT Gallery, London (2017,2015, 2013 & 2011 curated by Alison Wilding, Lisa Milroy, Ceri Hand and Phyllida Barlow respectively). She was commissioned to create an installation, Beyond Excess, at Shunt, London Bridge (2011). She has received Arts Council of Ireland bursaries (Visual Arts Bursary 2016 & 2014; Travel & Training Bursary 2008 & 2015) and was an award winner at Now Wakes the Sea, Kinsale Arts Festival (2013). She was selected to participate in the WARP Artist Village, Bruges (2015). Last year, she was awarded Culture Ireland funding to participate in a two-person exhibition at Arthouse1, London.