Trace Elements - Exhibition at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology: A dynamic review of McKeown's work Irish work Cork Ignite

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Research and learning from McKeown's prior project Cork Ignite was carried forward into a new concept exhibition entitled Trace Elements at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool (2016). This included a solo exhibition and a FACT conference to disseminate and reflect on the Cork Ignite work, which was attended by international scholars and artists, including members of the core group of disabled artists from Ireland. FACT is the UK’s leading organisation for the support and exhibition of art and film, it embraces new technology and explores digital culture.

Cork Ignite was first publicised and discussed in the UK at FACT on the 1st of December 2014, as part of the Liverpool based disability arts festival, DaDafest International. During the production of Cork Ignite relationships continued to be developed, particularly around technology and disability. This led to FACT agreeing to host a new exhibition based on Cork Ignite. Entitled Trace Elements the exhibition presented a journey into the creative research process and allowed visitors to experiment with the techniques used themselves. The exhibition space provided the opportunity to engage directly with methods used including an accessibly (wheelchair/children) designed self-contained ‘shoe box’ which viewers looked into to view 3D projection mapping from Cork Ignite in miniature. This solution provided a live and necessarily dark space for the art and technology of Cork Ignite to be demonstrated to visitors during the daytime. In the gallery, multiple screens played videos from Cork Ignite, while images and text documented the research process behind the final works and provided opportunities for visitors to experiment with shadow puppetry and props. Trace Elements provided insight into the collaborative process undertaken, by presenting behind the scenes video and artefacts of the project. 

As a result of the ongoing collaboration and to coincide with the Trace Elements exhibition, FACT presented In Conversation: Discussion event on Arts, Disability and Collaborative Practice in April 2016. This conference event kick-started FACT Liverpool’s new spring programme which explored disability, art and communities, through a series of pop-up exhibitions. McKeown discussed the ideas, production process and the unique funding model (featuring the largest ever investment in Ireland’s arts and disability sector) of Cork Ignite, with leading UK and Irish arts practitioners, local partners and other artists including Brown and Son. The panel discussion also focused on the context of McKeown's collaborative practice involving artists working together with communities. The panel for the event included Mary McCarthy, then Director of the National Sculpture Factory (now Director of Crawford Art Gallery), Chair of Culture Ireland, Kath Gorman, Independent Arts Producer and Cork Ignite Project Manager, Pádraig Naughton, Director of Arts and Disability Ireland with Dr Paul Darke, disabled academic, writer and cultural critic. As part of the spring series, McKeown was commissioned to undertake light-based workshops at FACT with veterans, older men and teachers. 
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2016


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