Siobhan McDonald- Future Breath

Future Breath is a new project comprised of a series of enquiries into Environmental change – such as city pollution, toxicity and its impact on our health and ecosystems. The project takes the form of an installation and light projection to explore the human experience of climate change. Future Breath is about the importance of the air we breathe and the unmistakable threat to plants and nature we face in the wake of climate change. Breath, after all, is a symbiosis between man and environment, man, and plants. Pollution is a major cause of cell damage in the respiratory system. I am combining the story of Irish Wild Plants with scientific research to show how plants will be our guides, representing the lungs of the city and life itself amidst environmental destruction. For this project, I will create an innovative multi-media work that connects the breathing pores and DNA of plants to the body that is Trinity College. Three hundred years after the first collection of plants were archived in TCD’s Herbarium, my fieldwork will reveal the secrets of plants and their ability to survive.

Siobhan McDonald

Artist Biography:

Siobhan McDonald holds a Masters in Visual Arts Practices from IADT and has been an Artist in Residence at the School of Science (2013 – 2018.) Her projects employ an interdisciplinary approach that manifests in many forms including painting, drawing, film and sound. Using diverse methodologies, Siobhan works collaboratively with historians, scientists & composers on projects combining ideas of interaction on the natural world and materiality.
In 2017 she received a Bursary Award from The Arts Council of Ireland and was a recipient of the Creative Ireland Award “Imagining Ireland in the UK, Creative Ireland,’ to respond to The Black Pig’s Dyke. In 2017 her exhibition "Crystalline" was selected by the United Nations in Paris to promote climate change. Residencies for 2017 include the European Space Agency and the Centre Culturel Irlandais. Upcoming projects include a solo exhibition: The National Trust-Fox Talbot Museum, UK and an exhibition at “Adorning our Biosphere,” in association with the Centre for Contemporary Art, Devon 2018 and a solo show at Limerick City Gallery in 2019. Her projects are supported by the Institute of Physics, Culture Ireland, The Arts Council, The European Research Council and are found in many international and national collections such as OPW, Bank of Ireland New York and Dublin, Allied Irish Banks, The Ulster Museum, University College Dublin.


Upcoming Event:

Come hear Siobhan talk at 6pm on April 5th, 2018 at Taylor Galleries:

On 5th April at 6pm, Taylor Galleries:
Book Launch: A full colour catalogue for ‘Disappearing Worlds, Crystalline,’ designed by Oonagh Young is available with texts Helen Carey, Catherine Marshall and excerpts from ‘Approaching the Glacier’ by Tim Robinson. Siobhan McDonald and writer, Catherine Marshall will discuss 'Disappearing Worlds,' an exhibition of new works by Siobhan McDonald. No booking required, all welcome.

To see a 4 minute documentary about the project click this link: The show opens with a new series of paintings that deal with the human instinct of continual exploration and human endurance in extreme circumstances. This new series, Disappearing Worlds, is based on photographic plates recovered from various Arctic expeditions (circa the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.) The images that survived in the cameras, trapped in the glaciers with the glass plates preserved within them, are the subject matter for this series of new paintings. Crystalline is an ongoing body of work by Dublin-based visual artist Siobhan McDonald. Comprised of a series of inquiries into Environmental change, it addresses the complexities of the delicate balance of nature and the impact of human activity upon it. The artist has brought together several strands of work that range from photograms, seeds, smoked carbon drawings, appropriated imagery to oil paintings on board.

Curator and writer Catherine Marshall, responded to Disappearing Worlds:
‘Inevitably the little expedition paintings evoke Caspar David Friedrich’s figures gazing over the cliffs at Rugen. But no matter how terrible Friedrich’s sublime is, his well-dressed protagonists retain a sense of agency over the landscape, it is clear from McDonald’s paintings, that the blizzards of ice that already sweep her human inhabitants away from each other, deny such power. In this, McDonald’s paintings are closer to those of Turner, speaking of vulnerability, refusing the comfort of a church spire, however distant.’
Catherine Marshall, February 2018. Written on the occasion of the launch of 'Disappearing Worlds.'


Declan Clarke, The Most Cruel of all Goddesses, Film Still, 2015. Courtesy of the artist

Siobhan McDonald, Image courtesy of the artist













siobhan mcdonald