Normal Position – Show Position Exhibition

Last year there was one big change in my life. I graduated from Ulster Univesity with a Post Graduate Diploma in Design! But that wasn’t a big change. The big change was my enrolment in a new MFA course, in Fine Art this time! So, last October I started my new Masters in Fine Art, a change which was very challenging (in a good way) but very rewarding. The first year of the course is now over and I am very lucky (and grateful) to have the opportunity to participate in a group -end of the year 1, exhibition!  So this post isn’t about my work (I’ll write another post about it) in the MFA Fine Art course but about the work of all the artist of the year 1 MFA Fine Art. Normal Position – Show Position is the title of the exhibition.

In this post, I will show you some photos I took from the exhibition along with the statements each artist wrote about their work (and were given publicly as handouts in the gallery). So the texts respectfully belong to each Artist.

The exhibition was (still is until the 25/5) accommodated on the second floor of the Platform Arts Gallery in Belfast.

12 Artists (including me) participated in the Exhibition presenting paintings, sculptures, videos and sound installations.


Andy Athanasiou

Normal Position – Show Position

Andy’s work explores the interconnection of places through the element of water and particularly, through the sea. Using an analogue camera, she develops her films and prints them using the Cyanotype technique. By experimenting with different media she investigates the unconscious and the nostalgia of the eternal moment. Her current project is inspired by the beautiful surrounding of Newcastle, Co. Down.


 Sinead O’Neill-Nicholl

Normal Position – Show Position

 Sinéad works with a range of media including performance, video, photography, sound and digital technology to create installations that explore the representation of women within contemporary culture. More recently, her work has been concerned with the creation of spatial environments using audio and the agency of sound as a method of resistance. …never been in trouble before… is a 20 minute looped sound installation that uses the disembodied voice of a child to highlight the language relating to men accused of sexual violence crimes. Deconstruction and fragmentation is used, within the piece, as a process of critiquing language. 


 Chloe Austin 

Normal Position – Show Position

Austin’s work focuses on the misrepresentation of the female body in contemporary society, through lens-based technologies and media. Watching and being watched have become uncontrollable conditions of our public and even private culture. The work aims to raise questions on the omnipresent gaze of the surveillance society. There is a desire to be seen contrasting with the fear of being observed and consumed. Technologies have transformed our culture, we see, sense and make sense of ourselves as quite other than we have before them.

Through performance to camera, Austin explores themes of voyeurism, surveillance and the female gaze. In this video installation, entitled My Love, Austin addresses the manipulative relationship between the observed and the observer through video and spoken word. In our surveillance society, there is a strong sense of the performativity of the body where public and private space is determined by the relationship between being looked at and looking. “I’ve noticed that I crave your presence, your assurance.”

IG: @chloeaustinart


 Vasiliki Stasinaki 

Normal Position – Show Position

Military Parades, nationalistic dreams, territorial pissing. Subcultural dancing, plates smashing, flower throwing. Entertaining the nation.


Jennifer Alexander 

Normal Position – Show Position

Jennifer’s work looks into mental trauma and the human mind, addressing the aftermath and effects, through various perspectives of society. Mental Shells is the expression of the rebuilding and remaking of ourselves from trauma. Each shell is a mind torn apart, then re-pieced together with the addition of all the ugly and beautiful imperfections created throughout the process of striving towards societal uniformity. This installation is the culmination of research into PTSD, the furthering of treatments since World War 1 that gave birth to the beginnings of the field of modern mental health care. Adding 4 channels of audio, Jennifer uses a multi-sensory installation of both melodic elements and visuals to express the experiences of trauma and the catharsis of poetry.

IG: @jenlalexanderart


Nollaig Molloy 

Normal Position – Show Position

Her work draws attention to the act of demonstration and various forms of making. She explores a new communication in the dexterity of the body using various sculptural materials and video based outcomes incorporating performative and vocal responses. In March 2019, she approached HIVE choir, an improvisation group asking them to vocally respond to a series of videos. For the exhibition opening of Normal Position, Show position, there will be a live performance of Hand to Mouth by Nollaig and HIVE Choir.


Saffron Monks-Smith 

Normal Position – Show Position

My work revolves around atmosphere, time of day and fear of the unknown, creating installations using painting. I am fascinated by found objects that have inherited a story from their surroundings, and use these in conjunction with painting to suggest events that may have occurred in these places. In my work I ask questions as to what makes us feel uneasy, by translating the familiar into the unfamiliar by shifting focus to colour, composition and light.

IG: @saffs96


John Connolly 

Normal Position – Show Position

The commencement of history A.D. runs like a railway line, its locomotive hurtles back and forth with all the animals aboard. From the carriages the livestock are calling out, on the first car a conversation is being held..[1st conversationalist] “you got to let them know their trapped, prod them with a stick, yell at tell, rattle their cages every once in a while…[2nd conversationalist] “ but what if they break free?” [1st conversationalist] “ Don’t worry their just dumb animals blinded by fear”.


Dominic McKeown 

Normal Position – Show Position

McKeown’s work touches on ideas of anthropology, exploring the relationship between objects and owner, materials and production. In this, his practice is heavily process driven and sculptural in form. The investigations begin with a curiosity about the materials he is drawn to, cement and concrete, plastics and metal. This choice of materials has been influenced by a growing fascination with brutalism, in particular in its architectural context. Researching brutalism has given him an insight into what these materials can achieve. However, in the use of these materials he seeks to bastardise their inherent qualities, to alter their use in such a way as to cause them to fail to demonstrate the values and qualities that they are intended to represent.



Gemma Kirkpatrick 

Normal Position – Show Position

Drawing upon the disciplines of still life and figurative painting I aim to consider the experience of the figure within the domestic realm and the attachments that are instilled onto the banal. The domestic space becomes a space for retraction, a space of refuge. Objects take the place of the figure, gesture takes the form of shadow, drama finds a stillness within melancholy.

IG: @iamgemma_


Stephanie Tanney

Normal Position – Show Position

My primary focus is social and political themes addressing global issues specific to the human condition. I have a particular passion for sculptural installations that reflect the viewers memories and evoke familiarity, inviting them to fill in the blanks and build a personal connection. My process takes a sculptural form through the exploration of everyday and found objects, casting them in plaster and manipulating their structures, capturing a sense of something familiar yet maintaining a sense of ambiguity, caught somewhere between non-existent and incomprehensible. In this body of work I am exploring the impact of screen use, the links between mental health issues and social interaction, paying particular focus on the repetitive, addictive nature of these technologies and how this has affected the home.


Lorene Ple 

Normal Position – Show Position

Ask questions

Assembly game

Wind yarns around objects.

Handle game

Find communication

Find a terrain

Follow declensions

We have been using little plastic sticks: red and yellow.

We have made short problematic stories for stage the plastic sticks.

We moved the sticks from left to right on the desk.

It is an object that is also a number. It is a colour and a material. It is a numbered subject that represents a volume in a story. It’s a plastic object on the desk.

There is a logic that they are trying to explain to me. A person is trying to show me logic with gestures.

If I don’t understand his language, I only have my eyes and hands to see and touch. It is possible to understand by mime understanding logic by repeating the gesture but it’s the birth of confusion. Everything becomes very dense because you can easily slide around things all the time. Imagine understanding. Mimic knowledge.


Finally, I would like to thank our tutors for their support and everyone who came to the opening and in general to see our show!

Thank you