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Irish artists respond to COVID 19 restrictions

Eileen Hutton

Artist Response

I live in a very rural location in Kildare across from a beautiful woodland, Mullaghreelan Woods. I had a baby boy 16 months ago and we have a practice of taking daily walks in the woods. In the beginning when he was tucked into a sling, the walks soothed him to sleep and allowed me an hour to think and to connect to a world beyond our home. I often found myself grappling with a tenuous and morphing identity as a mother and an artist, struggling to reconcile the overlapping boundaries of the domestic space and the studio space. 

During these walks I began to take short video recordings, 10-30 seconds, of insects and invertebrate animals in the woods as a way to extend my relationship with the natural world. At the same, I started to record the strange sounds my newborn son was making – beyond the coos, there were odd gurgles and grunts, raspy pants and high pitched peeps. I overlaid his sounds onto the videos – reimagining the otherworldly sounds of these beings, conflating the domestic and the wild.

About the Artist

Eileen Hutton is a visual artist whose practice aims to generate reciprocal relationships with the natural environment and create replicable models for informed environmental actions. She is a researcher for An Urgent Enquiry, a series of think tank sessions and residencies, that address the intersection between art, biodiversity and climate change, in association with Dublin City, Fingal and Wexford Co. Councils. 

A member of the ecoart network, Hutton is contributing to a collaboratively produced book centred on pedagogy and ecoarts practice. Recent projects include Voicing the Bridge: A Cross Borders Project supported by the Finnish Institute of London in association with Clady Cross-Community Development Association in Northern Ireland. Upcoming projects include an intergenerational microphotography workshop in association with Butler Gallery in Kilkenny.