Dr. Áine Phillips

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

Dr. Áine Phillips

Head of Sculpture

Image: Red Weight, performance by Áine Phillips, Fanaberie Festival at Bunkier Sztuki Gallery Krakow Poland, September 2013. Photograph by 7th Idea


Dr Áine Phillips is a visual artist, writer, curator and academic originally from Dublin, living in County Clare. She is Head of Sculpture at BCA since 1999. She exhibits multi-media performance works and sculptural installations in Ireland and internationally since the late 80's. She has created art work for diverse contexts: public art commissions, the street, club events and gallery exhibitions including TROUBLE Festival Les Halles Brussels, City of Women Festival Ljubljana, NON Festival Bergen, Kyoto Art Centre, The Stanley Picker Gallery & Performance SPACE London, Judith Wright Centre for Art Brisbane Australia, Tanzquartier Vienna, Moving Image Gallery and The Kitchen New York, National Review of Live Art Glasgow, Mozovia Art Centre Warsaw Poland.

In Ireland, she has presented work at The Lab, Irish Film Centre, Project, Arthouse, Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin, Golden Thread Gallery Belfast, EV+A Limerick, Galway Arts Centre, and the Killkenny Arts Festival among others. She writes for Performance Art Journal (New York) and Visual Artists Ireland Critique Supplement. In 2015 she produced "Performance Art in Ireland: A History" the first  survey of performance and live art in Ireland (published by LADA & Intellect Books UK). In curatorial work, she has selected Irish artists for international exhibitions and festivals and she curates performance art events in Ireland since 2005. In 2016 she co-curated 'Future Histories", an Ireland 1916 Centenary Programme event at Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin with 16 artists performing for 12 hours in the historic monument.

Her work is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland, Clare Arts Office and Culture Ireland. She completed a practice based PhD in Fine Art Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design Dublin in 2009 entitled "Live Autobiography".

Le Mot Juste workshops
Draíocht, Blanchardstown 14-22 Aug

Performance Art in Ireland: A History, available now on Unbound
at The Live Art Development Agency's website

Research Interests

Performance art history; autobiography in performance art and visual art; socially engaged visual art; video and film art; installation and site specific sculpture; activist art; curation; artists-led initiatives; art criticism; collaboration in art.

Teaching Philosophy

My aim in teaching is to enable the expression and cultivation of individuality, creative activity and the acquisition of skills as a means to deliver concrete and vital end projects - art works that communicate ideas. Art is a way of thinking through images, objects, actions and I call on my students to situate their visual art practice, sculpture and performance art in the world of culture, politics, the environment and centrally, in the life experience of the individual. Relating the personal to the political was a core concept of the feminist movement in the 1960's that I espouse and I encourage my students to find ways to universalize their individual knowledge, background and insight. I believe art has the potential to influence and enable positive change to happen in the world and as artists we can aim to generate a better world through an engaged art practice that produces the culture around us. Culture in turn produces the society we live in, so we have a responsibility (and a joyful task) to make the world a better, more artistic and wonderful place!