Slippery Pole ADW vs ACW competition

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Slippery Pole

Slippery Pole

Swimming in Ballycroy

DSCF9297I was invited to Ballycroy by the Mayo Arts Council to take part in ‘I Could Read the Sky’ project.

My first reaction was Joseph Beuys and his Bog Aktion in 1971, the bog being a new environment for me to immerse myself in. The weather was a record breaking cold, and the water temp was below 2 degrees.

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I was lucky to find Seamus Butler from the Bellacragher Boat Club who took me under his wing and showed me potential swim spots and told me all the local history and stories.

I made a film and a book, ‘Swimming in Ballycroy’, below is the film.

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This is your normal


For our second year interim exhibition at NCAD Art in the digital World we decided to go to Tallin, Estonia; Ulla Juske who’s from Tallin helped us find two spaces and we were lucky to get some Culture Ireland funding to go towards costs.

‘This is your normal’ was my piece which centered around a 10 week acclimitisation program to enable me to enjoy swimming in the frozen water in Tallin, Estonia. This started off with my ‘Launch’ live art performance in January and I filmed a series of different ways to get my body used to the cold.  I made a film and a book for this piece.

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I had contacted Henri Kaarma from the Tallin Winter Swimming Club, and he had agreed to meet me to take me swimming in their pool in the harbor, where they have to break the ice first. I swam twice with him, once on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and then again on a Tuesday evening in the dark.

The water was 0.3 degrees and the air temp was -15 degrees.

This is your normal film –

Ice swim –

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Non Zero Sum Games – ‘Fonte’

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The Non Zero-Sum Art Games was part of  Culture Ireland’s ‘Culture Connects International Programme’, marking Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 

Produced by MART and curated by Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan.

A Non Zero Sum Game is in game theory a situation where one decision maker’s gain (or loss) does not necessarily result in the other decision makers’ loss (or gain) – a win-win game. They generally have both competitive and cooperative elements. Players engaged have some complementary interests and some interests that are completely opposed.

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‘The Non Zero-Sum Art Games’ was a program of exhibitions and performances focusing on the power that Art and people have to transform the socio/political psyche of the public in 3 European cities; Dublin, Lisbon & Athens all whom have recently hit by financial crisis.

Two groups of 5 Irish Artists travelled to both Athens & Lisbon to work under rules, financial and time restrictions imposed by the curators.

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The Performance event consisted of 5 performance artists arriving in Portugal on Sunday March 3rd, working in Plataforma Revolver from 4-7th devising 5 performances, they performed at an opening event on March 7th.


The film myself and Pedro Azevedo made, this was played as part of our live performance.

Another version of the film, this one is to be played on a loop

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A film showing the two live performances at Plataforma Revólver, Lisbon.

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My first ever live art performance as part of Live Stock’s ‘Winter Shorts’ at the Market Studios, Dublin 11.01.13.


This was a semi-fictional lauch of my acclimatisation program to train me to swim in water up to 0.4 degrees in Estonia in March.

Mathew Nevin was the compare and the audience were given ice cubes to hold for two minutes while a sound piece played, a mix of my own field recordings of ice and underwater sounds using a hydrophone and also sound bites from youtube clips of Lewis Gordon Pugh and Lyne Cox leading ice and endurance swimmers.

Then there was the official launch where ten volunteers were asked to launch 10 buckets of cold water at myself to conclude this ceremony.

I was asked if I would do a live performance, this idea obviously filled me with complete terror, but my attitude for my time on my Masters has been to challenge myself, get completely out of my comfort zone and shake up my art practice. This was probably the most extreme ‘dare’ I gave myself, but I was happy it all went well and all the other performance artists seemed to enjoy it.

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Winter swimming

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Liffey Wedding – the movie

Here is the film the O Connell Bridge wedding jump for Cystic Fibrosis in May. It’s a long film for all the swimmers. I am still trying to edit a shorter ‘art’ edit of the day.

‘Live’ presentation.

My first 2nd year presentation in October I presented my research work ‘live’ from the River Liffey.

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Mitch set up the Live stream and images for me in college for my peers to watch while I swam in the Liffey and attempted to talk about the summer’s research and placements. It was hard, the current was strong and to concentrate on swimming, the cold, all what’s going on around me and speak coherently was certainly a challenge; and although I had an official powerboat with me I was a bit nervous about getting in trouble in the Liffey again.

I arrived back into class about a half hour later, pretty off my head and delirious with excitement. I think it was a good start to the year, also to demonstrate that you don’t have to present in a regular room with a power point presentation.

This swim also mirrored my fist presentation in the first year where I had swum down the Liffey at Dawn with Fergal Mac Carthy on my ‘Welcome to Dublin Swim’ in an attempt to bond with the Liffey. I had just moved up and needed to swim the Liffey as a good omen for my new life and MA in Dublin.

A big thanks to City Kayaks and the very patient Darragh in the powerboat.

Leinster Swim

An absolutely fantastic summer of swimming with Leinster swim, from someone who claims not to be competative or sporty, I really enjoyed the races, the highlight was getting miraculoly into single digits, 9th on the last race, film still to be edited.

Also races Escape from Ireland’s Eye and The Lee Swim are still to be edited.

Carly Rae!

This may not seem obvious at first what it has to do with my art practice.

I couldn’t have done it without you Carly!

Distance Week, Co Cork

I was very fortunate to be allowed to film Ned Denson’s Distance Week in Sandycove, Co Cork in June as part of my MA placement. I took this really seriously and trained as best as I could, as although I wouldn’t be doing all the full distances, I would be out twice a day in unfamiliar waters and filming.

I have over 5 hours of film footage, and still now I am unsure what to do with it all. Unfortunately I lost my sound recorder files, so what ever film it will end up will have to have music on.

Below is a 3 minute taster, just to keep everyone going till I work out what to do with all the footage.