irene rogan



Exhibition and events


Interventions, performance, events

The River Don

Natural History Centre,
University of Aberdeen
Cruickshank Botanic Gardens,
University of Aberdeen

The River Don
Dunbar Hall
Attached St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen
The River DON

coming soon

RIVER DON Artist in Residence, Aberdeen, Scotland 2012 - 2103

Arts Development, Aberdeen City Council and Sustainable Urban Fringes (SURF Aberdeen project is part of the EU Interreg North Sea Region Programme) invited me to work as artist-in-residence, the River Don Corridor, covering an area of ten miles of ‘urban fringe’ in Aberdeen - from coast to country.

In responding to this complex site, the residency manifested itself in a range of media including sculpture, music performance and composition, photography, poetry, field trips, temporary interventions and environmental installations. These works were sometimes collaborative, realised in dialogue with those using or inhabiting the site as well as newcomers and the wide range of stakeholders. Using science paraphanalia, environmental art, water sport, were some examples of the broadly experimental artworks or creative events which took place and which also provided the means to realise a new approach in my practice. In closely examining the site both in and around the ten mile stretch of River Don, deemed to be the Residency area, this site becme an outdoor studio, the residency a platform, the audience the medium, often a chance encounter - blurring the lines between art and research.

My approach to the River Don Residency has been to introduce an action or participatory mode of production - toward developing what emerged as the final work. This is a process based practice in which outcomes unfold as ideas are bodied back and forth (dialogically) between the 'artist' and participant and between participant and participant through the everyday interactions and encounters that a 'place based' residency generates.

As the residency drew toward a conclusion it was possible to identify a number of dominant themes: Art and science, the history of the place or places, a sense of heritage, of attachment and belonging in which domestic and industrial architecture forms part of the now 'natural' landscape. Concern for the environment is expressed through reference to the ecology, the visible and microscopic components of the river and its immediate surroundings; whilst other responses locate meaning in more immaterial qualities through the production of music or texts. All these activities throughout the residency contributed to becoming the whole work as 'a piece' whilst adressing the residency objectives as defined by the commissioners and informing critical arts practice.

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