Dominic Thorpe Uillinn Crespo Residency Award 2023

Dominic Thorpe
Uillinn/Crespo Residency Award 2023
22 July to 16 September 2023

Dominic Thorpe, recipient of the inaugural Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre Residency Award 2023 supported by the Crespo Foundation, begins his residency in Studio 2 on Saturday 22 July.

During his residency, Dominic will begin a new body of sculptural and multi-media work that deepens his ongoing exploration of the area of perpetrator trauma, with a particular focus on the scale of perpetrator trauma in contemporary Ireland.

Perpetrator trauma could be characterised as the pain of causing pain. Growing research in several areas of atrocity, violence, and trauma studies shows that perpetrator trauma can be experienced by individuals or groups who become overwhelmed or struggle to comprehend violence they were directly or indirectly involved in inflicting. However, perpetrator trauma is routinely ignored in the narratives of violence. This can be understandable, not least given the imperative to prioritise victim and survivor experiences. Importantly however, giving attention to perpetrator trauma is not intended to take vital focus away from those hurt by perpetrators. Rather, it is to acknowledge a fuller spectrum of trauma that can exist within society in the aftermath of violence. Given the scale of historical and contemporary conflict, terrorism, gender-based violence, institutional abuses, and criminality within Irish society, levels of individual and collective perpetrator trauma are potentially vast. As such, giving attention to perpetrator trauma aims to productively contribute to processes of healing, not least as ignored perpetrator trauma may fester in ways that perpetuate both generational suffering and repeated cycles of violence.

Dominic Thorpe aims to develop processes that sensitively explore and give form to difficult embodied experiences of perpetrator trauma symptoms, such as flashbacks and embodied disturbance, while also invoking the domestic contexts in which such experiences may be suffered in silence. To do so, he will work with both domestic objects and multi-media performance-based imagery. When making live performance art he has frequently worked with domestic orientated materials, such as chairs, tables, cutlery, mirrors, and petroleum jelly, often with highly sculptural outcomes. However, any resulting objects are generally disposed of following a performance, rather than being (re)presented as sculptural works. Conversely, during his residency at Uillinn, Dominic will begin to work with domestic objects in embodied ways and present them as sculptural objects that also incorporate photographic and video imagery of performance gestures.

Dominic Thorpe is an Irish visual artist who works in performance art, drawing, video, photography, and installation, as well as employing contextual and collaborative based processes. He has shown and performed extensively including at the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery, Bangkok Cultural Centre, Performance Space London, Galway Arts Centre, and Golden Thread Gallery Belfast. He has completed several residencies, including at Nordic Arts Centre Norway, Fire Station Artist Studios Dublin, and was the first artist in resident in Humanities at University College Dublin. He frequently engages with inclusion and education-based initiatives and has work in several public collections in Ireland, including the collection of the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. Dominic Thorpe has completed a PhD at Ulster University exploring how perpetrator trauma is addressed within performance art from Ireland.

The Uillinn/Crespo Residency is a residency opportunity open to contemporary visual artists based outside the county of Cork and encompasses a purpose-built studio at Uillinn, accommodation in Skibbereen, travel costs and a weekly stipend. 

The Crespo Foundation is based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and was set up by the photographer, psychologist and philanthropist Ulrike Crespo (1950–2019). The foundation carries out operational projects in the fields of art, education and social affairs. The Crespo Foundation works closely with Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre for its own residency programme "ArtNature/NatureArt" in Glenkeen Garden, West Cork.

Open Studio and Artist Talk
Dominic Thorpe
Saturday 5 August at 2.00pm 

Dominic Thorpe was awarded the inaugural Uillinn Residency Award supported by the Crespo Foundation. He works in performance art as well as drawing, video, photography, installation and relational processes. His work has addressed a range of critical content, most recently focusing on collective memory and perpetrator trauma. Dominic is in residence in Studio 2 from 22 July until 16 September. This is an opportunity to meet the artist, hear about his arts practice and the work he wishes to carry out for the residency.

Artist Talk: Dominic Thorpe
Saturday 9 September, 12pm to 1pm 

Dominic Thorpe will introduce his practice and work during his residency at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre. The talk will open ideas and discussion around Thorpe’s performance art practice, his work across a range of media addressing perpetrator trauma, and his practice-led PhD research.

All welcome!


Images above:
Top: Constrain, 2018, Greenway Boston (detail) image taken by Jordan Hutchings
Lower: Dominic Thorpe. Glass Mouth. Performance at the Holy Trinity Church Folkstone UK. 2017. Image taken by Andrea Abbatangelo.

WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council in making these residencies possible.

©2024 West Cork Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.