Roisin Lewis

Róisín Lewis
10 July to 17 August 2024
Open Studio: Tuesday and Thursday

During her residency Róisín will develop work based on field work carried out during previous residencies in 2021 and 2023. This field work focused on daily bicycle journeys to the studio, from Loch Hyne a saltwater lake and marine nature reserve located 8 kilometres from Skibbereen and from Turk Head at the mouth of the Ilen river. To distract herself from the physical exertion of cycling uphill, Róisín named out loud the flowers that she passed. Back in the studio audio recordings of her journey allowed her map the locations of different species.
Róisín noted that while cycling, her perception of the wildflowers that lined her route, was not of their delicate forms or intricate structures, but simply of sequences of colour unfolding like a woven fabric. The rhythmical activity of cycling also seemed analogous to the steady left-right process of weaving. Developing this analogy, she began exploring processes of weaving, interlacing, and pattern notation.

To challenge herself further in 2023, Róisín began learning the Latin and Irish names of wildflowers by translating transcriptions of audio her recordings. She memorized each name by writing it repeatedly, and then tested herself by naming the flowers as she cycled home from the studio. This process of rote learning coupled with explorations of weaving drafts became a starting formal exploration in the studio inspired by typewriter art of the 1950’s and Anni Albers typed weaving designs.

During her residency in 2024 Róisín will focus on making a body of work for exhibition in the Autumn comprising of drawings, paper weavings and audio recordings of her journeys. She is also looking forward to engaging in conversations with visitors to the studio, gleaning knowledge from locals and experts in the field of botany, ecology and physiology.

Róisín Lewis lives in Dublin. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in a solo exhibition at Custom House Gallery, Westport, and in group shows in Assab One, Milan and Atelier des Empreintes, Pays de la Loire. She is currently working towards solo exhibitions at the Ballina Arts Centre, Mayo, and the Municipal Gallery dlr Lexicon, Dublin.

Róisín has participated in several residency programmes including the RHA Clare Island Residency, the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation residencies in Connecticut and Senegal, IMMA Artists Work Programme, and two previous residencies at the West Cork Arts Centre.

Róisín Lewis
2 August to 2 September 2023
Studio open to visitors on Wednesdays

Róisín Lewis’s work is a response to slow journeys through the landscape. Rhythm reduces effort, as the saying goes. Not stopping to sketch or take photographs, Lewis gathers memories and occasionally objects, as she travels while also using body-worn technology to record biometric and geographical data.

Back in the studio, data is downloaded and paths travelled are retraced on paper. Objects gathered in the landscape are studied, drawn and manipulated. These activities encourage memories, observations and other sensory and rhythmical experiences to resurface, which in turn inform the use of materials, processes and color. The work also draws on indigenous building techniques and approaches to textile construction – slow repetitive processes that are analogous to the rhythm of the journeying body, as well as on mapping and surveying techniques.The work grows through the repetition of simple gestures. An underlying structure or rule determines the initial composition and forms develop in accordance with data collected. But the artist is not a machine. Irregularities, accidents and traces of the body that result from making by hand, also play a part. In this way, the work evolves through a combination of order, memory, chance and intuition.

During the month of August, Róisín will focus on developing and completing a body of work based on research carried out while in residency at WAC two years ago. On this occasion, field work will focus on bicycle journeys from Turkhead at the mouth of the Ilen river to the studio in Skibbereen. She aim's to make a finished body of work combining text and colour, audio recordings biometric and geographical data and specimens of wildflowers. This work will form part of a solo exhibition in Ballina Arts Center in 2024.

Róisín Lewis is currently based in Dublin. Since graduating from NCAD in 1996 her work has been exhibited in Ireland and abroad, most recently at The Custom House Gallery, Westport, SO Fine Art Editions, Dublin, Assab One, Milan, Atelier des Empreintes, Pays de la Loire, and Yanagisawa Gallery, Tokyo. She has been awarded residencies at IMMA, Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin, the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, Connecticut (2017), Thread, Senegal (2019), West Cork Arts Centre (2021, 2023) and also the RHA Clare Island Residency (2022). Her practice is currently supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Image above: R. Lewis WCAC Studio View 2021 

Róisín Lewis
5 August to 8 September 2021
Studio open for visits on Wednesday and Thursday, 1 pm to 4 pm

During her residency at Uillinn, Róisín Lewis will be engaged in fieldwork, studio work and conversations. The landscape around Lough Hyne will be the focus for fieldwork. While she will photograph and make drawings of this landscape to create visual records, her primary aim is to create embodied memories of multisensory and kinaesthetic experiences by journeying around and across the lake.

Using her body in this way to record the landscape, has become central to Róisín’s practice. When the country went into lockdown in March 2019, she had just returned from a residency in Senegal where she captured early morning runs in the arid wilderness surrounding the remote village of Sinthian. The previous year, her body recorded a month of swims on a dark tannin-rich pond in Connecticut, along with multiple icy laps of Sandycove Island, Kinsale.

Back in the studio, Róisín often begins work by plotting by hand the coordinates gathered by her GPS tracker during her journeys. The slow systematic process of retracing her routes encourages memories, of rhythms, colours, textures, smells to resurface. While Róisín’s practice centres on drawing, her aim during the residency, is to embrace new sculptural tendencies using materials and processes related to the landscapes she visits.

By the end of the residency Róisín will have an intimate knowledge of Lough Hyne, a collection of notes, conversations, data and memories that will form the starting point for a new body of work. In the studio at Uilllinn, she will also continue to develop works based on memories of previous journeys through landscapes in Africa, America and Ireland.

Róisín Lewis is a Dublin based artist. After graduating from NCAD in 1996 with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Fine Art, Róisín went on to pursue postgraduate studies in fine art at the University of Ulster and in multimedia systems in Trinity College Dublin. She has had solo exhibitions at Pallas Projects, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery and Ashford Gallery in Dublin, at the Proposition Gallery and the Old Museum Arts Centre in Belfast, and at the Roscommon Arts Centre. Her work has been included in a number of international exhibitions including the Drawing Centre, New York, The Berkeley Art Museum, California and Yanagisawa Gallery, Tokyo. She is currently working towards exhibitions in Ballina Arts Centre and the Custom House Gallery in Mayo.

This residency is supported by an Arts Council Professional Development Award.

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


Image: Lisa1-5, acrylic on paper, 112x76cm, 2018
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