Sally O’Dowd is a socially engaged artist, curator and collaborator based in County Cavan in Ireland. Her arts practice includes exhibitions, events, talks, writing and public art commissions with particular interest in performance and site-specific works.
She explores identity and the roles of the female, lending form to the invisible in contemporary society, and the tangled language of convention layered in our social environs. She is interested in art encounters opening up space and time, and engaging audiences.
Sally studied a 12-month Masters of Art: Art and Process at Crawford College of Art in Cork, Ireland. Her study explored authenticity in documentation by way of performance, film and drawing. Final MA work took the form of performance to film, 24hour projection, live performance, a bound book of drawings, and a text by Julie Forrester published in the catalogue. Previous education include a BA(Honors) Fine Art from Middlesex University, London and Foundation Diploma from Ledri School of art Cyprus.
Alongside Cavan Town Council and County Council her co-curated trans-art 2012 project was awarded the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards for Sustaining the Arts.trans-art is an arts organisation she co-curates with former gallery owner Joe Keenan and artist Siobhan Harton in Cavan town since 2011. trans-art hosts exhibitions, performance and events at their space at 61 College Street and around the town.
Recent productions include Article 2: How to fold a Sheet in collaboration with Ladies K-Club Killeshandra, Cavan Arts and Create on behalf of Arts Council Ireland; the Non-Parade Parade collaborative street spectacle for Cavan Town involving over 50 volunteers and performers (funded by IFI Culture Cavan, 2013), Sugar Walk performance (for FIX 13, Catalyst Arts, Belfast and Unit 1, Smock Alley, Dublin, 2013), SHIPS Live Art Participatory Project (at Bluewall Gallery and Flatlake Festival, 2010), Purple Live (performance for the Gonzo Theatre’s Tales from the Heart and Other Body Parts, 2010), The Black Gaffa Tape Experiment (Rag Factory, London, the Royal Standard, Liverpool, 2009).
At Tartu Print and Paper museum I plan to learn lots of new printing and book binding skills. The space and activities of the museum and surrounding city will hopefully provoke artistic output that can be filtered through the equipment available and borrowed! At the moment, I’m in the space making cyanotypes, a beautiful alchemical kind of experience, with much insight from head technician Kalju. I keep saying I make performance so best do at some point! Word of mouth is that trees in Estonian are named in the same way we name fields in Ireland and so I hope I can work with this in particular. The end results of two weeks process will form a show/event in Tartu.