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There's room up the front
NCAD Graduate Showcase, 2016

This work was concerned with the effects of the miniature and scale. My work takes the form of installation art, including sculpture and video.The physicality and materiality of the installation act as hooks to lure viewers into a microscopic world. They evoke a physical reaction with their tininess and detail; their smallness making us hunker, squint and tip-toe. This tiny world entices us by playing with our sense of scale and perspective.

Alongside the miniatures, I expand the microscopic into human-sized, tactile elements. Using materials that are familiar and relate to the body, the work will create a link between the microscopic and galactic. My work explores the effects of the miniature; its initial appeal through its materiality, the alienation of encountering something not meant for the viewer's voyeuristic eyes, and transcending this alienation by disregarding our ties to a physical self. We exist in a realm somewhere between this tiny reality of material and our imaginations.

In making the viewer lust to be untethered to a physical form, I intend to paradoxically make the viewer more aware of their bodies, their boundaries and limits. The miniature makes the viewer long to prise open their eyes and gulp the entire world up. We become aware of the boundaries of our sight, the perimeters of our peripheral vision and the borders of our proportions. We are able to transcend these clunky uncoordinated bodies by using miniatures as a threshold for an entire cosmic vastness. This causes a wonder that does not shrink but instead grows at an exponential rate, even as we return to the familiar world.

My thesis 'Sarah Sze: Under the Microscope, Through the Telescope', has heavily informed the work as research. In my thesis I explored the effects of the miniature in Sarah Sze's work. My thesis refers to the philosopher Gaston Bachelard and his book 'The Poetics of Space' and Susan Stewart's 'On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection' and these references have carried over to my studio practice

Niamh Coffey Front of business card
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