Kira O’Reilly

“I am currently based in Helsinki, my background is in visual arts, and since the mid 90’s I have been making work centred around The Body, bodies, my body, other bodies be they partial, refigured, provisional, visionary, extended, relational, incomprehensible and unruly. This has made for encounters across species, scales, durations and contexts, often in the form of making time based performance work, video work, photographic work, writing and bioartifacts including interspecies work with living and non-living bodies.

I am interested in unlikely connections, tangential wonderings and disruptive underpinnings. Much of my work has come from questioning who gets to do what to whom where? A sort practice of experiential ethics, that are spatial, relational, contextual orchestrated through structuring and positioning audience/viewer in various scenarios, pieces for one person at a time, works in which touch is the dominant sense, making many works for non-art spaces.

My substantial potterings around labs in the past has generally been at the level of examining the cellular; tissue culturing unlikely assemblages of various cell types onto substrates like spider silk, attempting to create living textiles from skin, creating tactile meeting points with the precursor heart beats of liminal chick embryos. 

Since graduating from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 1998 my work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, China and Mexico. I have presented at conferences and symposia on both live art and science, art and technology interfaces. I have been a visiting lecturer in the UK and Australia and U.S.A in visual art, drama and dance. Most recent new works have seen my practice develop across several contexts from art, science and technology to performance, live art and movement work.

I have made movement works that I don’t like to call dances and has been increasingly informed by combat sports and martial arts as mode of investigating movement and embodied thinking, leading to running workshops that use grappling practices alongside writing.

I write, teach, mentor and collaborate with humans of various types and technologies and non-humans of numerous divergences including mosses, spiders, the sun, pigs, cell cultures, horses, micro-organisms, bicycles, rivers, landscapes, tundras, rocks, trees, shoes, food, books, air, moon and ravens. 

The first book about my work, Kira O’Reilly: Untitled (Bodies), has just been published by the Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books as the fifth title in the Intellect Live series, and launched with a series of round table events in Helsinki, Dublin and London.”

- Kira O’Reilly

Categories: Featured Artist

Date Posted: 14 December 2017