Sunken Velvet Universe

“Here it was for the first – and possibly last – time I experienced seeing snowfall on a beach: a sunken velvet universe of cold on warm.”

Ormston House is delighted to publish a new essay by artist Sorcha McNamara on her experience taking part in the Black Holes residency as part of the Creative Europe project Artist-Run Network Europe. You can read Sunken Velvet Universe by Sorcha McNamara here.

In November 2022 Sorcha travelled to Totaldobže Art Centre to join seven other international artists in the collaborative and experimental environment of the Latvian wilderness. Sunken Velvet Universe is a personal reflection on the conversations and activities which took place during her stay and questions the role of the residency in an artist’s practice. When time is such a precious resource, artists may often feel pressure to generate work during these periods, but as Sorcha writes, “perhaps the success of a residency such as this should instead be measured by the amount of safety that we felt in each others’ presence, or the amount of warmth, openness, non-judgement, humour, silliness and camaraderie experienced overall.”

Sorcha was selected by Niamh Brown through an open call to our free Membership Scheme for artists.

Sunken Velvet Universe was designed by Eala Mardell.

About Sorcha McNamara:

Sorcha McNamara is a visual artist living and working in Mayo, Ireland. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Limerick School of Art and Design (2019) and is currently completing her MA in Art + Research Collaboration at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, DúnLaoghaire (2022-2024). Situated somewhere between the anti-intellectual and intensely cerebral, her practice engages with deconstructive methods of painting, acts of material resourcefulness, and site-responsive drawing with objects, space, and light.



Image: Sorcha McNamara, courtesy of the artist.
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