The Dock Visual Art Commissions
About Jackie McKenna
Jackie McKenna is a community activist whose art practice is always about people which encourages creativity and active engagement within the group she is working with. Most of Jackie McKenna’s work is commissioned and site specific with close community engagement. She works in Prisons, with Carers Groups, Tidy Towns, Local Art Centres and Schools and these engagements with the world and the broad practice of everyday life, emphasises inter-human relations. McKenna's work is not exclusively visual, she works collaboratively with other art forms and practices, with writers, actors, musicians, filmmakers and architects. Her art process encourages experimentation in many disciplines with such practitioners as artisan metal workers, stonemasons, glassmakers, light engineers so that she may continue to develop the collaborative potential of the work. Jackie has over thirty years of experience as a professional artist and tutor. She has produced several large outdoor public works throughout Ireland and many gallery exhibitions. She has been involved in organizing sculpture symposia, sculpture trails and parks. McKenna is a co-founder of the Leitrim Sculpture Centre in Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim. She delivers projects through short and longer term workshops, working with schools, the Irish Prison Service, and community groups. She has taught on Youth Reach programmes in Dublin, CE Schemes, in secondary schools and third level art colleges and currently teaches part-time courses at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre.
About Jackies Commission
In July of 2018 she had an exhibition at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre and created a large scales sculptural work, film installation and a series of workshops about a Palestinian Village, in Jericho. This village is largely Bedouin but is now disappearing to the point where it will longer exist in the near future. The exhibition was about marking the erosion of a place, its culture, its people and their memories and identity. It also acknowledges the impact of forced migration on the lives of people, in a particular woman. Jackie made a series of presentations and talks associated with this exhibition. She will be re-developing and deepening this work for exhibition in The Dock. It is her ambition to tell the stories of people in Fasayil and to include and elements of local craftwork within the exhibition. These memories, although they are sited within a very specific place, have enormous resonance to societies who have suffered trauma and who have been displaced. And for a wider audience, these voices have extraordinary power to preserve and memorialise. These voices serve as a trigger to the memory in a place which has suffered so much loss and social erosion. Jackie recent work has been relational, and very much coming from community contexts, with people and with activism. During the course of this commission she will develop new work and plan her approach to developing this body of work.
About this commission
The Dock team was looking forward to working with a number of visual artists this year. As a result of the current circumstances, there is a break in our gallery programme. This means that the visual artists we were to work with are now without the opportunity to exhibit. The team here think long and hard about what and who we programme in the galleries, so have decided to invite the artists who are part of the 2020 programme to submit an idea and approach to developing their work during this Covid-19 lockdown. The Dock has framed this as a small commission, to offer the artists encouragement to keep making work and to continue their connection with us and with you the audience.
We will keep updating this page with images and news and will be posting regularly on our social media channels as work progresses over the next three months.
Image of Jackie McKenna by kind permission of Cairn Homes (Paul McCarthy photographer)