Stage Left’ is an installation and a residency
Amanda Jane Graham is an artist and researcher concerned with social issues. Her practice is a trajectory of self-reflection, personal narrative, and memoirs where the viewer completes the experience. This involves delving into memories to create humorous fantasies that can be humorous macabre and disturbing. ‘‘Stage Left’ is an installation and a residency. The imagery of the exhibition is a playful approach to looking at societal taboos and difficult social issues such as serious illness and violence. The exhibition approaches these subjects, through references to humour in popular culture, a pastiche of humour itself. Graham’s installation blurs the boundaries of personal experiences and narratives by championing the human imagination to escape its bleak realities. The imagery is immersed in the traditions of Warner Brothers, Looney-Tunes and Hanna-Barbera cartoons, ubiquitous and familiar imagery that is a key to penetrating the unconscious memory of the observer to create spontaneous reactions.
Other elements of the installation include autoethnographic drawings and collage. Graham is utilising a familiar material culture to express personal experiences and create affiliations with the collective memory of the viewer. Part of the work includes a residential component that allows for conversational interaction with the artist who is creating a public platform for communal discourse around social issues. The title of her works also plays an important role in her work because it directs the viewer into the thought processes at the time of making the work.
Graham is currently a doctoral candidate at Maynooth University. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘The Domestic Abuse Panorama’ at Transart Cavan in 2018. A Tribute To The Irish Community Butte Montana 1916-1919’ at RHA Ashford Gallery in 2017. She was a recipient of ‘The Bullock Lane Residency Award’ in 2017 and, Arts and Health Award 2016 from Uillinn:West Cork Arts Centre and Cavan Arts Office. She was commissioned to write and perform a play for theatre called, ‘The Pram That Helped The Rising’ for the Cavan 2016 centenary celebrations. Her exhibition ‘Warrior’s One in Three’ was invited to be part of the 18th International Psycho Oncology Congress 2016 at the Aviva Stadium, where she presented a talk as part of Psycho Oncology and the Arts. Her work has featured in many publications including The Irish Times. Graham is currently the visual arts correspondent for The Arts Hour on Shannonside and Northern Sound FM and, in 2016 a documentary which she wrote, performed and co-produced was aired on both stations.