The selection panel for this award included Colin Martin, RHA School Principal, Val Connor, Lecturer and Curator and Sarah O’Neill, Deputy Arts Officer, Fingal Arts.
Naomi Sex will begin her residency in November 2018. This award consists of a funded studio space for the period of one year and offers the recipient an opportunity to develop their practice within the institutional framework of the RHA.
Naomi Sex produces scripts for live performances – these works oscillate between theatre and sculpture and typically play out within the gallery and museum setting. In this regard, the body is considered conceptually as a formal, complex, sculptural entity. The characteristics of theatre are utilised to book-end the performances in a very particular, mannered and staged way around a minimal, scenographic backdrop employing materials and props which aim to create a doubling in aesthetic function and sculptural form. In terms of the content of the performances, Sex is interested in the decision artists’ make to become and stick with being artists despite the lack of lifestyle and financial stability that decision leads to. This rationale has become a common hook in how Sex develops and writes scripts. Sex typically develops a central character who is pursuing a vocation of some sort and is following a calling – then the scripted material expands from that point through experimentation and work shopping with actors. To give some noteworthy examples, in 2013 Sex produced a performative event entitled, The Synchronised Lecture Series which featured in nine key Irish institutions simultaneously. In each location a different actor performed to scripted dialogue, actions and a minimal use of prop enacting a complex, composite staged piece. This unprecedented event was awarded The Irish Arts Council of Ireland’s “Visual Art Project Award, 2013” and The Dublin City Council “Incubation Space Award”. In 2014 Sex was selected for The Artist in Residency Program at The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) where she produced several new projects. This included curating the 6iX DEGREES event and scripting a major new performance entitled Cheek By Jowl which was awarded ‘The Touring Visual Arts Award, 2016’ by The Arts Council of Ireland. It was performed and toured throughout 2016 in conjunction with state portrait collections at Limerick City Gallery, Crawford Art Gallery and IMMA. In 2017, Sex was commissioned and produced a major new body of work entitled “All this Surface and Silence” for Gallery II and III at the RHA. Sex is currently working toward a major new event / exhibition to be hosted by The Hugh Lane Gallery in conjunction with Culture night 2020.
Image: Naomi Sex, Performance Still, All This Surface and Silence, featuring Darina Gallagher, 2017.