The work of artist Marie Barrett has been primarily concerned with the development of innovative, process-based work in public space. Since the late 1980s Barrett has created a series of site-specific public art works, which have used processes of collaborative engagement and dialogue with specific communities. These projects have typically been articulated in a cross-border context, bringing together divergent community groups.
The approach has been interdisciplinary, always aiming to combine the transformative power of collaborative public art practice with the rigour and analysis of in-depth action research.
Over the course of an extensive and diverse series of public art collaborations certain persistent themes, communities of interest and locations have emerged. In terms of identity and location, projects have been cross-community, cross-border and also directly concerned with the border itself.
A number of projects have harnessed the River Foyle as a particular site of meaning. Communities of interest have included youth, the unemployed, women’s groups, garment factory workers, emigrant and migrant workers. There is an emphasis within Barrett’s practice on establishing long-term collaborative alliances: in some instances, it has been possible to re-engage with groups from earlier collaborations to explore a new set of project ideas.
The scope of the work has been both national and international. Projects have been developed through Sitework, the Orchard Gallery’s public art programme in Derry, the P.S.1. International Studio Programme, New York and the Artists Work Programme, Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Barrett is a co-founder and currently Artistic Director of North-55, a socially engaged visual arts organisation which develops site-specific public art projects. North-55 engages divergent communities on civic issues on a cross-border basis.
There is an emphasis within my practice on establishing long term collaborative alliances: in some instances, it has been possible to re-engage with groups from earlier collaborations to explore a new set of project ideas.
1988-90 Sitework, Public Art Project, Orchard Gallery, Derry.
1989 Impact, Public Art, Derry City Council.
1991-95 Collars See Through Art, Sculptors Society.
1990 Art and War, Berlin
1991 Emigration Project, New York.
Battering Ram, Sculptors Society.
1993 Exploding the Myths, Derry.
1994-95 Air Monitoring Sculpture, I.M.M.A.
1994 Border Letters Women’s Programme, I.M.M.A.
1996-97 The Event Horizon: Maps of Meaning, I.M.M.A.
1997 Cross-Border Programme, Beyond Borders.
2005 Turas, Commission, Donegal Co. Council.
2002 -03 Dialogues (North-55)
2003-04 Transactions (North-55)
2005-07 Testimonies of the River (North-55)
2008 Remnant (North-55)
2009 Borderland (North-55)
2010 Landmarks (North-55)
2011 Illuminate (North-55)
2012-13 Signal (North-55)
2014-15 Fathom (North-55)
COLLABORATIVE & LECTURING ACTIVITIES:
1988 Sitework, Public Art Programme, Orchard Gallery, Derry.
1990 Artists Exchange Programme, England.
Artist in Residence, Derry Unemployed Workers Centre.
1990 Emigration, London, Commission for Culture and Education
Visiting Artist, NCAD, Dublin.
1991 Artist in Residence, P.S.1 Museum, New York.
Artist in Residence, Long Island University.
Artist in Residence, Area Mental Health Unit, Derry
1992 Public Art, Derry City Council.
Artist in Residence, Area Mental Health Unit, Derry.
1993 Beyond Border, Cross-border arts programme.
Area Mental Health Unit, Derry.
1994 Artist Work Programme, I.M.M.A.
Women’s Exchange Programme, Nicaragua, I.M.M.A.
1996 The Event Horizon, I.M.M.A.
1998 Lecturer, Art Access, Dublin.
1999 Lecturer, Dublin Institute of Technology.
2000 Suile Programme, Cross-border Women’s Groups.
2001 Tory, Donegal Travellers Project.
2002-13 Visiting Lecturer, Community Arts Diploma,
National College of Art and Design
2003-13 North-55, cross-border arts programme.
2004-09 (BA) Community Development, Letterkenny Institute of Technology
2013-14 Artist in Residence Inishowen Development Partnership
2013-14 National Women’s Council of Ireland Legacy Project ‘Still, We Work’
2014 Visiting Lecturer, MA SEAFACE, National College of Art and Design.
2014 Photography Programme Donegal Travellers Project.
2014 Photography Programme North Inishowen School Completion Programme.
2014-15 Fathom (North-55) Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme managed by Create
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
1987 Sources, Orchard Gallery, Derry.
1988 Derry Unemployed Workers Centre.
1989 Irish Arts Centre, London.
1991 Irish Arts Centre, New York.
1992 Arts Council of Northern Ireland Gallery
1993 Artists Work Programme, I.M.M.A., Dublin.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
1989 Issues, Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
People at Work, Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
1990 Art Festival, Berlin.
Parable Island, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool.
1991 International Studio Programme, New York.
1992 Ireland-People, Place and Politics, New York.
Exhibition of Visual Art, Limerick.
1993 See through Art, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Dublin.
1994 Exploding the Myths, Foyle Arts Centre, Derry.
Recite Nomad, Quebec, Canada.
1995 L’Imagine Ireland, France.
1996 Art in General, New York.
1997 Irish Art, Pilshanger Manor, London.
2000 Troubled: Exhibition of Northern Irish Art, PM Gallery, London.
2006 Icons From The North: Collective Histories Of Northern Irish Art, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
2010 Golden Thread Gallery @ London Art Fair
2011 Golden Thread Gallery @ London Art Fair
2014 Art of the Troubles, Ulster Museum, Belfast
2014 Art of the Troubles, Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
1984 Owen Sheehy–Skeffington Travel Award
1985 Derek Hill Scholarship.
1986 Alice Berger Hammerschlag Trust Award (Berlin).
Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Bordervision
1987 Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Ireland-America Arts Exchange Fellowship, New York.
Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
1993 Cultural Relations Committee, (Canada).
1994 Artflight, Arts Council of Ireland.
Community Arts Development Scheme, Arts Council of Ireland.
1999 Percent for Art Scheme, Donegal Co. Council.
Go-See Award, Arts Council of Ireland.
2010 Arts Council of Ireland Travel and Training Award (Cape Town)
2011 Arts Council of Ireland Travel and Training Award (Chicago)
2014 Arts Council of Ireland Travel and Training Award (Open Engagement New York)
2014 Artist in the Community Scheme, (Create)
1987 Sources, Orchard Gallery
1989 Issues, Arts Council of Northern Ireland
1990 Art and Politics and Ireland, Brian McAvera
1991 International Studio Programme Catalogue, PS1, New York
1992 Marie Barrett, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast
1994 From Beyond the Pale, Artist Work Programme, Irish
Museum of Modern Art
1996 Thinking Long: Contemporary Art in the
North of Ireland, Liam Kelly
1997 The Event Horizon, the Irish Museum of Modern Art,
2004 Conversation Pieces, Community and Communication in
Modern Art, Grant H. Kester
2006 Icons of the North: Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art, Brian McAvera &S.B. Kennedy
2009 Troubles Archive, Arts Council Of Northern Ireland.
2014 Art of the Troubles, Ulster Museum, Belfast
2014 Art & Architecture of Ireland, Volume 3 Sculpture.