Pauline Cummins

Performance Art

Pauline Cummins performance and video work examines identity, gender and socio-cultural relations connected to different communities in society.

Her works ‘Sound the Alarm’ 1(2008), 2 (2009), 3(2010) and ‘Extracts’ Paris 2012, explore themes of power, powerlessness and the rights of the child to protection. Most recently in Between One and Another, (2012) with Canadian artist Sandra Vida, at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris, and in the exhibition, It has no name curated by Liz Burns in 2013 in DIT, Dublin.

She performed as Emily the Duchess of Leinster and as her son, Lord Edward Fitzgerald in These Immovable Walls in Dublin Castle in 2014. Her first performance was in 1988 commissioned by Projects UK , Unearthed, dealt with the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Cummins video installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally over the last 30 years. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. She was a lecturer in the Fine Art Department of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, 1994 -2014

​“My first major performance was, Unearthed 1988 in Newcastle on Tyne and was commissioned by Projects UK. It consisted of slide projections pre-recorded sound and live sound by the artists. Unearthed was selected for ‘Art Beyond Barriers’, Frauen Museum, Bonn. Unearthed then became a video installation with photographic images and sculptural stands It was shown in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, in ‘Inheritance And Transformation’,1991. Unearthed was also shown in, The Fifth Province- Some Contemporary Art from Ireland, in the Edmonton Art Gallery, with a live performance, 1991 Unearthed was shown in the museum of contemporary art in Roskilde, Denmark. One person show 2 Installations: Inis Oirr/Aran Dance and Unearthed, Ladengalerie, Munich, Germany, 1991

Original drawings for Unearthed, were selected for the irish Exhibition of Living Art 1982.

Another work ‘Inch X Inch’ a text based work with sound performance to camera. Performed in Inch, Co. Donegal and Inch, Co. Cork.”


History of Performance Art In Ireland, Edited by Aine Phillips, Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books (2015).

Art and Architecture in Ireland, Yale University Press and Royal Irish Academy (2014); 5 Vols. Vol. 5: Twentieth Century Art and Artists, edited by Peter Murray, Crawford Gallery Cork and Catherine Marshall, Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Art in Ireland since 1910, by Fionna Barber, Reaktion Books (2013).

The Performance Collective, Circa Art Magazine, Spring 2009 (2009).

And the One Doesn’t Stir without the Other, edited by Ursula Burke and Ruth Jones, with Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2006).

Dialogues: Women Artists from Ireland edited by Katy Deepwell, I.B. Taurus, New York and London.
Kay Burns, Locus Suspectus..where the hidden comes to light., Artichoke, vol.17 no.1 (Spring) 2005, p.32-35. Canada (2005).

Moira Roth, ‘Of Writing, Performance, and Photography: The Cyber Theater of Mneme and Muse‘ Camerawork vol.30, no.1( Spring/Summer) p.28-31. USA (2003)

Unearthed, performance script, n.paradoxa, vol. 5, p.71-73 (2000).