Youth Arts Residency- Making Faces

3 mins read

Making Faces

with artist threadstories

We took the  opportunity over midterm break to go see some art in Kilkenny. We visited the Yvonne McGuinness exhibition at the Butler Gallery as well as a public art mural at the Handball Alley on Michael Street, Kilkenny by KinMx. We took this occasion to discuss the many ways art meets its audiences, the power structures behind the artworks that determine what art is seen in the public realm and in galleries. We discussed the role of the  curator and commissioner and who pays artists. We compared this to how we predominantly view art now which is in the online realm and discussed how this might be changing and impacting who’s art can be seen and viewed by the public. We did not draw any conclusions at the end of the session but left with an awareness of the dynamics at play within different art contexts.

For our final two sessions we worked on our own individual mask pieces. Participants were given a beanie style hat as their canvas. I showed them my artwork both physically and through photography to inspire. They had the option to use any of the techniques we had explored over the previous sessions and transform their canvas. Some chose to draw, others stitched, some built 3D appendages, there was a variety of individual responses with no two looking alike. We set up a photoshoot in the workshop space, participants had the option of choosing backdrops, and fabrics to cover their clothing. We had a lot of fun photographing the pieces and seeing each other’s masks coming to life when worn.

Film maker Freddie Greenall documented our last couple of sessions. Collectively we discussed how we wanted this piece of documentation to look and what was interesting to include, we left plenty of scope for input from participants. We are looking forward to seeing the outcome.


About the Artist

threadstories artwork questions the erosion of personal privacy in our digital age and its effect on how we view and portray ourselves online. Her practice layers traditional craft techniques, performance and photography. She uses these media to investigate visually the influence new technologies and social media are having on our relationship with the image of the face – our own and others.

threadstories exhibits nationally and internationally, with work in the collection of The National Museum of Scotland, and various private collections. Winner of The Progressive Vision Curtin O’Donoghue Emerging photography prize at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2020. Her work has been featured in print publications Dazed, Love, New York Times Style magazine and more. threadstories collaborates with fashion houses, filmmakers, dance and music artists on commissioned pieces of wearable art.


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