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AOIFE
DUNNE

AN ODYSSEY OF EXPLORATIVE IDENTITY

TEXT BY
LIAM BEE

01.08.21
 

Aoife Dunne 2.jpeg

From New York to Tokyo, Aoife Dunne's multi-disciplinary skill set and unique sense of authenticity have made her a serious name to watch in the

art world

When it comes to her work you don't want to just watch it, you want to dive right in - immersing yourself in the fantastical worlds that Dunne creates. Aoife's multi-hyphenate background working as a professional dancer, art director, stylist, and digital creator has greatly influenced her multi-dimensional approach to creating large-scale experiential work and since graduating, Dunne has exhibited eleven solo shows internationally, with upcoming work in Puerto Rico, New York, London, Dublin, Paris, and Tokyo. With Dunne’s propensity towards excess, colour and chaos it comes as no shock that her work has a certain, 'queer appeal’. We spoke to Dunne about her ever budding success, her commitment to subverting normative mindsets and the on-going exploration of identity.

Where are you right now?

Currently, I am in Dublin. I’m writing this in my studio, sitting on a heap of vintage fabric, surrounded by neon lights, drinking my morning coffee and waiting for my red hair dye to set.

Costume, clothing and styling are important features throughout your artistic practice, what has been your relationship with fashion and how you present yourself as a female growing up in Ireland?

Clothing has always been an escape for me. I feel the relationship I have with costume is very intimate and powerful that I often find it difficult to articulate. Growing up I used clothing as a visual text type, a mode of rebelling and expressing myself in a way that I struggled to verbally. During my teenage years, I was drawn to masculine shapes, I became obsessed with changing my figure and playing with gender. I was never interested in being likeable or attractive, which meant I was fearless in the way I presented myself to the world. At the age of 15, I started freelancing as a stylist, which very quickly led me to an eight-year career in the fashion industry. The experience I gained working as an art director and stylist has been crucial to the development of my artistic practice, which is so heavily focused on using costume as a vehicle to explore, express and define notions of identity. Dress has such a transformative effect, it allows us to reach beyond ourselves, acting as a catalyst to explore and experiment with 

our character. I feel my work and my dress are naturally inseparable, as my work feeds into every aspect of my life.

 

Throughout your work, and particularly with your editorial work as an art director and stylist there seems to be a queer element or at least elements with queer appeal, would you agree with this?

I think my love for excess, colour and chaos is what ties me to the queer community. I have always been drawn to a predilection for subverting norms and celebrating the abnormal. Creating work is a very fluid, organic process. I never know where exactly my inspiration comes from as I’m naturally absorbing information around me daily and processing it subconsciously.

 

How have you kept up your multiple creative practices during the pandemic and what can we expect to see from you soon?

I am extremely driven and disciplined but above all else, my creative pursuits are largely selfish. I have an insatiable urge to create, it keeps me sane and ticking. I am currently working on shows for late 2021 /2022 in Dublin, New York, Tokyo, Paris and Puerto Rico. I couldn’t be more excited to be exhibiting again after a painful and strange year.

For more on Aoife Dunne visit their website or Instagram

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