Digital Arts Studios Belfast, Northern Ireland

Gwen Stevenson

Artist Intro

Gwen’s own practice resides in the intersection between art and technology and on the physical border of Northern Ireland. This brings with it a sense of being ‘out of place’. This awareness informs her art practice that explores notions of placelessness and how it is informed by language. A place that instigates a sense of instability and uncertainty that is unfamiliar and foreign may be deemed ‘wrong’. By extension, a place that feels like ‘home’ may be deemed ‘right’. However, in this age of accelerating economic, technological and social change, as well as spiritual uncertainty, we have become increasingly estranged from our sense of ‘home’ to the extent that we feel that this world is no longer our home. The growing population of migrant workers in this traditionally rural area brings a sense of urban movement and diversity while highlighting the modern condition as one of existential homelessness. We are culturally and economically rewarded for enduring the wrong place. While, this notion of right or wrong place might be a crude generalisation, which seems to stress individual perceptions of place over collective or community identities - it is useful to express conditions of alienation and placelessness in contemporary life. Additionally, as we become more technologically and economically advanced, we increasingly lose sight of ourselves as members of species within a complex ecology that included all the worlds life forms which have their own right to place an existence. These ideas are central to her practice.

During her residency at the Digital Arts Studios, Gwen is exploring how to open up the viewer or participant to new possibilities and methods for experiencing innovative artworks. She is interested in broadening this aspiration for her work into new areas of research (physical versus virtual place), technological implementation (virtual environments and working across new digital media platforms) and audience participation (collaboration through digital communication). She hopes to gain knowledge and develop new processes for opening up her work across new technologies and towards new audiences.

design & development