Student Conversation - Eimear Kinsella

"The broadness of the course is fantastic. I would honestly recommend it. "

On her approach

When I came into the College I was mostly a painter, and when I decided to do Textile Art & Artefact I just kind of felt that I wasn’t ready to limit myself to any material. The broadness of the course is fantastic. I would honestly recommend it. I’m definitely concept-driven and I probably always was. You’re encouraged in here to try every type of medium, to try photography, video, to try doing things with Illustrator, fashion design and then you kind of just latch onto something that you enjoy, or you’re good at, or that just really suits your type of making.


On experimenting

I know last year I discovered a material I liked making from, which is rice noodle paper, I was encouraged loads and I just kept going with that. I was looking at the idea of one skin fits all and was experimenting with a lot of tights and different types of nylons and then painting on them. I didn’t know why I was doing it and then I came across rice paper. I’d wet the rice noodle paper, place it on my skin, hair dry it until it vacuum-packed onto me, which looks like another layer of skin. I had always had an interest in science in secondary school and this material really allowed me to explore that deeper.

On material research

Now I’m looking at changing the body through a technique called vavilovian mimicry or what I’m calling vavilovian mammalial mimicry - looking at mammals and how they mimic each other. More specifically I’m looking at humans, and birds. I’m looking at mimicry in aviation, the human mimicking different types of aviation and at birds, insects and aeroplanes. People want to fly or at least experience what it’s like to fly, or to be a bird. It’s a fascination that starts at childhood and never really leaves us. I was looking at what birds have that we don’t have and birds have extra air sacks. When they breathe in, twenty percent of their body is made up of air because they can take in so much. The oxygen goes all the way into these air sacks and goes straight to the body. I needed to look at how I would build bronchiole extensions, so I started researching into different types of scaffolds used within surgery and one of these ways was porcelain. I made a good few porcelain based scaffolds then I used a technique where I grew skin on top of them. At this point I had no idea what I was doing with it all, I was just making.

On scientific research

At the moment I’m gathering all of these different things. I’m going to try and compile them in an obsessive narrative of a person who was obsessed with flying from when they were young. I have a room on this floor which is fantastic because it looks a bit like a lab. I want to capture it through three encyclopaedias constructed in a museum curated way, showing everything this person did.
Different types of marking, obsessive labelling, looking at growing their own wings, attaching them to their skin, how they’d attach them best, doing the bronchiole extensions, building air sacks.

On her final year show

I want it to be informing. I want people to come out and ask more questions, that’s why I’m constructing it in a way that it’s going to be realistic.