July 1-31, 2009
What is a tourist and how accurate are their experiences? “travelfreetravel” is a new transatlantic collaboration between artists Bernardine Carroll in Ireland and Maggie Shirley in Canada. The two artists will take up dual residence in art galleries in their native countries during June and July to develop collaborative work that examines the notion of prescribed experiences of tourists in real tourist locales. Through their unconventional travel agency they intend to pilot their participants on fanciful adventures via the Internet and its wondrous facilities. This multi-disciplinary project will provide tourist experiences and exchanges using a diverse array of media ranging from the technical tools of Skype and video links to more direct formats of hand-building, public interaction and conversation. Through these media, they will take their internet-faring tourists to real and imagined places, sidestepping the vastness of seas and oceans, impervious to economic and ecological issues and flouting the unsmiling realities of borders and guns.
Bernardine Carroll and Maggie Shirley both graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design in 2008. Bernardine is currently pursuing a Masters programme in Art in Public in University of Ulster, Belfast. Working within a relational sphere she has exhibited and initiated various projects throughout Ireland over the past number of years. Maggie returned to Canada and is now working at the Banff New Media Institute (The Banff Centre). Her current work is based on thematic research into gender, the human body and technology, primarily taking the form of performance and installation.
Maggie Shirley is an emerging artist who has recently completed a Master’s of Fine Art at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. Her graduate thesis show explored sensing and the Okanagan landscape show through a sound walk using locative media, tactile sculptures and other processes. Shirley uses a variety of research-based forms including the construction of objects, light and sound installations, 2-D imagery, performance and publically-engaging projects. Shirley has participated in artist-in-residence programs, performance festivals and has exhibited work in several group shows and selected shows in Canada, Ireland and Spain. In 2008, she was awarded a commission to create work with clients of Enable Ireland near Limerick City. Currently, Shirley is involved in a number of research projects in Kelowna and hopes to continue creating publically-engaging art projects both here in BC and abroad.