Supported by the Arts Council and Wicklow County Council


On 1 August 2023 Kunstverein Aughrim presented Autumn Preview with Sonia Shiel.

Framed by the Irish celebration of Lughnasa, the event began with a woodland walk following a trail along the Ballycreen Brook. A series of exercises were performed at selected points on the map, by a group of actors tasked with conjuring objects. Light lunch was served en route. Returning to the Kunstverein, gathered objects were arranged to complete Shiel's Supernatural Bureau, an exhibition that will remain on view until December 2023. The preview event concluded with a conversation on fan-nonfiction and our relationship to narrative and the natural world with a satellite appearance by the writer and author of Death by Landscape, Elvia Wilk.

12pm: meet at Kunstverein Aughrim
12:15pm: woodland excursion
1:30pm: outdoor lunch
2pm: talk at Kunstverein Aughrim

Kunstverein Aughrim is unfortunately not currently wheelchair accessible, due to a series of stone and concrete steps at the threshold. The walking trail lasts approximately 90 minutes and involves slow paced woodland walking on slippery surfaces.

Sonia Shiel is an Irish visual artist, based in Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include: I Am What You’ve Come To See, at Void, Derry; Rectangle Squared, at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; and The Incomplete Platypus, at Rua Red, Dublin. Group exhibitions include The Glucksman, Cork; The Lexicon, Dublin; The Cable Factory, Helsinki; Kulturbunker, Frankfurt; and IMMA, Dublin. Sonia Shiel is a member of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. She is represented by the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, and supported by the Arts Council's Bursary and Project Awards 2022. She is a Fellow of Fordham’s Art and Law Program, and an associate artist at UCD’s School of Drama.

Elvia Wilk is the author of the novel Oval and the essay collection Death by Landscape. Her essays, criticism, and fiction have appeared in publications including The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The Atlantic, n+1, The Paris Review online, Artforum, Bookforum, BOMB, Frieze, WIRED, and The White Review. She received a 2019 Andy Warhol Arts Writers Grant for short-form art writing and a 2020 fellowship at the Berggruen Institute. She teaches widely and is currently a contributing editor at e-flux journal.

Stéphane Béna Hanly is a multidisciplinary artist working through sculpture, video, sound, and performance often with the intention of combining them to produce dynamic multimedia events, having showcased around Ireland and abroad in Europe since 2014. In reproducing fragments extracted from fantastical scenarios with the aim of presenting them to an audience,  Stéphane draws parallels with the contradictions in the world around us, showing what our world isn’t, to reveal what it is and what it could be.

Niall Cullen is a contemporary visual artist with a first class honours degree in sculpture from the National College of Art and Design. His work investigates themes around identity, public space, mark making, re-appropriation of data and imagery while he also explores a collaborative practice with other artists, relevant acquaintances, familiars and the public. Cullen’s approach to visual art utilises materials, ethics and space in a manner which is informed by his ongoing relationship/ research based on subcultures that interact with urban environments. His multidisciplinary practice works with video, painting and performance to construct abstract narratives between his personal history and his ongoing research.

Isadora Epstein writes and makes performances from her research of art history and mythology. Her work brings together an ensemble of artists working in visual art, experimental music, and dance. The activities of her practice include three distinct processes: archival research, script writing, and collaborative rehearsals. Her performances are joyful acts of remembrance which offer up the ridiculous fantasy of immortality through the making of temporary fictional worlds.

Aoibhinn O’Dea is a multidisciplinary artist, working across visual arts, mainly dance, performance and film. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art Sculpture (NCAD, 2014), where her practice evolved through installation, video and performance. She developed a body based practice through puppetry, floorwork and somatics (Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais and Kelin Technique). Over the last number of years she has developed the performative aspects of her body based practice through intensive professional dance training in Germany (Tanzfabrik, Marameo, Katapult and Ponderosa), Portugal (Preformact) and Dublin (Dance Ireland and CoisCeim). O’Dea worked closely with choreographer/Sasha Waltz dancer Maria Colusi, who has had a significant influence on her practice and professional development.

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Autumn Preview with Sonia Shiel was an event devised to offer insight into Shiel’s working methodologies as an artist, by inviting audiences into the making & thinking process. Shiel is currently developing a major new body of work commissioned by VISUAL Carlow for exhibition in September 2023. Kunstverein Aughrim’s ongoing collaboration with Sonia Shiel across 2023 is supported by the Arts Council.