In the shadow of the state
Collaboration between artists Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones
In the Shadow of the State was an ambitious project by artists Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, realised in public form in both Ireland and the UK in 2016. This marked the first collaboration between these dynamic Irish artists, who both exhibit nationally and internationally. Jones and Browne explored statehood from the perspective of the female body, through the process of collective legal drafting and vocalization. With In the Shadow of the State, they proposed critical remembering and profound reflection on the birth of a nation, invoking the political imaginary necessary to move from one historical moment to another. The artists collaborated with experts in medicine, law, material culture and music, as well as with women’s groups through a series of Legal Drafting Sessions and participatory live events in historically resonant spaces in Derry, Dublin, Liverpool and London.
As part of In The Shadow of the State, the artists addressed the idea of home as a space of latent power, occupying a domestic space for activities such as feminist consciousness-raising but also extending outwards to ‘domesticate’ institutions of the state. The project officially launched with a legal Drafting Session with an invited group of women, which led to a public performance which explored how the lives of women have been touched by the law within an intimate setting, featuring a Sound score by Alma Kelliher, award winning composer and sound designer.
In the Shadow of the State was a trans-national co-commission between Artangel (UK) and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland. It was also one of the nine projects funded by ART: 2016 the Arts Council’s programme as part of Ireland 2016, the centenary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland. Additional support also from Dublin City Council.