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In the Shadow of The State, Jesse Jones and Sarah Browne
Interior of House, The Blaskets. (Research image: Miriam O’Connor.)

In the Shadow of The State, Jesse Jones and Sarah Browne



The first public event as part of In the Shadow of the State by artists Jesse Jones and Sarah Browne took place in Derry on 12th March. In the Shadow of The State launch event March 12.

In the Shadow of the State is an ambitious project by artists Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, which will be realised in public form in both Ireland and the UK in 2016. This marks the first collaboration between these dynamic Irish artists, who both exhibit nationally and internationally. Jones and Browne will explore 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 propose 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 are collaborating with experts in medicine, law, material culture and music, as well as with womens’ groups through a series of Legal Drafting Sessions and participatory live events in historically resonant spaces in Derry, Dublin, Liverpool and London.

The launch location is taking place in a domestic space previously subjected to repeated home raids. As part of In The Shadow of the State, the artists intend to address the idea of home as a space of latent power, occupying it for activities such as feminist consciousness-raising but also extending it outwards to ‘domesticate’ institutions of the state. The project officially launches with a legal Drafting Session which will be held on 27th February with an invited group of women. This session will devise a public performance in the same location on the 12th of March. This public performance explores 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 is a trans-national co-commission between Artangel (UK) and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland. It is 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.

In the Shadow of the State Events & Performance Programme 2016

Artist Biographies

Sarah Browne & Jesse Jones

Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones are both based in Dublin and studied at the National College of Art and Design. Their collaboration, as a feminist practice, brings together mutual concerns. They have each made numerous works within and outside gallery spaces, and have extensive experience working in collaborative contexts and through public art commissions. Their exhibitions, films and public projects have been produced on a national and an international level, for institutions such as Project Arts Centre, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Istanbul Biennale, Artsonje Seoul, the Daimler Art Collection and the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Co Collaborators

Mairead Enright

Mairead Enright is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Birmingham. Her research is on feminist legal studies, religion, nationalism and critical theory. In relation to Ireland, she has written on abortion law, illegal reproductive rights activism and redress for historical abuse in religious institutions. She is interested in subversive forms of legal writing and in how legal institutions can be manipulated and re-imagined to serve feminist ends. She is one of the co-directors of the Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project.

Dr Lisa Godson

Dr. Lisa Godson holds degrees from Trinity College Dublin (MA) and the Royal College of Art (MA, PhD) and is lecturer in History of Design and Material Culture at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Recent publications include Making 1916: Material and Visual Culture of the Easter Rising (co-editor, Liverpool University Press, 2015); Design Learning in an Age of Austerity (co-editor, 2015); The Secret Lives of Objects (editor, 2016); the forthcoming Modernism and Sacred Architecture (co-editor, 2017) and her monograph “How the Crowd Felt”: Religion, Ritual and Material Culture in the Irish Free State (2017).’Charting The Material Culture of the ‘Devotional Revolution’: the Advertising Register of the Irish Catholic Directory 1837-96′ (Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 116C). She was college tutor in Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art for Design Interactions, Design Products and Industrial Design where she was also Learning and Teaching Fellow, and the NCAD Fellow at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin.

Godson often works with creative practitioners – her research into modernist architects in Africa formed the basis of the award-winning documentary Build Something Modern and she is research collaborator on the Arts Council/Create/Artangel project In the Shadow of the State with artists Jesse Jones and Sarah Browne. Current research includes being Principal Investigator of the Irish Research Council-funded Making Memory: the Material and Visual Culture of Commemoration in Ireland since 1800 and a project on gender and the design of medical instruments.


GynePunk is a Catalan collective interested in hacktivism, and also interested in exploring low cost means of gynaecology and other diagnostics for different groups of women – be it migrants, sex workers or those on low incomes.

Alma Kelliher 

Alma Kelliher is a composer, sound designer and musician based in Dublin. Theatre credits include:riverrun (Emergency Room, worldwide tour) Winner Best Sound Design, Irish Times Theatre Awards 2013; The Elephantom (UK National Theatre and West End); Cure (Fearghus Ó Conchuir); I’m Your Man (thisispopbaby).

Alma has a BA in Music (Trinity College) and an MSc in Sound Design (Edinburgh University). She studied organ with the London College of Music and Media and is a graduate of the Rough Magic SEEDS Programme 2010–11. Alma is a member of The Evertides – a musical trio influenced by folk, gospel and vocal harmony.

In the Shadow of the State will be realised in public form in both Ireland and the UK in 2016.

Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland

Based in London but working across Britain and beyond, Artangel commissions and produces exceptional projects by outstanding contemporary artists

ART: 2016 is the Arts Council’s programme as part of Ireland 2016.
ART: 2016 is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through its Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme and is created with a range of partners; local, national and international.

Press contact Ireland: Katrina Goldstone, Create
00353 1 473 6600 or communications@create-ireland.ie

Press Contact UK: Anna Larkin
+44 (0)20 7713 1400 Anna[at]Artangel.co.uk

Additional information on ART: 2016 , the Arts Council’s programme as part of Ireland 2016
Press contact: Madeline Boughton, Ireland 2016

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related programme
In the shadow of the state