Susan Buttner, untitled, 2019, installation photograph, courtesy the artist, RHA Studio, RHA, Dublin.
TEXT/ RHA School Peer Residency Award 2018
The RHA School Peer Residency Award provided Buttner with an extended period to reflect on the complexities within her practice. Its multi-layered art and life binary approach which necessitates the unpacking of complex issues framed within a social contemporary and rooted in forms of collaboration and dialogue. Buttner's conceptual interests bring her into contact with individuals and groups of people who influence and inform the work, it is challenging and socially relevant. Buttner attempts to reposition those who are often unheard, who have direct experiences of vulnerability, to raise social and cultural issues, and to open conversations.
Research into the body, orphaned from belonging, Buttner engages with a small group of women as part of the project Chewing Gum in My Hair, which explored vulnerability, injury, and pain, the health impact of vaginal mesh surgery on the individual and collective body and the politics of female subjectivity.
The project culminated in a series of sculptural installations and video recordings at the RHA and at Flax Studios Belfast. It will culminate as a live performance, choreographed by Buttner with dancers Rebecca Reilly and Sarah Ryan, and will form part of the PLATFORM 2021 Exhibition, curated by Sharon Murphy at the Draíocht Arts Centre.