Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Aveen Mc Kernan 

BA [Hons] Art

Aveen McKernan is a Dublin-based sculptor whose work is explored through installations using site-specific materials. Her art delves into the significance of Irish landscapes in our lives and our impact on them. She questions the disconnect in our relationships with Irish culture, serving as a bridge between past and present, tradition and innovation. Aveen invites audiences to engage in critical discourse on issues ranging from cultural preservation to landscape conservation. Through her installations, viewers confront the complexities of contemporary Irish identity. She has exhibited at In the Making: Navel at Pallas project in 2024 and at Magyar Képzóművészeti Egyetem.

Project Description

My practice encompass themes rooted in Irish culture and environment. Through sculptural installations, I explore Ireland's unique landscapes, delving into topics such as the tension between tradition and sustainability, the rural-urban divide, and the historical significance of Irish boglands. Forging site-specific materials from my family's bog in Co. Clare, the installation embodies the lifestyle my grandmother reminisces about, now fading away. The encasement suggests the preservation of our boglands, urging observers to admire without disturbance. The embankment confronts us with the result of altering our boglands through the tradition of turf cutting. The accompanying audio serves as a catalyst for reflection, juxtaposing the serenity of birdsong with the harsh realities of this lifestyle's challenges. Through this lens, we grasp the necessity for progress while acknowledging the toll on both humans and the environment. Unlike typical encasements seen after irreparable damage, this offers an opportunity for introspection and understanding before irreversible change occurs.

Sculpting Sustainability in art : Accidental Pioneers' and their Legacy in Contemporary Art

This thesis was written to propose the exploration and the possibilities of sustainability within contemporary sculptural art practices. The pressure to be sustainable during an environmental crisis seems daunting. To debunk this pressure, the focus is on accidental pioneers' legacy from the 1960s who paved the way for artists to look at sustainability in an accessible and less intimidating way. Andy Goldsworthy, Louise Nevelson, and Dieter Roth are some artists from this time who have inadvertently contributed to sustainable practices to explore their subject matter in further detail. Through analysing these artists' practices, realistic solutions are found to make an individual artistic practice sustainable.