Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Richard Stone 

BA [Hons] Art

Richard is a Generation X artist based in rural Donegal and Dublin city. Grounded in pragmatic philosophy, spiritual and existential curiosities inform his process. He seeks to establish nuanced meta-views of why things are the way they are. Working in sculpture, installation, film and photography, his art moves people from a cognitive space into an embodied experience of increased presence and awareness - the art happens in the viewer-participant. He has exhibited in two group shows in Budapest: Diplomakiállítások at Magyar Képzőművészeti Egyetem (2023) and Alliance at Szabad Bistro (2023), and In the Making: Navel at Pallas Projects, Dublin (2024).

Project statement

This relational work combines natural and man-made objects to explore the beliefs, myths and ideologies that we live by, both personally and socially imposed, their effect on us and how they operate through us to create our social world.
Contrary to popular belief ivy does not destroy its host nor is it a parasite - it merely uses the tree’s support to grow upwards, nurturing diverse lifeforms in its evergreen foliage. This widespread misconception underscores our tendency to uncritically take on collective mindsets. Rich in spiritual lore, ivy teaches the lessons of binding and freeing - hence Cleave, meaning both to join with and to separate from - indicating the value of discernment. Which beliefs support and nurture us, which limit our healthy expression? Ivy also symbolises the profound shift in consciousness initiated at the start of a new phase in life, opening the recipient to vision and transformation.

Thesis title: Somatic Transformation in the Participant Through Embodied Engagement with Installation Art

Why does installation art tend to elicit such strong physical and emotional sensations and responses in its audience? In my thesis I explore the diverse elements at play within installation art that contribute to these somatic effects, drawing on research from the fields of art theory and history, philosophy, neuroscience and cognitive philosophy developments, psychology and somaesthetics. This research provides a contemporary understanding of how meaning-making, agency and the sense of self are firmly rooted in embodied experience and are continually influenced by our surrounding environment. This embodied interdependency with our environment explains why installation art, through providing an intensified and unified experience, can be particularly adept at transforming our sense of self.