Maria Vanessa Kerin

Welcome to my art practice blog. It introduces some of the art processes and projects that I have been involved in recent years. An ongoing weekly practice with dance artist Alexandra Rafferty since 2009 for which I am so grateful for, continuously nourishes a body based arts practice that feeds into a curatorial practice, in Ireland and in Estonia.

I am particularly interested in creating an Irish Baltic Nordic Arts Practice Sharing. See Outrider Artists for more info on that.

Should you wish to contact me for more information please text 00353877711033 or email:

Monday, January 9, 2017

PhD Arts Practice -UL 2015 onwards

In September 2015 I started a Structured PhD arts practice in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University Limerick, initially with Dr.Mary Hunan as supervisor and when she retired, Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann kindly took over.

Topic: how my body based arts practice informs my curatorial practice

The Space In between- Performance in the Courthouse Gallery July 2016

Exhibiting with Sarah Fuller in the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, July 2016 , inspired by previous movement research we had investigated together and developed separately in our own unique ways looking at the space in between...

I presented a series of performances each day for a week in the gallery space, incorporating monologue and embodied movement based on dna inheritence from my grandmother. Ende Bowe's photo of Gran was included in the live performance.

Experimental Heritage, Oland, Sweden, November 2016

Invited by Helle Kvamme to give a workshop using movement practice as method to inquire through the body for new knowledge in experimental archeology in the project
Kamprad Experimental heritage.

I explored the theme of Experimental heritage though non verbal communication with a wonderful group of open minded people.

Helsinki, Huuto Gallery, Sept 2016

4 O'Clock TEAS, an Outrider platform for dialogue and meeting artists curators at Huuto Gallery, Helsinki, funded by Culture Ireland, Hosted by Maria Kerin and Fiona O'Dwyer

The starting point for conversations is our varied relation to time and displacement, echoed in Fiona O'Dwyers work on exhibit in Huuto gallery, 10-26th Sept.

Fiona O’Dwyer’s exhibition I Went Up the Mountain With Someone Else's Story and Came Down With My Own centers around the idea and reality of Human Movement: taking as a starting point, her connection to her family’s migration and displacement in 1950’s Ireland. Her ideas are articulated through the works’ performative nature, its relation to place and time, and its materiality. 
"What comes through as a result are echoes of a distant space in time, transposed from real points on a landscape in which a narrative or sound once existed and was played out.
What has become evident however is that I forgot the future and so it goes on.” O’Dwyer, 2016

Kindly supported by Culture Ireland, Clare Arts Office and The Arts Council of Ireland  

Monday, April 4, 2016

Proposition: An art of ethics Symposium in The Burren Art College

Presentation at international conference: 


I was selected to participate in PROPOSITION: AN ART OF ETHICS SYMPOSIUM, a two day symposium, at the Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughen, Co.Clare, on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March 2016, organised by art critic and Circa editor Michaele Cuteya, formally editor of Fugitive Papers, with Katherine Waugh, philosopher, international curator and film maker and the Dean of the Burren College of Art, Conor McGrady. 

I responded to the invite; ‘All contributors have been invited to engage through their practice with ideas relating to a conception of ethics which differs substantially from dominant notions of morality’. 
The symposium gathered together artists, theorists and curators  from Ireland and England for two days of research and experimentation. Participants included:  Iain Biggs, David Burrows, Vivienne Dick, Maria Kerin, Glenn Loughran, Seamus McGuinness, Aislinn O'Donnell, Ciaran Smyth, Susan Stenger, Suzanne Walsh.

Asking myself what do I mean by ethics?
At a dinner party gathering of most of the Irish participants a few months before the event, during an informal conversation around what each of us mean when we use the word ethics in relation to our arts practice, I took the definition to mean for me ‘a way of being in the world’ (Beshty, 2015); ‘being’ as an awareness of presence, oneness, embodied and somatic, a quality that connects deep inner listening with the world around. This sense of ‘being’ has been developing over 20 years through a visual and movement based daily arts practice, deepened by somatic principles acquired through Body Mind Centering and Authentic Movement training. 

At this dinner one of the artists there named her sense of ethics as coming from an embodied place, her gut. 
She looked down and gestured to her intestines.

This was a critical moment for me and I closed my eyes and tried to feel where my sense of ethics/a way of being sources in my body. As a movement based artist I had never so precisely articulated this sensation before. While acknowledging the subtle tightening of the gut initially,  the out breath released this and with a further drop in weight shift as I felt the chair I was sitting on supporting me and this deeper sense of groundedness triggered an opening from the heart out, a soft source, a holding space of witness not judge, compassionate, not based on flight or flight as ‘a way of being in the world’. With another deep out breath I felt my chest cavity drop and my heart brain unveil, a sensation that is reflected in softer focus of the eyes, a relaxing of the jaw muscle, a taste of salty saliva in the mouth as the tip of the tongue hits the front palate. 

Particularly with my shared movement practice with Alexandra Rafferty over the past 7 years, greatly informed by class by the late Antoinette Spillane, my personal focus has been on what it means to be grounded, present, to come in to awareness of one self on so many levels by inner listening, that can then let us see our habits, our practices, to witness ourselves and our way of being in the world. This meditative movement practice has led me to a sense of awareness beyond this place of fight or flight in the adrenals and gut, to a somatic awareness of a more compassionate open hearted space in the body as ‘a way of being in the world’ agreeing with Beshty’s definition of ethics (Beshty, 2015).

The movement research and preparation for the presentation performance at the symposium

To respond to the invite in the manner that most informs my arts practice, I asked Alexandra Rafferty to join me to meet weekly for 6 weeks to research through movement and conversation into a level of articulation an inquiry into a somatic based ethics that takes place in our creative movement. We used techniques from meditation to deeply inquire and gain access to heart brain and Body Mind Centering to access and move through our heart muscle, and blood flow. Origins techniques like Yes/No/Maybe opened up the inner witness to habit and ingrained practice, where merge takes over from awareness and we actually don’t know what we are doing. 

The performance

 Alex and I sat at the front of the tiered steps with our back to the audience and just fit in as part of the audience to start our piece. There was no introduction but soon our stillness and inner silence and focus attracted attention and the audience came to a deep stillness and quietness. It was not choreographed but a form of contact improvisation based on moving through fear into meeting audience with an open heart, using all the movement techniques we could  to hold the space and open up to receiving the movement. Alex was 8 months pregnant and moved through fluids near the speakers stage. I joined her there after trying to go up the steps. It lasted about 15 minutes. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Stockholm art fair with Yellow Box

Invited to perform by Helle Kvamme of Yellow Box, Oland, Sweden, I took part in the Stockholm independent artists art fair, doing 2 live performances, one solo one with Helle as seen in the picture below.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chris's Chorus, May 2015

 May 2015
“At the still point of the turning world” is brought to you by Age & Opportunity in association with Clare County Arts Office. Artists Maria Kerin and Eleanor Feely celebrate the creativity of concertina player Chris Droney through dance, performance and image. The artists are working on a participatory dance piece based on Chris’s hand movements, his connection with the audience and his performance style. 
It will be performed on the 1st of May in the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, at 4pm, with participants from the Ennistymon Community Hospital and others from the locality. Following the performance, fellow Clare concertina player Jack Talty will interview Chris about his composing and unique style of playing. All are welcome to this unique multimedia celebration of one of Irelands finest traditional Irish musician, now in his nineties. 

After this launch of Bealtaine festival celebrating creativity as we age, the artists will then tour with Chris to day care centres in the County throughout the month of May, to give them an opportunity to meet and hear Chris play, learn the hand dance and participate in Chris’s Chorus.