Sample-Studios’ Graduate Associate Resident Myfanwy Frost-Jones has been announced as the winner of the RDS Mason Hayes & Curran LLP Centre Culturel Irlandais Residency Award 2022. A graduate of MTU Crawford College of Art & Design with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art, Myfanwy previously studied Visual Art at TU Dublin, Sherkin Island. Working as an artist and oyster farmer based in the west of Ireland, she examines the complicated relationships between land, labour and ecology in a rural space. Embracing the sublime, her work investigates the dark histories of the past whilst acknowledging the picturesque allure of the rural landscape. Her work layers conflicting histories of colonialism and invasion with current issues of biodiversity and coastal erosion, combining photography and moving image installation with the use of text to create a poetic narrative.
Passionate about environmental sustainability, biodiversity and local food networks, Myfanwy makes work that looks at rural life and the changes inherent in the working landscape as we enter the Anthropocene. Personal stories merge with more universal themes, creating an immersive experience and linking the many pasts with the present within the landscape, giving insight into the realities and expectations of land and sustainability in the Irish rural environment.
‘Invasive Species’ is an immersive site-specific installation. It includes Invasion Stories, a self-published 50-page, linen-covered book, combining text and photography to investigate the stories of invasion, colonisation, land and labour discovered during lockdown explorations of her local Kerry countryside — a contested space, once a farmed property of the absent English landlord — now forgotten and overgrown, having not officially changed hands since Famine times. Modern day aquaculture is now a feature here as a small oyster farm is set up on the coastline and Pacific oysters grip the shore. The videos in this installation thread together the history, politics, ecology, bio-diversity and industry that have affected this site through the ages. Myfanwy uses footage from her DSLR camera, drone and iPhone camera in combination with text that floats meditatively across the images. Ambient sounds from the site join the sound of local children blowing into glass bottles from the shore.