Dianne Curtin

Dianne Curtin’s journey into visual art began in 2018, during a break from her longstanding career as a freelance food stylist and food writer. Seeking to expand her creative skills and processes, she undertook TU Dublin’s B.A Hons in Visual Arts, based on Sherkin Island in West Cork. The unique surroundings of the island location were integral to the development of work which focussed on artistic exploration of place, home and environment. A career move into the field of social justice added a new dimension, bringing a deep interest in collaborative art to highlight societal issues. 


Influenced by artists like Suzanne Lacy, Doris Salcedo and Jeremy Deller, Dianne began to develop her socially engaged practice during the third year of her studies, liaising with the West Cork Women Against Violence Project to focus on the issue of domestic abuse. Her work combines the mediums of sculptural form representing embodiment of experience, with moving image and spoken word sound presented in a contextual sculptural environment. 


Dianne graduated with a First Class Honours in 2022. She has been longlisted for the RDS Visual Arts Graduate Awards 2022. She was selected as the inaugural awardee of the NSF’s three month bursary for a graduate of TUD B.A.V.A. Sherkin Island in 2022.

Dianne Curtin’s work explores domestic space and its complexity of understanding in relation to domestic abuse. The artist has a strong professional and personal interest in social justice, realised in her socially engaged collaborative practice.  She is currently liaising closely with the West Cork Women Against Violence Project, an agency which provides support and services for women who have lived with domestic abuse. 


Modes of Escape examines the sensitive topic of domestic abuse in several artistic forms. All materials are carefully chosen for their conceptual translations The sculptural aspect in this work comes directly from abuse survivors.  Their agentic experience is embodied in donated personal belongings which are embedded in tablets of natural beeswax, a material with ancient associations to healing and ritual. Dolls houses from specific design eras and crucial time frames in domestic abuse law  provide metaphorical representation of what is seen as a normal safe home environment in moving image work. Dianne works with various types of personal use recording technology, spanning earliest days of home movie making with the Super 8 camera, to modern day video from a mobile phone. This reflects a historical connection to the capture of memories, also echoing the monitoring of personal use technology in coercive and possessive control. Sound elements focus on spoken word taken from court documentation, probing inaccessibility of legal language and terminology, highlighting the struggle in understanding these documents and their complicated structure.


Dianne’s moving image work is shown in the sculptural context of a car, representing issues of independent mobility, feelings of being trapped, weaponization of the vehicle and a potential mode of escape.

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