Artist Shane Finan was due to spend the month of April 2020 living in Kielder Village and working with Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Kielderhead Wildwood project. Due to Covid-19, the residency was postponed for 12 months, consequently taking place during April 2021.
“I had my bags packed and was ready to join the team at Kielder and make some new art about networks and forests. Then we all had a sudden taste of exactly how entwined our global systems are, when the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on. I’m really excited to finally come and work with the Kielderhead Wildwood Project one year on, to make art about complex networks and entanglements, and to work with the brilliant team at VARC.” – Shane Finan
During the year-long wait to start his residency, Shane continued making work and shared his research via the VARC news feed: Shane Finan – the “Wood Wide Web”, Pandemic and Communication: artist (not) in Residence Shane Finan, Staying Together Apart: The public sphere, pandemic and home , Monoculture Monoliths: The case for better technology , Independent Interdependence: Language and Forests, Repairing the Chain: Making connections through places.
Shane Finan assembles things together into art. He is based in Ireland. His work includes painting, film, web, writing and interactive digital media installation.
Shane’s projects are about complex networks and entanglements between human and nonhuman actors, and how these networks work together. He has collaborated with foresters, fungi, farmers, epidemiologists, ecologists, sheep, astrophysicists, and trees. He has worked on art research projects with Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), Pierre Auger Observatory (Argentina) and the University of Lincoln (UK).
His recent works have looked at how different organisms and objects influence one another, forming “assemblages” that change and affect places and environments. His work on networks includes natural networks such as the complex systems of trees, fungi and animals, and human/technological networks such as the internet or community centres.