The Visualeyez festival animator facilitates discussion each day during the festival, and through posts here at visualeyez.org offers an alternate entry point into the work through reflection and review, as well as making the work accessible to those unable to see the performances in person.
Irene Loughlin was born in Hamilton, Canada, where she spent her formative years and currently resides. She further developed her practice as an artist in Vancouver, particularly in the historic Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, where her art practice was linked to health activism and the housing and anti-poverty movements. For the past fifteen years she has worked with images challenging the social constructs surrounding mental illness, drawing visual metaphors from medical, ecological and diasporic landscapes in order to comment on our contemporary emotive discourse. She has presented her work in various national and international contexts including a recent performance at The Month of Performance Art Berlin in the Enabled Manifesto project, a workshop that culminated in a collective, corporeal manifesto grounded in disability experience and theory. Loughlin is a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Award and the Lynch Staunton Award by the Canada Council for the Arts for mid-career excellence in the Interdisciplinary category. She is the author of numerous essays, articles and conference proceedings including presentations on the subject of contemporary art and disability at the University of Oregon, Simon Fraser University, OCAD/UAAC and NYU. She has written on the subject of social practice for the Fillip Review and produced the book l’etat de folie percu a history of Performance Art at Gachet in 2013. Loughlin completed the Masters of Visual Studies degree at the University of Toronto in 2009 and served as the Programming Director for Hamilton Artists Inc. from 2007 to 2013. She currently serves as an Instructor in Interdisciplinary Practice, Intermedia and Foundation Studio at Brock University.