My name is Fern and I am a multidisciplinary artist from Dublin, Ireland. My practice to this date has been very much varied. My most current project has been influenced by working full-time and regular overtime as a Make Up Artist for a popular Premium brand. I faced an issue common to my generation in that I was unable to be in the studio as much as was needed. This is what encouraged me to produce work in unconventional settings and in unconventional ways. Using freely available editing apps, I began to make work on my smart phone. The smart phone in the break-room is a barrier, an anonymiser, we are free to be on our phones. Nobody will question you on what you’re doing. I was recording my colleagues, my customers, the management staff, marketing material and amalgamating them with images of myself. The insurrection of the individual by the brand culture was taking a physical form.
I’ve found myself unable to hold a conversation. This is a habit that can be seen indulged in every social situation by every imaginable social group. Pub, bar, shop, restaurant – tables of silent people scrolling. Platforms like Instagram allow for an organic growth and death of cultures in a way that no marketing team could ever hope to propagate. Identikit growth systems are identified and implemented by individuals who seek noteriety, human beings willingly turning themselves into brands. Something like this would have found itself derided – even ridiculed – in the past. Now it is lauded by some and forgotten by others, we are consumers reaching terminal velocity, everything is forgotten before it happens. Our attention span does not exist.
My work has been influenced by my surroundings, it has been influenced by what I hold in my hands. Unconsciously, I have been turning the object that is the source of so much insecurity into a tool.
FERN O’ Carolan