Niamh Warren

“Incense has a strong connection to relaxation throughout history, whereas smoke is often tied to a sense of danger and corruption, and we are forced to look for the start of the fire. I found myself drawn to smoke due to its expressive and elusive nature.” As Niamh Warren notes, her final project is a sculpture, which centres on the human feelings of fear and discomfort – conjuring alarm bells in the mind and the fight-or-flight instinct. But in a culture of pain avoidance, what value is there in feeling uncomfortable? What can it tell us about ourselves and the materiality of our existence? How far should we push ourselves as artists? Warren continues: “A side effect of the entire process includes getting smoke in my eyes repeatedly and experiencing dull headaches that lasted long after each experiment. I want my audiences to feel something similar upon viewing the piece, to feel disconcerted and unnerved.” 


Artist Interview