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Leading performance artist, Sinéad O’Donnell, launches exhibition inspired by female empowerment

Thursday 21st February 2019 at 9am 0 Comments Visual Arts

Pictured is Joanna Johnston, Arts Council of Northern Ireland with artist, Sinéad O’Donnell. Image: Pictured is Joanna Johnston, Arts Council of Northern Ireland with artist, Sinéad O’Donnell.

“We are all sisters in this world we have to support each other. Our place and understanding of place in this world is the same in our beings to survive, to resist oppression and to join and merge through artistic forces. My work created a meeting point, through performance art, to be free.”  (Sinéad O’Donnell, performance artist).

Acclaimed performance artist, Sinead O’Donnell, has launched her latest exhibition, Crossing Permissions, at Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown.

The exhibition which includes a mix of photography, sculpture, video and performance art, reflects the artist’s response to time spent living and working among women in diverse locations including; Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, Uruguay and Indonesia.  In each setting the artist exchanged stories and ideas with local women to draw out issues affecting them which have informed this new work and given a voice to these women. 

Describing her latest work, Sinead O’Donnell, said,

“Crossing permissions is the title that I used to describe a process.  A process that was like an unravelling of self, art, and others through, or driven by, feminist feelings through my performance practice.  The process looked at my practice and the wider world of art that I placed myself within. As a project, Crossing Permissions, for me, was about mutual exchange: living and working alongside women; I shared my stories and they shared theirs. In each of these countries the permissions differed from culture to culture, community to community, artist to artist and woman to woman.”

Sinéad O’Donnell was the first performance artist to be awarded a Major Individual Artist award by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2017/18.  These prestigious awards, worth £15,000, are given in recognition of an individual’s contribution to the arts in Northern Ireland and in order for an artist to create a significant body of new work, in this case, Crossing Permissions.  The project was commissioned by Millennium Court Arts Centre.     

Joanna Johnston, Visual Arts Development Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added,

“Sinéad O’Donnell is one of Northern Ireland’s leading performance artists  with an exceptional portfolio of work that is highly regarded internationally.  The Arts Council was delighted to recognise this significant artist with a Major Individual Award in 2017 and Crossing Permissions is the outcome from the time and space this award afforded the artist.  The result is a truly impressive exhibition with great touring potential.  Congratulations to Sinéad.”

Jackie Barker, Millennium Court Arts Centre, added,

“We have been delighted to work with Sinéad O'Donnell to produce 'Crossing Permissions', a year-long project that gave Sinéad the time, space and opportunity to develop her practice, further pushing herself to create new work based on the experiences that she has encountered throughout the year.  At MCAC, we strive to support artists to take risks and to not only challenge the gallery space, but also to challenge our audiences and artists.”

Crossing Permissions at Millennium Court Arts Centre continues until 27 March 2019.  Visit


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