Susan MacWilliam selected for Venice 2009

Parapsychology, film and photography meet at the 2009 Biennale

Belfast-based video and installation artist Susan MacWilliam has been selected to represent Northern Ireland at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

MacWilliam's artistic practice involves the investigating of individual case histories and myths, particularly those relating to the paranormal, the supernatural and to perceptual phenomena.

'It is a great honour to be asked to represent Northern Ireland at the 2009 Susan MacWilliamVenice Biennale,' says MacWilliam.

'This event serves as recognition of my practice and contribution to the arts in Ireland and beyond over the past years.'

In 2001, MacWilliam was the recipient of a Major Individual Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

'The ACNI has supported a number of my recent projects which have taken me down new and exciting research routes. I'm excited about developing and expanding these opportunities and presenting my work to the wider audience that the Venice Biennale offers.'

MacWilliam works part-time as a lecturer in the fine art department of the National Gallery of Art and Design in Dublin, is a member of Orchid Studios and a board member of Source photographic magazine and Visual Artists Ireland.

With the 2003 installation Kuda Bux, MacWilliam was awarded the Perspective award when the work appeared at Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast.

MacWilliam's 2008 solo show Eileen at Gimpel Fils, London presented video work about Eileen Garrett, the famous Irish medium and founder of the Parapsychology Foundation, New York. This show further illustrated MacWilliam's artistic interest in the fields of psychical research, psychology and physiology.

'13 Roland Gardens', 2007, video still 'I will be developing new work for the Venice Biennale,' she comments. 'I have a number of ideas and areas of interest that I would like to explore and develop for the Venice exhibition. 

'I will be on residency in Winnipeg, Canada this summer where I will be researching the Thomas Glendenning Spirit Photograph Archive at the University of Manitoba.' 

MacWilliam's 2008 New York solo show Double Vision at Jack the Pelican Presents is reviewed in ArtForum International Magazine, summer 2008. 

Later this year MacWilliam's video works (1998-2007) will be housed in the British Library's Sound Archive, London. In 2009 she will exhibit in the touring show The Pressure of a Sign - Visible Invisible in Poland, Portugal, and Ireland.

Kiran Acharya

Click here to check out Susan MacWilliam's website