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Emerging Writer Member Profile

ciara scanlan

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Member Bio:

Ciara Scanlan born 1982 in Limerick (IE) lives and works in Dublin. Ciara works primarily in fictional writing, video, performance and web-based media.
She is interested in the ever-present force of the mass media and its ability to both unify and segregate society.
As an artist and protagonist, Ciara Scanlan sees her role in upsetting the status quo.

Ciara is Director and Curator of MART. MART is an artist-led organisation founded by Matthew Nevin and Ciara Scanlan, and supported by core members through an ethos of cooperation. Since 2007 MART has sought to create opportunities, by conceiving creative platforms to support artists from all stages of their careers to test new ground. In 2013 MART began a project to renovate and old Firestation in Dublin which now supports over 90 studio members, and includes a Gallery and international residency.

Writing sample

Day 0
Infinite nothing. Stillness. From the dark liquid emptiness a thought sparked and reverberated. There was an echo. Millennia’s of that echo, an immeasurable beginning. Then a deep breath, and the exhale ejaculated the universe in one outward bang.
The ignition from that moment still vibrates within my cells, the reverb spoke of nothing and nothing was all it knew. In violent formations the particles, electrons, dust and gas bounced over ions to form Matter. I bounced from star to star and traveled through the chaos of the exhale, to watch things form and un-form, explode, encode and scatter . Structures of creation shine within the black matter of an inhospitable universe. I passed in between solar systems to settle on one.
I was planet, I was sun, I was moons. For what seems like always, I am comet.

Day 1
Friday 1st July 2022

Butter into skin they melt into each other’s bodies. The metronome keeps rhythm and time is made up of smell and teeth and pushing and dragging. When the pulse stops they have nothing to say to each other. Dave rolls another joint and Aoife hovers to the edge of the bed searching for something to say. His back would be her lasting memory of him. The motionless expansive landscape of it, spoke more to her than he could. Like a wailing wall, it warned do not touch, do not speak, just have reverence.
Leaving the room to make her way downstairs to prepare breakfast, Aoife assesses the sitting room first. Basking in the morning mist, lay four strangers. Their mouths are partially open and breathing deep and slow. Last night was like many others, joyful, loud and explicitly random.
Sitting on the brown lowdown armchair she looks out the window, which consists of mainly sky footage. The Galway summers were unpredictable but she loved the Atlantic winds that formed and moulded the cloud with such artistic license. Today the clouds were dark and sculptural, violently speeding past on the way east.

Seamlessly and without thought she leaves the armchair and melts into observing.
Every thing quietly exists as one entity, like her body is no longer the place her mind resides but the present is where her perspective resides. These moments hang in the air on a thread and only grasp on as long as they can until she falls back into herself. And in one breath she was back in position, listening to her eggs rattling in pot. Aoife runs to the kitchen to salvage them.
As she washes out the broken shells into the bin she recalls last night when she woke to a man sitting on her bed stroking her hair and muttering nondescript comforting sounds. It wasn’t Dave.
She sat up stared into his eyes and felt violently irritated by his presence. This must have been evident as he quickly bolted out of the room. He had been watching her all night with concerned and patronising glances.
She can’t shake a feeling of anxiety but pushes something down that was climbing up her throat to speak.
Back in the sitting room she sits to watch the people sleep. The thoughts of others were fascinating and like an untold universe migrated around her. She considers how unfortunate it is that we orbit each other so separately and can only penetrate thought through what people filter out their mouths.
Dee is collecting her and Dave at 1 o’clock. They had to make it early to get a good spot at the campsite. Aoife makes her way upstairs to pack. There is a knock on the window.
“She dare, is sha…Misusss? Hello missus, have you nauthing far us today nah…helloooo?”
“shush will ya Helen..go to the side window” Aoife runs out to the window to entertain her daily visit from the local traveler kids. A few months previous she was stuck for work and did a few street promotions for Lion bars on Shop Street. Aoife had kept a few extra boxes and given them to the local kids. So now every day, they make sure to bound over and investigate if there was anymore going.
“No sorry Helen, nothing today”
“Aw who's that asleep inside..that your husband?”
“No told you before girls I’m not married ”
“Ha yer getting auld and who’d marry ya anyway!” the younger girls with Helen laugh and start chanting “old maid..old maid!”
“Right that’s enough for today and your carry on”
‘Aw were sorry missus come back”
Aoife closes the window and the girls bang loudly at the window and front door.
Simon bursts out of his room “Aoife for god sake will you stop encouraging those brats everyday..fucking annoying”
“Sorry…aw they are funny no?”
Simon makes his way out to the back garden and Aoife follows him out. They wander towards their morning ritual of putting the world in order over morning coffee.
“Was on Twitter this morning..It looks like polls are in favour of bush’s idiot son again..yanks..no hindsight”
“What!? Well that’s depressing..” Aoife responded deadpan and tired.
“Oh I meant to tell ya Si, your friend Elaine popped over the other night”
“Oh sorry really..how was she?” Simons face made a grimace and he leaned forward.
“Well. I opened the door and she literally ‘breathed’ onto me..like I said ‘Hi Elaine’ and she didn't even say hello, just breathed her stress onto me..she is nuts Si..I cant cope with her..I didn't even ask was she ok..well she told me anyway no worries there!” They laugh in unison and shake their heads.
“So. Should I clean up before we head off to the festival I suppose” Aoife opens her eyes wide and twists her mouth.
“Come on then… I’ll help” Simon bounces to his feet and starts picking up the bottles and cans.

Current project

‘Long Haired Stars’

A comet tells it’s story as it moves towards earth.
Oaky, the central character, an autistic boy who is trying to understand his body and take control of his life. He lives in a private and magical world but his reality is of hardship and parental neglect.
Ben his father is on an endless journey through the wastelands of a political upheaval and displacement. From a privileged background that he tries to hide, but forced to face when his mother dies.
Various characters orbit each other to leading towards violent conclusion oblivious to forces out of their control.
Set at a music festival in the west of Ireland over a period of three days we travel with the characters through the process thought and memory towards an inevitable collision.
The book does not have ‘chapters’ but time sequences. It is an investigation into objective and subjective perspectives on thought and our connection to the origins of the universe in our DNA.

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