Artist’s Statement 2023

My work explores the body as a place of resistance, and the interstice between the domestic and the public sphere.
I try to use film to explore situations that go beyond the surface to tap into the energy of bodies that clash with their surroundings.
I use absurdity as a strategy in performance and film structure to create affective meaning.
I am interested in the détournement and reframing of histories and works of literature as vehicles for exploring questions of feminism.

The Sinthome drawings Gouache, pencil and collage on arches paper, 30 x 40 cm each 2021-2023

A selection from a series of ongoing drawings that began with researching set design and performance ideas for my film “Fugue”, drawing on research into art historical and literary representation of women in relation to psychoanalysis and hysteria. Part of a new body of work supported by a Bursary award from the Arts Council of Ireland


Fugue - the inheritance
Digital 16mm film/work in progress/Úna Quigley/2023

“Fugue - the inheritance” is an experimental film performed by dancers. 
It is based on a screenplay that imagines a convening of historical and fictional "hysterics" in a domestic space. It uses absurdity, music and choreography to weave together ideas from feminism, psychoanalysis and ecocriticism, and draws on on a range of literature from Sophocles to Sylvia Plath.

Sound/Music: Loz Fitzgibbon

Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland
Birds of my weakness
Digital 16mm and Super8/8'40"/Una Quigley/2018

Birds of...Trailer
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This work is based on Act 1 of “The Breasts of Tiresias”, a play written by Guillaume Apollinaire which was first performed in 1917. Apollinaire coined the term surrealist to describe his drama and the first words of his play were “I am a feminist”. It is about a housewife who develops psychic powers to change her body.
“Birds of my weakness" re-imagines Apollinaire’s character in a contemporary context and uses the influences of poststructural feminist writers on a rewriting of the words. Choreographed by dancer Sheena McGrandles in response to the text, it is a chamber piece and an absurd melodrama. 

Performed by: Sheena McGrandles and Loz Fitzgibbon
Sound/Music: Loz Fitzgibbon
Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland

Prelude (to Birds of my weakness)
Super8 and digital 16mm/2min 20/ Una Quigley/2017 

Prelude (preview link)


A Super8 film made as a prelude to "Birds of my weakness" 2018. Informed by the words of Luce Irigary glimpses of domestic moments imagine the mind imagery of Apollinaire's character.

Performed by:  Loz Fitzgibbon, Poppy Fitzgibbon and Jade Fitzgibbon
Sound/Music: Loz Fitzgibbon

Broken Spectre
Super8 film/Colour/4min /Úna Quigley/2015

Broken Spectre (preview link)

A Brocken Spectre is term used for a natural phenomenon - when the coincidence of light, mist and elevation cause a projected reflection of your body.
Broken Spectre takes the idea into an exploration of physical reflection. Two men climb a 
mountain, starting and finishing each others movements, moving towards an absurd sublime moment.
It suggests being-other, through the action and the words of philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, where he argues that the existence of the other is the necessary condition of freedom, rather than its limitation.

Performed by:  Hugo Seale and Loz Fitzgibbon
Sound/Music: Loz Fitzgibbon 

The Interval 
Super8 film/5min/Úna Quigley/2015

The Interval  (preview link)


"The Interval" was informed both by the writings of Luce Irigary on the interval of sexual difference and by an excerpt from an anchor literary work– Iris Murdoch’s 1978 novel The Sea the Sea. In this work the central character’s equilibrium is disrupted by an unbearable vision in the sea. He describes the interval of time needed to process his vision and questions the possibility of his eyes projecting images onto reality like a cinematic apparatus.

Performed by: Hugo Seale and Natasha Bourke 
Hallucination scene in collaboration with: Kate Squires 
Sound/Music: Loz Fitzgibbon
Úna Quigley  Bio.

Born in Dublin, Úna Quigley graduated from Crawford College of Art Cork and Winchester School of Art, Spain and U.K. in 2001 with an MA in European Fine Art. She has since exhibited widely such as at the Kassel Film Festival, the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Centrum Berlin, Glucksman Gallery Ireland, and Crawford Gallery Ireland. 
In 2015 she co-created a temporary cinema in the wilderness of Connemara entitled Wild-screen/Scáil-Fhiáin. Recent group exhibitions since 2019 have included the Istanbul International Experimental film festival, a solo screening at The Guesthouse, Cork, and international  group exhibitions such as Traverse Rencontres Video, Toulouse, France, VAFT, Turku, Finland, Rucklicht, Kino Central Berlin, and Tulca - Tactical Magic, curated by Kerry Guinan, Galway, Irl.
In 2020 she screened work in SSA/Cutlog international artist's moving image exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, This Moment: Women make films, a screening for international Women's day inc. Laure Prouvost and Basma Alsharif at Blackrock Library, Dublin. and Photophobia, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario. 
She exhibited in "1,2,3,4: Dance in contemporary artists' films" at the Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland in Dec 2020.
In March- April 2021 she exhibited in the foremost European biennale for film and video art, theVideonale at Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany. She took part in the Videonale panel discussion "We are all bodies of water" with Dr. Astrida Neimanis in March, and has since presented her work with the Videonale on Tour and Videonale Videonights  in Romania and Munich. In June 2022 she screened her work alongside VALIE EXPORT at Filmreihe Koln.

She has been included in a number of publications dealing with feminism and film, such as “Cooling out - on the paradox of Feminism” by Glucksman Gallery/Kunsthaus Baselland, “False Optimism” published by Crawford Gallery Ireland and  "All Mountains begin on the Ground,", an artists book of essays, and "Fluid States:Solid Matter" Videonale 2021 publication. 
She has received awards from local authorities, Culture Ireland, the Arts Council of Ireland, and Ealaín na Gaeltachta and was most recently awarded an Artists Bursary from Galway County Council in 2019,  the Galway Co.Council Tyrone Guthrie residency award in 2020 and an Artists Bursary award from  the Arts Council of Ireland in 2021.

Gifted Water (Super8 + HD video/11min/2012)

Gifted Water  (preview link)


An experimental work based on a short story by the artist exploring identity and urban space, the film follows the directed performances of dancer Sheena McGrandles as she is permeated by different spaces and personas. McGrandles' work was concerned with ‘doing’ and queering the body, with an attempt to disturb it and the space it inhabits. The character is narrated by her imaginary male voice until she appears in drag at the end. 

Performed by: Sheena McGrandles
Sound/Music: Loz Fitzgibbon
Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland

Larissa/Hd video/3min/2006

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Larissa is a portrait of an exotic dancer.
In the video she describes her work in her own words as we watch her go through her dance routine in a domestic environment.
In her job, she sells a fantasy of intimacy. I intended to subvert this intimacy by filming Larissa in a real intimate environment, her home, dressed in her everyday clothes.
This work was informed by a reading of an essay called “Striptease” by Roland Barthes, where he writes about how the striptease industry is based on contradiction.
He describes dancers as “taking refuge in the sureness of their technique; their science clothes them like a garment”.