Kevin Gaffney




Far from the reach of the sun

A Numbness in the Mouth

The mirror is dark and inky

Our Stranded Friends in Distant Lands

Everything Disappears

Seeing Colours in an Oil Slick

The Moonless Ocean

Being In the Twofold World


An Oral Fixation

The Unnameable



Bio & CV









Screening at Kvindemuseet (Women's Museum) in Aarhus



Far from the reach of the sun was part of a screening exploring sex and vulnerability in Ireland, curated by Pamela Grombacher. Followed by a panel discussion chaired by Laura McAtackney.

5th October 2019. More information on the screening. Photo credit: Jacob Juhl



Haerfest at CCA Derry-Londonderry



A Numbness in the Mouth is being show as part of Haerfest, an exhibition that brings together four artists working with ideas around agriculture, trade and the politics of produce.

27 August – 12 October 2019. More information on the exhibition. Photo credit: Paola Bernadelli.



Disruptors at the Highlanes Gallery



Everything Disappears will be shown at the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, as part of Disruptors, a group exhibition of Joe Hanly, Robert Armstrong, John Byrne, Felicity Clear, Jingze Du, Hannah Fitz, Marie Farrington, Kevin Gaffney, Cliodhna Harmey and Gary Reilly. More information here.



Far from the reach of the sun at CAI02/ ケビン ガフニー/決して太陽が届かない場所



A Japanese translation of Far from the reach of the sun (決して太陽が届かない場所, 23min, 2018) will show at CAI02, Contemporary Art Institute, in Sapporo. Curated by Yumiko Sano, it will be Gaffney's second solo exhibition in CAI02.



Opening: 24th November, 19:00- 22:00. Exhibition continues: 25th November- 15th December 2018, Tues- Sat, 13:00-19:00. Supported by Culture Ireland.





Far from the reach of the sun at FACT



Kevin Gaffney presents his latest film work, Far from the reach of the sun, followed by a Q&A with Michael Birchall, Curator of Public Practice at Tate Liverpool and Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.

Wednesday 14th November / 6.30pm / The Box





Far from the reach of the sun at the Cork Film Festival



Far from the reach of the sun will screen at the 63rd Cork Film Festival in the Irish Shorts programme. 15th November, The Gate Cinema.

More information.




How to Do Things with Words at ArtLacuna



Jenny Ekholm Bailes / Kevin Gaffney / Andrew Lacon / Vicki Thornton / Tom Pope

How To Do Things With Words borrows its name from J L Austin’s seminal lectures. This exhibition will present works by Jenny Ekholm Bailes, Kevin Gaffney, Andrew Lacon, Vicki Thornton and Tom Pope who all employ the performative in intriguing and thought-provoking ways within their artistic practice. More information about the show here.

Private View: Thursday 27th September 2018, 6-9pm

Open: 28th September – 14th October by appointment only / ArtLacuna, 48 Falcon Road, London SW11 2LR




Far from the reach of the sun at Ormston House



Ormston House will host the Irish première of Far from the reach of the sun by Kevin Gaffney as part of the Public Programme for the 38th EVA International. Set in a near future, a corporation markets a drug that can alter your sexuality, targeting wealthy straight customers and vulnerable gay people. The film installation will be screened during the Limerick Pride LGBTQI+ Festival 2018.



Opening: Wednesday, July 4th 2018 7-9pm. Screening daily from 12-6pm until Saturday, July 7th.

An In Conversation with Kathleen Soriano will be held at 6pm on Wednesday 4th July prior to the screening.

Ormston House, 9-10 Patrick Street, Limerick / More about Ormston House and EVA's Collaborative Public Programme here.

Supported by




Solo exhibition at Block 336, London






Unseen By My Open Eyes, Kevin Gaffney curated by Kathleen Soriano

Exhibition: 25th November – 22nd December 2017 / In conversation: 1st December, 7 – 8 pm

Opening 24th November, Block 336 will present Unseen By My Open Eyes, the first solo exhibition of Irish artist Kevin Gaffney’s work in the UK. A natural storyteller with a surrealistic bent, Gaffney considers issues of sexual and national identities through 4 seductive films that explore the construction, projection and manipulation of subjective realities.

Kathleen Soriano is an independent curator and Chair of the Liverpool Biennial, formerly Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts, and Director of Compton Verney Art Gallery.

In addition to Arts Council England support, this exhibition is also supported by The Elephant Trust, The Arts Council of Ireland, Sky Arts, Culture Ireland and Guinness.


More information here. Exhibition opening hours: Thurs – Sat 12 – 6 pm.



Unseen by my Open Eyes monograph



24 x 18 cm / 9 x 11 in | 96 pages | Four colour printed | Paperback

This first evaluation of Irish artist and filmmaker Kevin Gaffney’s work takes the reader on a journey across vast and manifold landscapes. Four of Gaffney’s films are explored in a series of richly illustrated sections, with subjects ranging from daily life in Iran to military conscription in Taiwan, and physical and emotional distance between people living in South Korea. Gaffney’s style moves fluidly between pastiche and allegory, setting the scene in a near-dystopian future or calling for a half-remembered past.

One recent work, A Numbness in the Mouth, imagines his native Ireland as a flourishing nationalist future state after a shift in climate change, where there is an agricultural surplus of flour, of which citizens must consume five pounds per day. This has unavoidable resonances of Ireland’s tragic past, ironically inverting the problems of the nineteenth-century famine and magnifying the reverberations of rising militarism and nationalism in the twentieth century by staging a newscast in Irish.

Unseen by my Open Eyes includes English film transcripts, together with an annex of Korean, Chinese, Persian and Irish scripts, and an essay by the acclaimed Irish critic, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith.

Purchase a signed copy: €20 Ireland | £20, Northern Ireland & UK | €25 International | All include postage



10th Imagine Science Film Festival New York



The North American premiere of a A Numbness in the Mouth will be at the 10th Imagine Science Film Festival in New York as part of the Planet of Consumption screening programme.

"In the vast production-system of the anthropocene, resources must constantly be gathered and transformed for consumption, with bi-products disposed of in turn. Energy must be harnessed, sometimes with unexpected consequences, and commodities produced and shifted, or even ill-advisedly released back into the wild in mass. But this isn't only environmental or economic portrait, but also a speculative look beyond and into the nature of our ambivalently dystopian resource systems themselves and how they constantly affect and mirror our lives.

Expect faux-informational videos on the effects of climate-induced grain surplus, all-too-real waste management concerns, and the commodification of identity itself in the digital age."

More information on the screening programme. More information on screening venue: The New School, 1-3pm, Sunday 15th October 2017.



Watch Interview with Melvyn Bragg on Sky Arts



Sky Arts programme and interview with Melvyn Bragg about Kevin's practice and the making of 'A Numbness in the Mouth' for the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship.



AMINI 17 Festival of Artists' Moving Image


A Numbness in the Mouth will screen at the AMINI 17 Festival of Artists' Moving Images at The Mac Belfast as part of "The Future is Another Country" screening, curated by Rana Öztürk.

More information on the programme. Get tickets here.




Artist Talk: Basic Space Talks at the Hugh Lane



"Kevin Gaffney will discuss his recent films and screen The mirror is dark and inky, where daily life in Iran is interrupted by a whale living in a bathtub."

BASIC TALKS is a series of informal talks with leading contemporary practitioners, taking place at the Hugh Lane on the second Friday of every month. Curated by Basic Space in partnership with The Hugh Lane, BASIC TALKS is an open platform for lectures, workshops, presentations and performances. Speakers will include artists, curators, writers and critics who will generate discourse on producing, framing and exhibiting art. BASIC TALKS is a collaboration between Basic Space and The Hugh Lane, exploring alternatives in the dissemination of contemporary art and its discourses.

Friday 11 August, 1 - 2 pm, Gallery 18, The Hugh Lane, Dublin.



Art Works at VISUAL Carlow



Carlow Arts Festival and VISUAL present ART WORKS ‘17, the 38th Annual Open Submission exhibition and Hotron Art Prizes. Selected by Eoin Dara, Head of Exhibitions at DCA (Dundee) and Emma Lucy O’ Brien, Curator, VISUAL. The exhibition celebrates the energy, creative power and diversity of visual arts practices from emerging and established artists working in Ireland.

Commenting on ART Works ’17 Eoin Dara says “The shortlisted artists form a really eclectic and exciting mix of approaches to contemporary practice. With artworks ranging from painting, drawing and photography, to experimental film, installation, and performance, this exhibition will be a wonderful opportunity for audiences to get a sense of some of the pertinent ideas and concerns both emerging and established artists across Ireland are exploring in 2017.”

Selected Artists: Kevin Gaffney, Lee Welch, Aisling O'Beirn, Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Sarah O'Brien, Jonathan Mayhew, Vera Ryklova, Pádraig Spillane,Susan MacWilliam, Karl Burke, Martin Boyle, Robert Moriarty, Damien Flood, Doireann Ni Ghrioghair, Tom Fitzgerald, Lorraine Neeson and Saidhbhín Gibson. Invited artists: Miguel Martin, Emma Haugh, Tonya Mc Mullan.

Hotron ART WORKS Prize Awards Party and exhibition launch: 7th June, 7.00 pm.

Exhibition continues until 3rd September 2017. More information.




Bealtaine Festival Residency & Panel Discussion




"We are thrilled to once again host a residency with Age & Opportunity for the 2017 Bealtaine Festival. Following on the success of last year’s residency, artists Vivienne Dick, Kevin Gaffney & Kathy Prendergast have been invited by Bealtaine to take up residence at Cow House for two full weeks from May 7th to the 20th. The premise for this residency is to allow this intergenerational group of artists time to consider their art practice in our rural surrounding."

Panel Discussion chaired by Bealtaine visual arts curator Linda Shevlin: 2pm Friday May 19th 2017, Wexford Arts Centre. Residency: 7th-2oth May. More information.

Kevin's work is kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.




Urban Nomad Film Festival Taiwan



A Numbness in the Mouth (Mandarin translation) will be screening at Taipei's Urban Nomad Film Festival on 13th May.

味覺麻痺 A Numbness in the Mouth / Kevin Gaffney / 2016 / 愛爾蘭 / 實驗 / 18分鐘 / 愛爾蘭語、英語 / 中英字幕 / 亞洲首映


TIME:18:00~19:40 Sat 13th May / VENUE:Woolloomooloo Moonshiner (台北市萬華區武昌街二段120巷2號2樓 / 2F, No. 2, Lane 120, Section 2, Wuchang St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, 108).

Buy tickets here. More on the festival here.



Futures at the RHA reviewed in the Irish Times


Aidan Dunne reviewed A Numbness in the Mouth at the RHA Futures exhibition in the Irish Times. The exhibition continues until 23rd April. Read it online here.




Futures at the RHA




"RHA’s exhibition of emerging artists re- commences this March. The first series took place in June 2001, now fifteen years later we think it is as challenging and as exciting as ever. Over the past three years a new group of artists have emerged (and remember nearly all of our Futures exhibitions are inter-generational). This will be the first of three annual shows looking at the diversity and range of this next wave. Futures, Series 3, Episode 1 will include work by artists Richard Forrest, Kevin Gaffney, Ann Maria Healy, Elaine Hoey, Ali Kirby, Jane Locke and Jane Rainey."

Preview: 16th March, 6-8pm.

Exhibition continues: March 17th- 23rd April 2017. More information.




Millennium Court exhibition extended



Unseen by my Open Eyes at Millennium Court Arts Centre has been extended until 4th February 2017.

Read about the making of the works in the exhibition in the current print issue of Visual Artists Ireland News Sheet, Jan/Feb 2017.

Gallery opening Hours: Mon - Sat 10.00am - 5.00pm & by appointment. Millennium Court Arts Centre, William Street, Portadown, BT62 3NX.




Exhibition at Millennium Court Arts Centre



"Unseen by my Open Eyes is a solo exhibition by Kevin Gaffney featuring four films that explore the construction, projection and manipulation of identity.

A Numbness in the Mouth, a 17 minute vision of a self- sustaining militarised Ireland where food production and consumption is kept in balance. Created with a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, A Numbness in the Mouth was filmed on location in a nineteenth-century water-powered flour mill Dublin, and explores our relationship to food, its production and consumption in a series of staged scenes, archival footage, monologues and analogies.

In The Mirror is Dark and Inky, daily life in Iran is interrupted by a whale living in a bathtub. Our Stranded Friends in Distant Lands reflects on geographic, political and emotional separations in South Korea. Everything Disappears explores selfhood, relationships and military conscription in Taiwan. Each film is shot in the prevalent or native tongue of the country in which the film was shot, with participants from Iran, Taiwan and South Korea performing the roles.



Accompanying the exhibition is the first monograph of the artist's work, published by Black Dog Publishing in London. The four recent films are presented through a series of richly illustrated sections and are contextualised in an essay by critic Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith. Also featured are the films’ English scripts, with an appendix compiling the scripts in Persian, Korean, Mandarin and Irish."

Opening: Friday 2nd December, 7-9pm.

Artist talk: Wednesday 18th January, 2-3pm.

A free bus will run between Dublin and Portadown on the opening. Bus leaves the RHA in Dublin at 4pm, and returns from Millennium Court at 8.30pm. To book a place on the bus please email

Gallery opening Hours: Mon - Sat 10.00am - 5.00pm & by appointment. Millennium Court Arts Centre, William Street, Portadown, BT62 3NX.




Art Street at Sapporo Art Stage ケビン・ガフニー




A Japanese translation of A Numbness in the Mouth will be exhibited at the Art Street public exhibition in the underground walkway between Sapporo and Odori subway stations.

Exhibition dates: 5th November - 4th December 2016. Sapporo underground walkway "Chikaho," West 1 - East 2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Japan.

More information. Work location/ map. Full programme.




A Numbness in the Mouth reviewed in the Irish Times

Aidan Dunne reviewed A Numbness in the Mouth at the Linenhall Arts Centre in the Irish Times on 2nd August 2016. The exhibition continues until 20th August. Read it online here.




The Linenhall Arts Centre



A Numbness in the Mouth is a new body of work by Kevin Gaffney, the first Irish recipient of a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, and will be exhibited at The Linenhall, Castlebar, from Friday 15th July- Saturday 20th August 2016.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a 17 minute film, A Numbness in the Mouth, which takes place in an Ireland of the near-future; a self-sustaining, militarized island where climate change has benefited agricultural production. A spokesperson for the government’s Ministry of Food- speaking in our now popular native tongue, Gaeilge- informs us that rations are being enforced. Due to a record crop yield of wheat there is a surplus of flour on the market. To retain economic balance between supply and demand, each citizen is requested to consume more than five pounds of flour per day.

Shackleton’s Mill in Dublin provides the context for the film’s two protagonists to explore the role of women in the mill, alongside our relationship to food and its production in a series of staged scenes, monologues and analogies. The mill was recommissioned for filming, with grain running through the chutes and rollers. The roles in the film are inhabited by Sinéad Ní Uallacháin (a broadcaster with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta) and Jenny Swingler (a performer, writer and theatre director based in London).



Kindly supported by Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, The Arts Council of Ireland, and Fingal Arts Office.




European Media Art Festival 2016



The mirror is dark and inky will be screened at the EMAF as part of the Watch Me, See Me Be programme on Friday 22nd April at 19:30 at the Lagerhalle, Osnabrück. Filmmakers will be present for a Q&A after the screening.

"The films in this programme showcase self-images and self-portrayals of the young and old, shown from very different angles, and in very different countries. In The mirror is dark and inky, everyday images from Iran could depict an atmospheric portrait of Tehran, if it wasn’t for the whale in the bath, and if the mirror didn’t look so strange.

View the EMAF programme here.




IMMA Collection



Everything Disappears has become part of the Irish Museum of Modern Art's collection, having been donated by Frank X. Buckley & Dr. Michael P. Burns through the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland (FNCI).

More information here.




Article in The Irish Times



The Irish Times featured an article by Aidan Dunne about Kevin Gaffney's practice and the project he is creating for the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship.

"What emerges in the “psychological landscapes” that Gaffney devises is the individual complexity that underlies the ordinary. The familiarity of a world of social convention is replaced by a more malleable, fictional space. He is enduringly concerned with the way we perform identities and how, despite the evident conviction of the performances, identity is at heart constructed, manipulated and projected. In practice, the apparent order we inhabit is always susceptible to disruption as subconscious desires are acknowledged and presumed identities are challenged."

Read the full article online here.




Exhibition at CCA Derry~Londonderry



Our Stranded Friends in Distant Lands will be showing in CCA Derry~Londonderry as part of Out There, Thataway, a group exhibition curated by Francis Halsall, Declan Long, and CCA.

"Out There, Thataway has two conceptual starting points: first, a concern with imagining or navigating territories that are ‘beyond knowledge’; and second, an interest in ways that metaphors of geography shape our thinking and behaviour. The exhibition includes artworks that refer to terrains that are traversed through strategies of fiction and historical association (Stephen Brandes, Kevin Gaffney, Rana Hamadeh); works that imply hesitancy or potentiality regarding location and direction (Merlin James, Fergus Feehily); and others that suggest spaces that are beyond the horizons of our geography altogether (Aleana Egan, Nathan Coley). While not explicitly addressing the contested narratives of territory in the history of Derry/Londonderry, the exhibition is further animated by this context. The speculative journeys and destinations alluded to in these artworks often suggest an urgent need to think beyond immediate predicaments and situations; extreme ideas of 'elsewhere' that might offer no fulfilment, promising only further solitude or uncertainty."

8th August- 26th September 2015, CCA Derry~Londonderry.

More information on the exhibition. Read a review from Culture Northern Ireland.




Kooshk Open Studio exhibition at Mohsen Gallery, Tehran



This exhibition will feature work-in-progess by the four winners of the Kooshk Artist Residency Award, including a video by Kevin Gaffney (Ireland), an installation by Korinsky (Germany), an installation by Elena Artemenko (Russia) and a performance by Sandra Stanionyte (Lithuania). Tuesday 28th & Wednesday 29th July, 4-9pm, Mohsen Gallery, Tehran.



Sky Academy Arts Scholarship



Sky Academy announced the five artists aged 18-30 who have each been awarded a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, including Kevin Gaffney, a 28 year old visual artist from Dublin, working in photography and film. For his Sky Academy Arts Scholarship project, Kevin plans to create and exhibit a new body of work titled “A Numbness in the Mouth” exploring areas of forgotten industries which remain as spectres on the Irish landscape.

Revealed at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards the five winners will each receive £30,000 / €38,000 towards the development of an artistic project and the cost of living for one year, along with mentoring from Sky and the Arts industry. The Scholarships aim to help young artists across Ireland and the UK to develop their creative practice and take their work to the next level. This year, four scholarships were awarded in the UK and one scholarship was awarded exclusively to an Irish applicant.

Kris Nelson, Director of the Tiger Dublin Fringe and ambassador for the Irish scholarship, said “I’m delighted for Irish winner Kevin Gaffney and all the nominees. Kevin’s work is bold, brave and unusual – he is an artist working with tremendous insight, powerful images and personal context to create stunning video and art works in Ireland and abroad. I’m sure that the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship will help him take his projects to the next level, fostering new collaborations and higher profile for his work.”

Scholarships were also awarded to visual artist Sarah Maple, music producer Adebayo Fakos and writer and performer Jonnie Bayfield, and creative producer Anisa Haghdadi.

More on Sky Academy. Article from Business to Arts. Article from Business & Leadership.





Exhibition & Artist Talk at the University Art Gallery, Belfast School of Art.



On 12th, 13th & 16th February, three new films (Everything Disappears, Our Stranded Friends in Distant Lands, and Seeing Colours in an Oil Slick) will be screening at the University Art Gallery at the Belfast School of Art. On 12th February, an artist talk will be held at the Conor Lecture Theatre, which is also open to the public. The Numbers Station is curated by Feargal O'Malley, and also features work by Michael Hanna, Ryan Moffet, Iain Griffin, Michael Dignam and Rachel Maclean.

"Operating in an international context Kevin Gaffney has made work in disparate places, interacting and working with new people, and investigating permeations of identity, self and the essence of places. The sets, soundscapes, situations and poetic dialogue in his films are often a representation of the psychological landscape of the characters; the manifestation of an abstract idea into a visual image or sequence. There is sensuality in the landscapes and colours which are rich and affecting and there is an emphasis on the experience of the body in space through both the movement of the camera and scenes showing action, strain, inflicting, proximity and a variety of physical textures the body is subjected to. The work recognises that the artist is not a neutral observer but a participant, and instead seizes the opportunity to combine images, cultural and literary reference and experiences. One work in particular, Everything Disappears, features the melding of the participants’ stories and images with Gaffney’s interpretation through a process of collaboration and translation."

To read the rest of the essay by Geraldine Boyle, click here.



Exhibition and Open Studio at MMCA Residency Changdong



Kevin will show a Korean translation of Everything Disappears in Other Forms of Relations, an exhibition of work by artists in residence at the National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art in South Korea. Kevin was selected for the residency as one of UNESCO-Aschberg's laureate artists for 2014.

Work in progress will be shown at the Open Studio, which will be held on 14th November 2014 from 2pm, followed by the exhibition opening from 4-7pm. The exhibition continues until 7th December 2014.


MMCA Residency Changdong, 257 Deongneung-ro, Dobong-gu, Seoul, 132-919, Korea.

More about MMCA Residency | More about MMCA




Fake Hikers exhibition at MMCA Residency Changdong



Fake Hikers exhibition opens on 27th October at the MMCA Residency Changdong's gallery. Artists: APL315 (UA), Kevin Gaffney (IE), Oto Hudec (SK), Heide Hinrichs (DE), OLTA (JP), Kyungduck Park (KR), and Youngjoo Lee (KR). Curated by Katerina Filyuk and Oto Hudec.

Opening reception: 27th October 2014, 6-9pm. Exhibition continues until 11th November, 10am-6pm. Chandong National Art Studio, 257 Deongneug-ro, Dobong-gu, 132-919, Seoul, South Korea.

More about the MMCA Residency Changdong & MMCA.




Sorachi Coal Mine exhibition at the Sapporo International Art Festival



As part of the Sapporo International Arts Festival, and in association with CAI02 Contemporary Art Institute, Kevin Gaffney was commissioned to create a new film in response to the coal mining area of Yubari Shimizusawa in Hokkaido. The work, Seeing Colours in an Oil Slick, will be exhibited at the Hokutan Shimizusawa thermal power plant in Yubari Shimizusawa from 23rd August- 13th October 2014.



Sorachi Sorachi


Organised by the Sapporo City University in co-operation with the CAI02 Contemporary Art Institute, and the NPO Coal Mining Memory Agency. Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, the Fukutake Foundation, and the Program for the Promotion of Culture & Art.

More information on: Sorachi Coal Mine Project | Sapporo International Art Festival




The Moonless Ocean exhibition at CAI02, Contemporary Art Institute, Japan



The Moonless Ocean (Video, 8min 23sec, 2013) and Being in the Twofold World (35mm Slide Photographs & Video, 3min 30sec, 2013) are being presented in a solo exhibition at CAI02 (the Contemporary Art Institute) in Sapporo. The exhibition comes a result of being awarded the Grand Prix from the Sapporo Pre-Biennale in 2011, and is part of the Sapporo International Arts Festival's collaborative program of events.

The Moonless Ocean opens on 9th August at 1pm, with a reception party from 7pm. Exhibition dates: 9th-30th August 2014. Address: CAI02, Showa Building, B2 Nishi 5-chome, Chuo-ku, Odori, Sapporo City, Japan.

More on CAI02 | More on the Sapporo International Arts Festival | The Hacoren Gallery Network