Kevin Gaffney is an artist filmmaker based between Dublin and Belfast. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2011 with an MA Photography and Moving Image, and was awarded the first Sky Academy Arts Scholarship for an Irish artist in 2015. He was an UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist in residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Changdong Residency in South Korea (2014) and received the Kooshk Artist Residency Award to create a new film in Iran (2015). A monograph of his work, Unseen By My Open Eyes, was published in 2017. He is currently a PhD researcher at Ulster University.

His work is part of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Arts Council of Ireland’s collections and has been shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally, including: Cork Film Festival (2016 & 2018); European Media Art Festival (Germany, 2016); the 10th Imagine Science Film Festival (New York, 2017); and the Korean Queer Film Festival (2018). Solo exhibitions include: CAI02 Contemporary Art Institute (Japan, 2014 & 2018); Block 336 curated by Kathleen Soriano (London, 2017); Ormston House (as part of EVA’s Public Programme, 2018); and the Crawford Art Gallery (Cork, 2020).

Read an essay by Karl Schoonover (2020)

Watch Sky Arts interview and short documentary (2016)



  • PhD with practice, vice-chancellor’s research scholarship, Ulster University, 2018-2021.
  • MA Photography & Moving Image, Royal College of Art, London. 2009- 2011.
  • BA Fine Art (First Class Hons.), Dublin Institute of Technology (now TUD). 2004 – 2008.


  • Sky Academy Arts Scholarship. UK & Ireland. 2015
  • UNESCO-Aschberg Laureate Artist. South Korea. 2014
  • Little White Lies Award from 9th London Short Film Festival. 2012
  • Grand Prix, Sapporo Biennale International Competition. Japan. 2011
  • Honorary Mention, Startpoint Prize for Emerging Artists. Czech Republic. 2011

Solo exhibitions

  • Crawford Art Gallery, Ireland. 2020-2021.
  • Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Northern Ireland. 2019
  • CAI02 Contemporary Art Institute, Sapporo, Japan. 2018
  • Ormston House, EVA International Public Programme, Ireland. 2018
  • Block 336, curated by Kathleen Soriano, London. 2017
  • Millennium Court Arts Centre, Northern Ireland. 2017
  • The Linenhall Arts Centre, Ireland. 2016
  • CAI02, Sapporo International Art Festival, Japan. 2014
  • Galway Arts Centre, Ireland. 2013
  • RUA RED, South Dublin Arts Centre, Ireland. 2011
  • 126 Gallery, Galway, Ireland. 2008

Solo Screenings             

  • IMMA Screen, Irish Museum of Modern Art. 2020
  • FACT, Liverpool. Q&A with Michael Birchall, Curator of Public Practice at Tate Liverpool. 2018
  • The Numbers Station, Ulster University Gallery, Belfast. 2015
  • The LAB, Dublin. 2011


  • Marino Institute of Education, Artist in Residence, funded by the Arts Council. September 2017- July 2018
  • Fire Station Artist Studios, Dublin. 2017- 2018
  • Cow House Studios, Bealtaine Festival. Curated by Linda Shevlin. Wexford, May 2017     
  • RHA Studio Artist, Dublin, January- August 2016    
  • Kooshk Artist Residency Award. Tehran, Iran, July 2015     
  • MMCA Residency Changdong, National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art. South Korea, Sep- Dec 2014
  • Taipei Artist in Residence, Taipei Artist Village, Taipei Culture Foundation. Taiwan, Jan- March 2014
  • Startpoint Prize for Emerging Artists Residency, Arbor Vitae Foundation. Aug- Sep 2012, Czech Republic
  • VISIO, European Workshop on Artists Cinema at Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival. Florence, 2012

Selected Film Festivals

  • Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival (TQAF), Thessaloniki. 2021
  • TQAF at Balkan Can Kino festival, Athens. 2021
  • Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, San Francisco. 2020
  • Qflix, Philadelphia. 2018
  • Korean Queer Film Festival, Seoul. 2018
  • Leeds Queer Film Festival, UK. 2018
  • Cork Film Festival, Ireland. 2018
  • 10th Imagine Science Film Festival, New York. 2017     
  • AMINI 17: Festival of Artists’ Moving Image, The MAC, Belfast. 2017
  • Loop Barcelona: City Screen, Damer House at La Place Art Space, Spain. 2017
  • Urban Nomad Film Festival, Taiwan. 2017
  • Dingle International Film Festival, Ireland. 2017    
  • EMAF, European Media Arts Festival, Germany. 2016
  • Les Rencontres Internationales, Paris. 2016
  • Cork Film Festival, Ireland. 2016
  • Edinburgh Artist Moving Image Festival (EAMIF), Scotland. 2016
  • Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival, Scotland. 2015    
  • Abandon Normal Devices, Cornerhouse, Manchester. 2012
  • Tenderflix Film Screening, Tenderpixel, London. 2012
  • The London Short Film Festival. ICA, London. 2012
  • Big Screen, Latitude Festival, UK.  In association with Lux & Cine-city. 2012
  • WNDX, Festival of Moving Image, Canada. 2012    
  • The Brighton Film Festival, Cinecity, the Nightingale, Brighton. 2011
  • FEST; International Film Festival, Portugal. 2011

Selected Group Exhibitions         

  • ‘To be consumed in totality’, co-curated with AEMI, screening for PhotoIreland. 2021
  • I Am What I Am, Ballina Arts Centre, Ireland. 2021
  • Screening at Kvindemuseet (Women’s Museum) curated by Pamela Grombacher, Aarhus Art Weekend, Denmark. 2019
  • Disruptors, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda. 2019
  • Haerfest, CCA Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. 2019
  • How to do Things with Words, ArtLacuna, London. 2018    
  • FUTURES, RHA, Ireland. 2017
  • Art Works, VISUAL Carlow, Ireland. 2017   
  • Art Street, public exhibition in Sapporo-Odori subway stations, Sapporo, Japan. 2016     
  • Out There Thataway, CCA Derry-Londonderry. 2015
  • Kooshk Artist Residency Award, Mohsen Gallery, Tehran, Iran. 2015
  • Homeland, Damer House Gallery in association with Loop Barcelona. 2015    
  • Other Forms of Relations, MMCA Residency, National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Korea. 2014
  • Fake Hikers, MMCA Residency Changdong, National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Korea. 2014
  • Sorachi Coal Mine exhibition, Sapporo International Art Festival, Japan. 2014
  • We, Catalyst Arts, Belfast. 2012
  • Periodical Review # 2, Pallas Projects, Dublin. 2012
  • Started 2012: Residents of Startpoint, NTK Galerie, Prague. 2012
  • Athens Video Art Festival, Stoa Kourtaki. 2012
  • Startpoint: Selected, Museum Gavu Cheb, Czech Republic. 2012
  • Startpoint Prize for Emerging Artists, Wannieck Gallery, Czech Republic. 2011
  • SHOW 2011, Royal College of Art Graduate Show, London. 2011
  • 9 Days the Museum Disappears, Sapporo Pre-Biennale, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan. 2011
  • Album, curated by Morgan Quaintance, Liverpool Biennale Independents. 2010
  • Artist Performance Series, Project Arts Centre, Dublin. 2008

Talks, Panels & Workshops

  • ‘Writing a Funding Application’ for AEMI, online. 2021
  • In conversation with Kathleen Soriano, recorded for the Crawford Art Gallery. 2020
  • In conversation with Sara Greavu, online, IMMA. 2020.
  • Panel discussion “Sex and vulnerability in Ireland” at Kvindemuseet (Women’s Museum), Aarhus Art Weekend, Denmark. 2019
  • Artist talk, RHA, Dublin. 2018
  • In Conversation with Kathleen Soriano, Ormston House, Limerick. 2018
  • Panel discussion with Vivienne Dick & Kathy Prendergast, chaired by Linda Shevlin, Wexford Arts Centre. 2017
  • Artist talk, The Hugh Lane, Dublin. 2017
  • In conversation with curator Kathleen Soriano, Block 336, London. 2017
  • Talk and seminar, BA Photography, University of Ulster. 2017
  • Artist talk & group tutorial, BA Fine Art, Dublin Institute of Technology (now TUD). 2017
  • Artist talk, Arte Visione at Sky Academy, Milan. 2017
  • Artist talk, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, Northern Ireland. 2017
  • Art School, filmmaking workshops for primary school groups, Co. Roscommon. 2016
  • Artist talk, Rybon Art Centre, Tehran, Iran. 2015
  • Artist talk, Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. 2015
  • Artist talk, Department of Fine Art, Kyung Hee University, Seoul. 2014
  • Artist talk and a series of workshops at the Taipei Artist Village. 2014
  • Artist talk, workshops and tutorials at BA Fine Art, Dublin Institute of Technology (now TUD). 2013

Selected Publications & Broadcasts

  • Summoning a queer state, essay by Karl Schoonover. 2020
  • Review of Expulsion in Art Monthly by Chris Hayes, October issue 440. 2020
  • Curriculum- Contemporary Art Goes to School, essay by Alissa Kleist, published by Intellect. 2020
  • Disappear, Again, review by Chris Hayes, Circa art magazine.
  • Unseen by my Open Eyes, monograph by Black Dog Publishing. UK, Europe, Asia & North America. 2017
  • Interview feature with Labocine, Imagine Science Films, Issue 17, USA. 2017
  • Sky Arts UK & Ireland: 10min documentary broadcast about my practice & interview with Melvyn Bragg. 2016
  • National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art Changdong Residency publication, South Korea. 2015
  • Artists in the Art Studio of National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art. South Korea. 2014
  • Hardcover: Image Perspectives, RCA, London. 2011.

Conference & Seminar Presentations

  • Conference paper: ‘Queer Filmmaking Practice: Strategies for Resistance’ at Irish Screen Studies Seminar, Ulster University, 2021
  • Conference paper: ‘Retelling LGBTQIA+ Histories: Intercutting Fiction with Archival Footage in Queer Film’ at Outing the Past conference as part of the National Festival of LGBT History, Northern Ireland. 2019
  • Screening at Performance and Protest Symposium, Ulster University, Derry. 2019
  • Screening and Q&A at Movies in Mind conference, Ulster University/ Nerve Centre, Derry. 2018
  • Speaker at Public Art II: From Ambition to Realisation, VAI & Fingal Arts Office, Malahide Castle. 2017
  • Speaker at Art in Schools – Models of Engagement seminar, Wexford Arts Centre. 2017

Bursaries, Project Grants & Commissions

  • Film Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2017
  • Film Bursary Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2017
  • The Elephant Trust, UK. 2017
  • Film Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2015
  • Film commission for Sorachi Coal Mine & Sapporo International Art Festival, Japan. 2014
  • Film Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2014
  • Film Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2012
  • Artist Bursary Award, South Dublin County Council. 2012
  • Artists International Development Fund, Arts Council of England & British Council. 2012
  • Artist Bursary Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2011
  • E’3 Film Award, European League of Institute of the Arts (ELIA).
  • Artist Bursary Award, South Dublin County Council. 2008

National Collections

  • Crawford Art Gallery.
  • The Arts Council of Ireland.
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art, donated by Frank X. Buckley & Dr. Michael P. Burns through the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland.