Basic Space

3rd May 2018

1. Hi Kim and Daniel, we hope that you’re enjoying the coffee! First things first, can you give us an introduction to Basic Space?

Yo Conch!

Basic Space is an independent art space with a programme of exhibitions, residencies & public programmes throughout Ireland, in collaboration with external institutions & practitioners.

2. Can you tell us how each of you came to be co-directors, what your background is and why you got involved?

Daniel → Previous Co-Director Lee Welch asked me to become a Co-Director outside LIDL on Thomas St, April 2016. Previous to which I was a student of Visual Culture BA in NCAD and had curated a number of independent projects in Ireland & UK.

Kim → Applied for the position of Co-Director with Basic Space in April 2017 after graduating from Visual Arts Practice IADT in 2016. Got involved because I want to work with likeminded people & to help emerging artists who were in the same position as me.

3. Can you speak to us about how you, both as a collaboration and as individuals, experience the arts scene in Dublin or indeed further afield? Are there any spaces that you share similarities with? What role do you feel artist-run-organisations play in/amongst the Irish Art’s Scene?

How we experience the art scene in Dublin – non viable –
we live at home & are both jobless.
no studios.
over run by curators.
cyclical – work, artists, curators.
highly professionalised/no space to make mistakes as an artist. Not experimental enough.

Similarities with Ormston House, we LOVE them.
We look to RGKSKSRG as an initiative that works without a space.
Ideally we would love to be Catalyst ☺

Role of Artist Run Spaces
– space to fail, experiment, take risks, to do things you wouldn’t be able to do in more established institutions.
-to centre communities & audiences that may not be served otherwise.

4a. Who, where or what has you feeling excited at the moment?

‘Miraculous Thirst’ exhibition in Galway Art’s Centre, May 5th with Emma Haugh & Eimear Walsh, looking at queer desire and sex and our spaces.

Our current residency in Incubation Space, the LAB, James Joyce St with the Asylum Archive. Public programmes & exhibitions, issues of memory, power, authority, detention and supervision.

Upcoming talk with critical duo ‘White Pube’ in Hugh Lane in June.

4b. Who, where or what has you feeling concerned at the moment?

EU falling apart
Climate Change
Rights of Refugees & Migrants
Violence against Trans people of colour
Rise of Fascism

5. Having read ‘Everywhere Yet Nowhere’, Daniel’s article in the VAI newsletter, we were particularly taken with the idea of Basic Space ‘as a set of reproducing ethics, rather than a geographically-fixed architecture’. We think that’s a very interesting but perhaps challenging position to hold and wonder if you could speak further on it?

At the time I wrote the article, Basic Space was still in the shadow of losing our space in Marlborough Lane. I was thinking about strategies of survival & persistence. In that, I thought it urgent to move away from the idea of Basic Space/the institution necessitating of physical space. Obviously idealistic, I wanted to communicate the desire of how a generation of vulnerable independent art spaces could continue to support emerging artists & make challenging work. I think partly – with some failings, we have achieved this desire.

6. In the article you speak about expanding and diversifying the discourses in which you engage, can you extend that discussion for us?

In expanding the discourses in which we engage my ambition was directed more towards the communities, identities & audiences in which we serve & work with. It has been my priority to establish a representative institution giving space & resources to people of colour, disabled & queer artists. As I feel Ireland & the Dublin art scene is still overwhelmingly white, middle class, straight & able. I wanted to address this disparity.

7. What’s coming up next for Basic Space?

See Question 4 for upcoming Basic Space info ☺

8. We’ve both experienced and thoroughly enjoyed Basic Talks at the Hugh Lane, can you tell us about that ongoing project and your aspirations for the next year?

Hugh Lane has been extremely accommodating to us with Basic Talks, we really enjoy being involved with them. It’s been really rewarding to work with and hear about different artist’s practices within a public setting. We are looking forward to working with the Hugh Lane for the foreseeable future and bringing diverse artists to the forefront.

9. Can you reflect upon a pivotal project, one that you feel has played a part in shaping Basic Space?

‘The Present is not Enough’ with Olivia Sparrow & Kian Benson Bailes was a pivotal project in shaping the current Basic Space. It was based in CCA Derry ~ Londonderry and was the first of many off-site projects where we worked alongside the community to explore identity & place.

10. If funding and resources were no object, is there a particular work or project that you would like to realise?

We would like to have a permanent space with artist’s studios for emerging artists with partnerships within the local community. We would love to place the artists as a priority within Basic Space not Basic Space as the priority.



Basic Space is an independent art space based in Dublin, in Dublin City Council (DCC) building Incubation Space, Unit 4, James Joyce St. You can find us at our Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and