Ara Devine is an artist and filmmaker whose practice seeks to explore the social, cultural and political landscape of Ireland by examining commemoration, cultural narratives and the construction of national identity in moving images. He is currently finishing a practice-based PhD at Belfast School of Art, Ulster University.
The Irish Question was shortlisted for the RDS Visual Art Award in 2017. His recent film work has been awarded prizes in both Ireland and United Kingdom and screened internationally through film festivals and exhibitions.
Milk Teeth is a conversation between a father and son from the borderlands of Donegal about violence, trauma and the slipperiness of inherited memory in a post-conflict society, using archive film of the Troubles along with personal video archives. Originally commissioned by the BBC in 2022.
Using both archival and recorded footage, ‘The Irish Question’ explores what it means to be Irish in the contemporary world. The installation consists of a projected two-channel film with a duration of 4 minutes 50 seconds that first examines footage from the Irish archives, followed by videos and photographs taken by asylum seekers in direct provision. The piece is interested in the juxtaposition of these two recordings, both made in Ireland, but documented and released in very different ways. A spoken narrative in both Irish and Arabic, with English subtitles, describes the story of growing up in Ireland. Examining the language, symbols and traditions that constitute a national identity, it questions where we lose an opportunity for growth by becoming more defined.
“It’s an immensely thoughtful, tactful piece of work that quietly asks questions about identity…it deserves widespread circulation.” Aidan Dunne – The Irish Times