Sarah Browne’s project, titled Public feeling, considers the ways our bodies are changing - physically and socially - in a post-austerity context. Her project responds to the gym or leisure centre as a space where the bodies of citizens are trained, transformed and cared for.

Early research for the project included mapping the profusion of commercial gyms in the county, with names such as Macho Gym, Extreme Fitness, and Fit4Less. Many of these gyms are located in industrial estates, alongside new churches that spring up in these areas, creating curious patterns of use and movement through the South Dublin landscape.

Public feeling will be realised as a series of participatory performances in public leisure centres in the county, staged in the format of fitness classes.

The creative team is currently being built for the project, with further meetings with groups and workshopping aspects of the performances to take place across the county throughout the year. The performances will be staged in South Dublin County leisure centres in November 2019.

Producer: Aisling O’Brien

Follow the project online:


Artist Biography

Sarah Browne uses social and sculptural processes of engagement to address non-verbal, bodily experiences of knowledge, labour and justice. She works with film, sculpture and performance.

Her recent solo exhibitions include Report to an Academy, Marabouparken, Stockholm (2017); Hand to Mouth, CCA Derry~Londonderry & IMA, Brisbane (2014) and The Invisible Limb, basis, Frankfurt (2014). Selected group exhibitions include TOUCH, nGbK, Berlin; Strange Foreign Bodies at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow (both 2018), and One Foot in the Real World, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2013). In 2016, with Jesse Jones, she made In the Shadow of the State, a major co-commission by Artangel and Create. This involved collaboration with women in the fields of law, music, material culture and midwifery, addressing women’s experience of the ‘touch of the law’ through a series of legal workshops and performances in Derry, Liverpool, Dublin and London. In 2009, Browne co-represented Ireland at the 53rd Venice Biennale with Gareth Kennedy and Kennedy Browne, their shared collaborative practice.

Browne is currently artist in residence at Rua Red, Tallaght.

Banner image: Sarah Browne, BREAKDOWN, 2017. 45 minute lecture performance / spinning class. Performer: Shirley Harthey Ubilla. Photo: Mikaela Krestesen. Commissioned by Marabouparken.

Gallery images:

1: Sarah Browne, From Vinegar into Plastic, 2017. HD video, 12 minutes. Performer: Leah Marojévic.

2-6: Sarah Browne, site visits (research photographs), 2017-18.