'Time's arrows radiate like sound waves, disperse and grow muddy, the further out they go, tangling into confusion on their outer limits'. 

– Arthur Eddington (1928)

Jaki Irvine (b. 1966, Dublin) uses video, installation, photography, music composition and writing to explore the complex ways we imagine ourselves and the world around us, a process which, for Irvine, has both philosophical and political implications. Overheard conversations and everyday incidents, casually observed, often form the starting point for Irvine’s work. She weaves these real events into fictions, making films and videos that reflect on the fragmented, mysterious and often absurd nature of the human condition.


Whether in single-screen format or in more complex installations, Irvine creates open-ended narratives in which image and musical score overlap, coalesce and diverge. In her multi-screen work Seven Folds in Time (2009), the editing process itself comes to the fore as an organising principal. Moving between overt musicality and the edges where a sound begins or ends, Irvine focuses on the rigours and pleasures of playing an instrument, bringing together the private space of practice with the possibilities of performance it anticipates. If the Ground Should Open… (2016) is a multi-channel sound and video installation commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916. It takes the names of two forgotten freedom fighters Elizabeth O’Farrell and Julia Grenan as ‘the ground’ of a score for nine musicians. Irvine composed the eleven tracks using an oral scoring system originally developed for Scottish Highland pipes. Irvine describes how ‘the past and the present are reflected through a lens that is complicated, joyful, furious and hopeful’.