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Audrey Gillespie – This Hurts

Audrey Gillespie is presenting a new iteration of an evolving body of work, This Hurts, at Seen Fifteen.

This Hurts by Audrey Gillespie on display at Seen Fifteen
Installation shot This Hurts by Audrey Gillespie

Belfast-based multi-disciplinary artist Audrey Gillespie is hosting her first London solo show at Seen Fifteen.

This Hurts is a new iteration of an evolving work by Gillespie.

It is the third in a curatorial series, The Troubles Generation.

The series invites Northern Irish artists to shed new light on the legacy of living in the shadow of 30 years of conflict.

Gillespie’s practice incorporates analogue photography, painting, illustration and screen printing.

This Hurts takes the form of an artistic ‘mind map’ reflecting upon both the personal concerns of the artist and the wider LGBTQ+ community in Northern Ireland.

As a society traditionally steeped in extreme religious rhetoric, Northern Ireland has been slow to respond to human rights issues of the 21st century.

It was the last area of the United Kingdom to legalise same-sex marriage in 2020.

This Hurts

This Hurts explores contemporary themes of queerness, mortality, youth and anxiety against the backdrop of a post-Troubles world.

Through a mix of photography, painting and written musings, Gillespie invites us into a nocturnal world.

She creates a palpable tension between the dreamlike and the nightmarish.

Blurred and double-exposed photographs conjure warm, cinematic nostalgia.

Yet the recurring motifs of painted rats and singular eyes nod towards a darker, pervading anxiety in the atmosphere.

This Hurts by Audrey Gillespie on display at Seen Fifteen
Installation shot This Hurts by Audrey Gillespie

The Troubles Generation

The Troubles Generation looks ahead to a significant moment in UK and Irish history – the 25th anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement.

It seeks to examine the legacy of The Troubles from the viewpoint of artists born into its divided society.

Taking a phased approach to developing photographic projects, the ambition is to create a large-scale touring exhibition in 2023.

The series began with solo exhibitions by Martin Seeds and Gareth McConnell – two artists who were brought up at the height of the violence in the 1970s and 1980s.

With Gillespie, the project turns to a new generation born at the time when the signing of the Good Friday Agreement officially brought the conflict to a close.

Audrey Gillespie

Audrey Gillespie is an artist from Derry, Northern Ireland.

Currently based in Belfast, her media includes analogue photography, painting and printmaking.

Gillespie’s themes explore queerness, mortality and conflict with youth and anxiety.

This Hurts has been exhibited in Ireland at Photo Ireland Photography Festival (2022), Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery “Street View” (2022) and within the major group exhibition, Saturation, at Crawford Art Gallery, Cork.

Exhibition details

This Hurts is on at Seen Fifteen, London, until October 29.

Click here for more information and opening hours.