Caoimhín* Gaffney is an artist, filmmaker and writer, whose work has been shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally. Solo exhibitions include the Crawford Art Gallery, Block 336 in London, Contemporary Art Institute (CAI02) in Sapporo, and an upcoming exhibition tour of new work from the Butler Gallery to the Highlanes and Uilinn during 2024-2025. Their films have screened at FACT, Cork Film Festival, Korean Queer Film Festival, the European Media Arts Festival and the London Short Film Festival (receiving the Little White Lies award). In 2014, they were an UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist-in-residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Changdong residency in South Korea, and in 2015 received a Sky Arts scholarship. Their work is featured in the collections of the Arts Council, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Crawford Art Gallery.

Gaffney was a lecturer at Ulster University on the BA Photography with Video and BSc (Hons) Cinematic Arts courses, and has guest lectured at the London College of Communication, Technological University Dublin and Trinity College. Gaffney graduated from the Royal College of Art’s MA Photography and Moving Image with distinction in 2011 and received their PhD from Ulster University’s School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences in 2022. They have published their research in the peer-reviewed Short Film Studies journal, and presented research papers at the Irish Screen Studies Seminar and two Outing the Past conferences on LGBTQ+ history. Gaffney has also presented artist talks and lectures at the Hugh Lane and the RHA, and was artist-in-residence at the Marino Institute of Education for 2017-2018.

Their writing has been shortlisted for the RTÉ Short Story competition and a monograph, Unseen By My Open Eyes, was published by Black Dog London featuring four film scripts and their corresponding translations in Irish, Persian, Korean and Mandarin.

*Caoimhín is the Irish for Kevin, pronounced kwee-veen.

  • PhD, School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Ulster University. Vice-Chancellors Research Scholarship. 2018-2022
  • MA Photography & Moving Image (with distinction), Royal College of Art, London. 2009- 2011
  • BA Fine Art (First Class Hons.), Technological University Dublin. 2004 – 2008
Solo Exhibitions             
  • Upcoming: national tour from the Butler Gallery, to the Highlanes Gallery and Uilinn: West Cork Arts Centre. 2024-2025
  • Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. 2021
  • Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Ulster University, Belfast. 2019  
  • CAI02 Contemporary Art Institute, Sapporo, Japan. 2018          
  • Ormston House, EVA, Limerick. 2018              
  • Block 336, curated by Kathleen Soriano, London. 2017              
  • Millenium Court Arts Centre, Northern Ireland. 2017              
  • The Linenhall Arts Centre, Ireland. 2016
  • CAI02 Contemporary Art Institute, Sapporo International Art Festival, Japan. 2014     
  • Galway Arts Centre, Ireland. 2013    
  • RUA RED, South Dublin Arts Centre, Ireland. 2011  
  • 126, Galway, Ireland. 2008
Solo Screenings            
  • Buncrana Cinema, with Artlink, Donegal. 2023.
  • IMMA, Screen Project, Irish Museum of Modern Art. Online. 2020  
  • FACT, Liverpool. Q&A with Dr Michael Birchall. 2018
  • Sky Academy Arts Scholarship. UK & Ireland. 2015
  • UNESCO-Aschberg Laureate Artist. South Korea. 2014  
  • Little White Lies Award from 9th London Short Film Festival. 2012  
  • Grand Prix from the Sapporo Biennale International Competition. Japan. 2011
  • Honorary Mention from Startpoint Prize for Emerging Artists. Czech Republic. 2011
Selected Group & Duo Exhibitions           
  • Courthouse Gallery, Clare, exhibition with Bassam Issa Al-Sabah and Jennifer Mehigan. 2022 
  • ‘Video Works’ and ‘On the Irish Photobook’ at PhotoIreland, Museum of Contemporary Photography at the Print Works, Dublin. 2022
  • Guides, curated by Séamus Nolan from the Arts Council Collection, Linenhall Arts Centre. 2022 
  • Narrow Gate of the Here and Now, collections exhibition at IMMA. 2021-2022
  • Circuit Festival, 126, Ireland (Duo exhibition) 2021 
  • I Am What I Am, curated by Sinéad Keogh, Ballina Arts Centre, Ireland. 2021
  • Haerfest, CCA Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. 2019
  • Disruptors, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda. 2019
  • How to do Things with Words, ArtLacuna, London. 2018
  • FUTURES, RHA, Ireland. 2017
  • Art Works, VISUAL, curated by Eoin Dara & Emma-Lucy O’Brien, Carlow. 2017  
  • Art Street, public exhibition in Sapporo-Odori subway stations, Sapporo, Japan. 2016
  • Art Works, VISUAL, selected by Annie Fletcher, Carlow. 2016
  • Out There Thataway, CCA Derry-Londonderry. 2015  
  • Kooshk Artist Residency Award, Open Studio Exhibition, Mohsen Gallery, Tehran, Iran. 2015
  • Art Works, VISUAL, selected by Lewis Biggs, Carlow. 2015  
  • Homeland, Damer House Gallery in association with Loop Barcelona, Ireland. 2015  
  • Other Forms of Relations, MMCA Residency, National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, South Korea. 2014
  • Fake Hikers, MMCA Residency, National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, South Korea. 2014
  • Sorachi Coal Mine exhibition, Sapporo International Art Festival, Japan. 2014
  • We, Catalyst Arts, Belfast. 2012
  • Periodical Review # 2, Pallas Projects, Dublin. Selected by Padraic E. Moore. 2012
  • Started 2012: Residents of Startpoint, Galerie NTK, National Technical Library, Prague. 2012
  • Drop Everything, Inis Oirr. 2012
  • The Last to Say, Museum Gavu Cheb, Czech Republic. 2012
  • Startpoint: Selected, Museum Gavu Cheb, Czech Republic 2012
  • Startpoint Prize for Emerging Artists, Wannieck Gallery, Brno, Czech Republic. 2011
  • SHOW 2011, Royal College of Art Graduate Show, London. 2011
  • 9 Days the Museum Disappears, Sapporo Pre-Biennale, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art. 2011
  • Album, curated by Morgan Quaintance, Liverpool Biennale Independents. 2010
  • Artist Performance Series, Project Arts Centre, Dublin. 2008
Selected Film Festivals & Screenings
  • Ormston House screening at the Belltable, Limerick. 2024
  • ‘To be consumed in totality’, invited programmer for PhotoIreland and aemi screening. 2021
  • Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival (TQAF), Thessaloniki. 2021
  • TQAF at Balkan Can Kino festival, Athens. 2021
  • Screening at 6th Biennial of Painting, curated by Eve Woods, Pallas Projects, Croatia. 2021
  • Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, San Francisco. 2020
  • Screening at Kvindemuseet (Women’s Museum) curated by Pamela Grombacher, Aarhus Art Weekend, Denmark. 2019
  • Qflix, Philadelphia. 2018
  • Korean Queer Film Festival, Seoul. 2018
  • Leeds Queer Film Festival, UK. 2018
  • Cork Film Festival, Ireland. 2018
  • 10th Imagine Science Film Festival, New York. 2017
  • AMINI 17: Festival of Artists’ Moving Image, The MAC, Belfast. 2017
  • Loop Barcelona: City Screen, Damer House at La Place Art Space, Spain. 2017
  • Urban Nomad Film Festival, Taiwan. 2017
  • Dingle International Film Festival, Ireland. 2017
  • EMAF, European Media Arts Festival, Germany. 2016
  • Les Rencontres Internationales, Paris. 2016
  • Cork Film Festival, Ireland. 2016
  • Edinburgh Artist Moving Image Festival (EAMIF), Scotland. 2016
  • Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival, Scotland. 2015
  • Abandon Normal Devices, Cornerhouse, Manchester. 2012
  • Tenderflix Film Screening, Tenderpixel, London. 2012
  • The London Short Film Festival. Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London. 2012
  • Big Screen, Latitude Festival with Lux, Cine-city and Supernormal Festival, UK. 2012
  • WNDX, Festival of Moving Image, Canada. 2012
  • The Brighton Film Festival, Cinecity, the Nightingale, Brighton. 2011
  • FEST; International Film Festival, Portugal. 2011
  • Artlink, Fort Dunree, Donegal. 2023.
  • Marino Institute of Education, Artist in Residence. Dublin. 09/2017- 07/2018
  • Fire Station Artist Studios. Dublin. 06/2017- 07/2018
  • Cow House Studios, Bealtaine Festival. Curated by Linda Shevlin. 2017  
  • RHA Studio Artist, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. 01/2016- 08/2016 
  • Kooshk Artist Residency Award. Tehran, Iran. 2015
  • MMCA Changdong, National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art. South Korea. 09/2014-12/2014
  • Taipei Artist in Residence, Taipei Artist Village, Taipei Culture Foundation.Taiwan. 01/2014- 04/2014
  • Started Residency, Startpoint Prize for Emerging Artists, Arbor Vitae Foundation. Prague. 2012
  • VISIO, European Workshop on Artists Cinema at Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival. Florence. 2012
Authored publications, broadcasts and conference papers
  • It all began with the turlough, broadcast and publication of short story as part of Francis MacManus Short Story Competition, RTÉ and RTÉ Radio 1. 2023
  • Transcript of in-conversation between myself and AEMI published in Bite the Hand that Feeds You by Photo Ireland, edited by Julia Gelezova. 2023
  • Screen Production Research: Queer Short Filmmaking as a Mode of Enquiry, Short Film Studies: Issue 11.2, peer-reviewed journal paper, co-authored with Dr Victoria McCollum. 2021
  • Queer Filmmaking Practice: Strategies for Resistance, conference paper at Irish Screen Studies Seminar, Ulster University. 2021
  • Towards a Queer State, conference paper at Outing the Past at Salford University. 2021
  • Intercutting Fiction with Archival Footage in Queer Film, conference paper at Outing the Past at Ulster University. 2019
  • Unseen by my Open Eyes, monograph of four of my films and scripts. UK, Europe, Asia & North
    America. 2017
  • The Unnameable, self-published hardback book of photographs, text and film stills. 2011
  • Hardcover: Image Perspectives, featured script and film stills, RCA/ Black Dog London. 2011
Talks, Lectures & Panels
  • Lecturer, BA Photography with Video, Belfast School of Art, Ulster University. Sept 2021-Jan 2023.
  • Guest lecture, BA Photography, BA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, London College of Communication. 2021
  • In conversation with Kathleen Soriano, online, recorded for the Crawford Art Gallery. 2020
  • In conversation with Sara Greavu, online, IMMA. 2020
  • Lecturer, BSc (Hons) Cinematic Arts, Ulster University, Derry. September- December 2019.
  • Panel discussion at Kvindemuseet (Women’s Museum), Aarhus Art Weekend, Denmark. 2019
  • Artist Talk, RHA, Dublin. 2018
  • In conversation with Kathleen Soriano, Ormston House, Limerick. 2018
  • Panel with Vivienne Dick & Kathy Pendergast, chair: Linda Shevlin, Wexford Arts Centre. 2017
  • Artist Talk, The Hugh Lane, Dublin. 2017
  • In conversation with curator Kathleen Soriano, Block 336, London. 2017
  • Artist talk, BA Photography, University of Ulster, Belfast. 2017
  • Artist Talk, BA Fine Art, Technological University Dublin. 2017
  • Artist Talk, Rybon Art Centre, Tehran, Iran. 2015
  • Artist Talk, Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. 2015
  • Artist Talk, Department of Fine Art, Kyung Hee University, Seoul. 2014
  • Artist Talk, BA Fine Art, Technological University Dublin. 2013
Selected reviews & essays about my work/ publications featuring my work
  • The Narrow Gate Of The Here And Now – IMMA: 30 Years Of The Global Contemporary, IMMA. 2022
  • Summoning a queer state, essay by Karl Schoonover, Professor of Film & Television Studies, Warwick University. Published by the Crawford. 2020
  • Review of Expulsion in Art Monthly by Chris Hayes, October issue 440. 2020
  • Play Like a Coyote, essay by Alissa Kleist, in ‘Curriculum- Contemporary Art Goes to School’ edited by Jennie Guy, published by Intellect. 2020
  • Review of Everything Disappears by Chris Hayes, Circa Art Magazine. 2020
  • Artists in the Art Studio of National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, MMCA Changdong, South Korea. 2014
  • Review of The Black Plum by Sara Baume, Circa Art Magazine, Issue 205. 2008
Selected print, tv and radio press coverage
Selected Bursaries, Project Grants & Commissions
  • Visual Art Bursary Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2023
  • Visual Art Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2023
  • Cavan Arts Office arts grant. 2023
  • Film Bursary Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2022
  • Platform 31 Bursary Award, Local Authority Arts Offices. 2022
  • Arts Bursary, Dublin City Council. 2018
  • Film Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2017
  • Film Bursary Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2017
  • Film Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2015
  • Sorachi Coal Mine & Sapporo International Art Festival, commissioned video installation, Japan. 2014
  • Film Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2014
  • Film Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2012
  • Artist Bursary, South Dublin County Council. 2012
  • Artist’s International Development Fund, Arts Council of England & British Council. 2012
  • Artist Bursary Award, Arts Council of Ireland. 2011
  • E’3 Film Award, European League of Institute of the Arts. 2008
  • Artist Bursary, South Dublin County Council. 2008
  • Crawford Art Gallery.
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art, donated by Frank X. Buckley & Dr. Michael P. Burns through the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland.
  • The Arts Council of Ireland.
  • V&A National Art Library.
  • PhotoIreland Collection.
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