My art practice is both collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature with an ongoing interest in the contested questions of ownership, autonomy, privatisation, agency or control in public space and place.
An interest in critical spatial practices first emerged in my work in 2004 when I was invited to act as an artist/advisor on postgraduate summerschools on Interaction Design in public spaces under the European Convivio network, first in Italy, and later in Sweden, Croatia and Romania. This was part of my role as a research officer at the Interaction Design Centre, an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Limerick, with an emphasis on participatory, co-operative and collaborative design of technology.
In 2009 I initiated the SpiritStore project, a collaborative art project which addressed questions of public ownership through the setting up and development of an autonomous art space in the site of a stalled commercial development in Limerick city centre.
SpiritStore became an ongoing project taking diverse approaches to conveying or contesting experiences of the city and the experience of making art for and with public.
Most recently I've been working in an ongoing collaboration with the Knockatallon Ramblers (Co. Monaghan) hiking club. We have been investigating the potential of critical cartography and the act of walking at the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland to address spatial contestation and to offer alternative intimate narratives of place.
In my role as an educator, I am joint programme leader of the Masters in Social Practice and the Creative Environment (MA SPACE) which I co-wrote in 2010 at the Limerick School of Art and Design.
Marilyn Lennon is a visual artist, collaborator and educator. She has exhibited extensively and is founder of the SpiritStore art project. Her PhD, undertaken at the Interaction Design Centre (IDC), an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Limerick, was supervised by Prof. Liam Bannon. Her thesis explored methodologies derived from Art and Design practice which support and facilitate participants in Participatory (Interaction) Design sessions. Research and educational interests include the theories and practices of both Interaction Design and Socially Engaged Art practice. Specialties include Social Practice in Art and Design, Interaction Design (specifically in public spaces) project management, ethnographic research methodologies, contextual research, evaluation and Participation and Collaboration in Art and Design. She is currently a Lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design, Limerick Institute of Technology, where in ‘09/’10 as part of a small team she co-wrote a Masters programme in Social Practice in Art and Design, as a result she is currently Programme Joint Leader of the MA in Social Practice and the Creative Environment, (MA SPACE). As a lecturer she is experienced in a broad range of Art and Design disciplines and has been postgraduate advisor/artist at a number of international Interaction Design in Public Spaces events including, The Siena Design Project, Italy, '03 and 04, and the Convivio International Summer Schools, Romania and Sweden '05 and '07 and Split Interactions, Croatia '08. Her collaborative projects carried out in Sweden '07 and Croatia '08 with artists, designers, postgraduate students and the public was awarded the Grand Prix at the Zagrebacki Salon '09, the highest Croatian award for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. As a Visual Artist and Interaction Designer she has worked with people from a variety of disciplines which include engineering, architecture, psychology, geography, sociology, healthcare and computer science. She holds two patents, has published journal, conference, workshop papers as well as her PhD.