Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Aoife Hand has relocated to New York to take part in the Swing Space program. Since graduating with a BA with Honors in Fine Art from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology in 2004, she has specialized in painting, with an emphasis on realism and the human figure.

In recent work, Hand explored notions of beauty and subjective truth for a series entitled Absence, Heart, Fonder. By illuminating sections of the body in otherwise total darkness, she endeavored to imbue each part with an elevated importance. The resulting aspects are neither the most nor the least beautiful; they are perfect in their humanity, being both distinct unto themselves and sharing commonality with all humans.

Hand was shortlisted for the Davy Portrait Awards 2010. Her work has been exhibited in group shows nationwide in Ireland, and her debut solo exhibition took place in April of this year.

During her time on Governors Island, Hand plans to connect with the shared childhood experiences of the Army Brats who were residents on the island during the tense Cold War era. Incorporating the written word — from contemporary issues of The Governors Island Gazette to first-hand accounts — she hopes that her work will form a tender elegy to what many former residents have described as a virtual utopia.


Image credit: courtesy of the artist