New Commissions 2020/2021 Awarded Artists and Recent Graduate Award



Bbeyond committee is trilled to announce the recipient artists of the New Commission programme 2020/2021.

Due to the excellent quality of the applications received, Bbeyond committee decided to award two emergent artists: Emma Brennan and Hattie Godfrey. They will both will work with Sarah Smith – artist recipient of the Bbeyond Recent graduate award.

Emma, Hattie and our awarded recent graduate – artist Sarah Smith – will develop a new body of work during the upcoming year, with the mentorship of Bbeyond artists and associates.

We are really looking forward to work with these talented artists and performers, helping them experimenting new ideas during the next months.



Emma Brennan is an interdisciplinary artist who works predominantly in performative practices, including multi-media installation, artist moving mage and collaborative processes. At the core of her practice is an interest in the relationship between the artist and viewer, prioritising the in-between, the live, the transient moments of a work, in which we may question this relationship and both personal and general value systems.

Emma Brennan graduated with a BA Hons in Fine Art Media from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2016. Curating and exhibiting in numerous group and solo shows during her time there, she has also participated in a number of live art festivals including Livestock and the Dublin Live art Festival, as well as curating the inaugural NCAD Live Graduate Performance Showcase in 2016. In 2018 she was resident artist of the Draoicht, Blanchardstown, and her work was featured in the Dublin Fringe Festival 2018.

WEBSITE : Emma Brennan

Emma’s statement on the new commissions award: I’m very excited and incredibly grateful for this opportunity to push my performative practice into public space with the guidance and support of Bbeyond. In these times of isolation, I’m interested in how the idea of space, urban and rural, interior and exterior has moved to the forefront of the socio-political discourse and the consequence of this on the intimacies of live, engaged practices. I look forward to exploring my work in relation to this over the course of this commission.

Images credits: 1, 2, 3: Re-Vision festival, Catalyst Arts, 26 September 2020, photo credits Ben Malcolmson. Artwork by Emma Brennan.


Hattie Godfrey is a performance artist, writer and researcher based in Belfast. Her work explores her own and societies increasingly complicated relationship with the concept of ‘care’, by re-staging and ‘unpacking’ episodes of psychological and physical suffering, until they are either fully understood or fully exhausted. She recently performed Who Knows Why Prawns Go Barefoot (2019) a trilogy of performances in which various characters ‘fall’ as they become aware of the staged reality of the functional family.

Hattie’s key focus is the development of alternative languages for describing episodes of suffering; believing that by actively engaging in dialogue surrounding our own experiences of suffering, we can begin to understand, reclaim and make aesthetically significant, what was previously painful. Working with performance, interactive installation, writing and film, what emerges is a surreal yet detailed catalog of human experience and emotion.

Collaboration is also a key element of Hattie’s work, she has worked with people and animals from various disciplines; she recently performed in moving image and performance artist Michelle Williams Gamaker’s Porosity (2019).

Hattie graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in BA (hons) Fine Art in 2018, receiving first class honours in both her theoretical and practical studies. She recently completed her Msc in Psychological Science at QUB, receiving a Distinction. Hattie works as an independent curator and was the Head of Curation for New Shoreditch Theatre. She is the creative director and co-founder of Figure This Life Drawing, a Belfast based life drawing company promoting body positivity, inclusiveness and explorative drawing.


Hattie’s statement on the new commissions award: I am really delighted to be a part of Bbeyond’s New Commission programme. Currently, I am bringing together research on chronic illness, classic cartoons and total institutions. In reflecting on the personal and collective hubris of these phenomenon, I hope to create a space which is both a magnification of the body, and a miniaturisation of civilisation. A ‘playland’ in which I can performatively illustrate escaping and returning to one’s own body.

Images credits: 1. Photograph taken by Goldsmiths University, 2. Photograph taken by Christopher Bond, 3. Photography taken by Tommy Brunt. Artwork by Hattie Godfrey.


Sarah Smith is an emerging visual artist based in Northern Ireland. Born in Barnstaple, North Devon in 1989, Sarah relocated to Northern Ireland in 2012,. Sarah currently studies for her post graduate in Fine Art at Ulster University, where she received her BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2017. Sarah’s practice is multidisciplinary, encompassing performance, installation and time-based work. Sarah employs an array of materials which she uses to communicate concepts and ideas. In recent years Sarah’s focus has explored trauma, and the process of art making as a means of self-therapy.

Sarah’s Website

Image Credits: ‘On Helen’s Bay’ and ‘Descent’ are filmed variations from the series ‘Hushed’, in collaboration with visual artists, Rachel Rankin, Jennifer Alexander and Chloe Austin. Photography by to Jordan Hutchings.