Tia Vellani is an Irish-Canadian visual artist and multi-instrumental musician based in Kilkenny. Before becoming a full-time artist in 2014, she worked as a research scientist in the USA and Ireland. During this time, she was also a jeweller known as Artist by Night, working initially from her home studio in Florida and subsequently in a studio-workshop at Castlecomer Discovery Park.
Dr. Vellani has spoken internationally about the overlaps between art and science, most recently in February of this year at the Art and Climate Change webinar hosted by Visual Artists Ireland. Her aspiration is to contribute to worldwide empathy for all living things. Believing in the power of music to increase our capacity for empathy, she combines art, music, and science to ask questions about the emotional and social impacts of music.
With these goals in mind, she uses salvaged metal, wood, and stone to build musical instruments that anyone can play. She symbolises music with a system of shapes and colours to reveal how melody, harmony, and rhythm are used to express emotions. Reimagining art, music, and dance as different art forms, she explores how emotion is turned into creative expression and back into emotion.
Dr. Vellani produces and directs multimedia projects in collaboration with scientists, dancers, videographers, composers, and visual artists. Using recycled building materials, live fungus, oil pastels, acrylic paints, digital media, and glass beads, she creates sculptures, paintings, installations, glass bead tapestries, digital art, and musical compositions. Her works have been exhibited in Europe and North America.
Dr. Vellani is a member of Visual Artists Ireland, the Irish Music Rights Organisation, Artlinks, and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.
I am an artist with a background in music and molecular genetics. I am motivated by a need for inner peace and connection, and a deep love for our beautiful, troubled planet. While some people are searching for clean energy and others are working to preserve the diversity of life, I am aiming for worldwide empathy and compassion. I see music as a good way in.
We take it for granted that music stirs our emotions. But how? It's more than just lyrics. How does the "noise" of music move us to soaring ecstasy or melting sorrow? How is it that we feel close to the people we play with or who share our taste in music? These are some of the questions that make me make art.
Drawing on my science background, I create and direct collaborative, multimedia projects that blur the lines between different art forms and science. My work takes many forms: digital art, installation, music, painting, performance, sculpture, and tapestry. I create art and music informed by the theory of evolution; interpret music as art; re-imagine visual art, dance, and the theory of evolution as music.
My "artistic process" starts when I have been reading a lot. While I walk a riverbank or slip into sleep, my brain finds patterns in the information I have taken in. Once an idea takes hold, I ponder obsessively until metaphors appear and project ideas arise. I carry out the projects in a way serves them best, and it is rarely the same way twice.
-Tia Vellani, 2023
Thank you Patrons for helping me do my thing since April 2020!
Adorable critter drawings by Shaelin Vellani. @thepointofneedles