I'm naturally curious and easily amazed. I combine concepts from art, music, genetics, and evolutionary biology to make multimedia installations. I mean them to express the excitement of questioning, the beauty of understanding, the rewards of curiosity, the meaning of connection, and the importance of keeping an open mind. I hope my work contributes to our understanding of ourselves as biological entities so we can be more in touch with why we do the things we do.
I get the ideas for my creative work by setting Music alongside Art alongside Science and waiting for something to show up. Combining fields in this way has given me a better understanding of what we communicate through the Arts, how we communicate it, and why it makes us feel so good. Where do the ideas come from? I haven't a clue. Throw enough ingredients into a brain and it will make stew.
My days unfold with no predictable pattern; I drift between thinking/writing, designing/drawing/painting, and playing piano/writing music.
Ultimately, I want my work to reach people, excite them, and inspire them to make something else, something more. Here's my advice for living a fulfilling life: Play.
-Tia Vellani, 2020
I want peace on Earth and peace with Earth. Call me an idealist, but I believe we could do this if we learned to see each other and ourselves as we are, warts and all. I also want to understand how the arts get under our skin, pull our strings, and push our buttons because creative activity touches and connects us like nothing else. I combine concepts from art, music, genetics, and evolutionary biology to make projects with these values in mind.
My formal education is in science (Ph.D. and postdoctoral research in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and genomics), and I worked in a lab for many years before switching to art. After leaving science, I created a studio workshop for jewellery design, which I maintained for nine years before starting my present cross-disciplinary arts practice. I've played music all my life, starting with classical piano at age 3 (apparently I used to wander off... la la la what? piano?), then adding concert flute, voice, and West African percussion over the next few decades. Music, visual art and science have all contributed to my identity, and the three disciplines are fully integrated into my practice. My work reflects a truly authentic expression of my passions, core values, and ideology.
Work in Progress
What is the Sound of One Heart Dancing?
A multimedia exploration of improvisational dance. Collaboration with Helen Walsh, Jennie Grangel, Eoin Coffey, and Sandra Mogensen. This project is possible because of generous support from Alternative Kilkenny Arts, TASK Kilkenny, and a grant from Arts & Disability Ireland. Scheduled for exhibition in July-August, 2020. Or not. Postponed until summer, 2021, pandemic permitting.