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Biography

Una Walker is currently working on a new body of work which investigates the processes and mechanisms, such as securing borders, establishing a civil service and administrative infrastructure, required to establish a new, independent state.

Una Walker has exhibited extensively in Ireland, the UK, Europe and internationally for over thirty years. The main focus of her work has been site-specific installations, which have been commissioned for a wide variety of locations, including Dublin Airport, a cathedral in Wales and military fortifications in Ireland, Scotland and Finland. She has participated in numerous residency programmes, including those at NIFCA (Finland) and the Vermont Studio Centre. In 1999 she was commissioned by the International Institute of Visual Art, InIVA, to work on a website, which marked a change of direction in her work.

Since 2000, Una Walker’s research and practice have been concerned with categories of memory, as identified in cognitive neuroscience, and the construction of memory as part of brain function. (Video and audio works Memory [2001] and Corpus Callosum [2003]) These works led to further exploration of memory at the collected or social levels, and to investigating alternatives to the episodic or personal recollection model of memory. The model of semantic memory was linked to the capability of digital databases, and notions of social memory and construction of narrative in Surveiller (2004). The data in Surveiller (relating to art exhibitions and events held in Belfast from 1968 – 2001) had been detached from their source and were presented in a schematic and uniform manner. Ideas of narrative and non-narrative were developed further in reports from an agent in the field (2007), in which information from the (extended) database was further fragmented and uncoupled from the source material.

Since 2008 Una Walker has been involved in digital humanities research, most recently as a principle investigator for NCAD's input to the exchequer funded Digital Repository of Ireland. DRI is being built by a consortium of six academic partners: the Royal Irish Academy; TCD; NUI Maynooth; NUI Galway; Dublin Institute of Technology; and NCAD.

From 1995-98 Una Walker was the Chair of the Artists Association of Ireland, and from 1995-97 she was also President of the International Association of Artists. She has published widely on issues connected with artists’ working environments. In 2008 she was awarded a PhD by the University of Ulster. She is currently chairperson of Flax Art Studios in Belfast.