The Realness, performance, (2022) by Naoibh McNamee
Artists' Studio

EXPLORERSproject residencies with Project Art Works and Outside In
in collaboration with the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

We’re delighted to announce that Naoibh McNamee and Henry Jones have been awarded residencies at The New Art Gallery Walsall following a callout for applications from neurodivergent artists.


Naoibh McNamee: 18 July – 21 August 2022

Naoibh McNamee is a queer autistic multi-disciplinary artist from Birmingham. Their practice focuses on queer and disabled themes, in particular their gender non-conformity through the lens of autism.

Most recently, Naoibh has been using performance, painting and installation to understand and explore their position within the world, creating a series of costumes in which they perform. Each of these costumes focuses on a specific trait of autism that they experience, such as masking, eye contact, and feeling overwhelmed. Through bright, bold and camp materials, Naoibh has embraced their lack of assimilation, demanding their own agency and space to exist authentically.

Naoibh will use the residency to create a larger series of costumes and experiment further with installation and more daring performances. They will also use the opportunity to develop their online digital presence and have meaningful conversations with autistic people and others outside the community about representations of autism.

Henry Jones: 15 August – 18 September 2022

Henry Jones uses traditional making methods such as metalworking, stonecraft and ropemaking to produce socially-engaged artworks and projects that explore ideas of legacy and change and straddle the boundary between craft and fine art. Recent work has focused on his family’s longstanding relationship to coal mining, and horticulture as a form of participatory art. The artist co-runs a community garden in Northfield, Birmingham.

Henry’s desire to share everything in his work that informs his process and thought making is one way in which he expresses his ADD. He often positions found objects that reflect his making journey alongside finished work. Henry’s residency outcomes will be informed and led by his surroundings, both in the Gallery and the wider locality.

Naoibh’s residency will take place from 18 July – 21 August and Henry’s from 15 August – 18 September 2022. There will be a crossover week between 15 and 21 August where both artists will share studio space, opening up opportunities for dialogue, support, and making together.

The residencies are two of three awarded by Outside In and Project Art Works as part of the Explorers project, with Alex Billingham also developing work at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

The Explorers Project is supported by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation