"Irvine's oeuvre, comprising mainly films and videos, most often in the form
of installations, explores not only the extremes of passion, of love and hate,
of possession and loss – to the point at which these emotions become
unrepresentable –but also the mundane and the everyday, the things that
happen on a walk to the park or a trip on the underground, where people's
paths cross, and encounters are missed".
(Michael Newman, 2008)
Using video installation, photography, music composition and writing – she explores the complex ways we imagine ourselves and the world around us, a process which, for Irvine,has both philosophical and political implications.
Her practice, as Anne Tallentire remarked, is
‘an invitation to see what might be learnt by attempting to think
undistractedly about things we cannot help thinking about anyway, or cannot
help have occur to us’.
In 1995 Irvine’s work was included in General Release, the seminal exhibition of Young British Artists at the Venice Biennale and she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1997. She participated in numerous group shows including NoWhere Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (1996), White Noise, Bern Kunsthalle, (1998), Intelligence, Tate Britain (2000) and Shifting Ground: 50 Years of Irish Art at the Irish Museum of Modern Art
(IMMA) (2000); Revolver II, Matt’s Gallery, London (2014); A Room of One’s Own, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City (2015). Her solo exhibitions have included the Project Arts Centre (1996), Kerlin Gallery (2004, 2011) and the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (1999, 2005); Frith Street Gallery, London (1997, 1999, 2011) the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden, Germany (1998) Delfina Project Space London; Henry Moore Institute (2004) Leeds and Galleria Alessandro de March (2004),Milan. In 2005 she showed The Silver Bridge in IMMA, Dublin and Smart Project Space,
Amsterdam. In 2008, her multi channel installation, In a World Like This, was produced in collaboration with Chisenhale Gallery, London and The Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo. To mark the exhibition, The Square Root of Minus 1 is Plus or Minus i , was published in early 2008. Her project, City of Women, (2010), developed with Draoícht and The Lab, Foley Street, brought together women of many different backgrounds and ages, to perform for one night on Foley Street, re-enacting gestures from Hogarth’s, The Harlot’s Progress. In 2011 Before The Page is Turned, developed in the Dublin Graphic Print Studios, was presented at the Kerlin Gallery, Dublin. In 2014 her solo show, This Thing Echoes, was presented at Frith Street Gallery, London.
Jaki Irvine has written many critical texts and short writings on other artists work in the past, including Extinction Beckons, for Mike Nelson, a book commissioned by Matts Gallery. In 2013 she wrote Days of Surrender, her first novel, published by Copy Press, UK.
Irvine is represented in the collections of IMMA, the Irish Arts Council, Tate Modern, FRAC and in numerous other collections, both public and private. In 2014 her permanent photographic commission, Shot in Mexico, was installed in the Deutsche Bank in Dublin.
In September, 2016, she presented If the Ground Should Open, a major new commission for the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. This was then shown at Frith Street Gallery, London, in 2017.
She is a member of Aosdana and an artist advisor at the Rijksakademie Amsterdam.
She is represented by Frith Street Gallery, London and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.