Artist Statement

Since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in June, I have began working as a self employed film-maker and photographer. I am open to working with a wide variety of organisations and individuals, my areas of expertise include documenting events or live performances, creating films for social media, photography, conducting interviews, film direction and video editing.

My recent work has included creating photographs and short films for the Scottish Trades Union Congress and UNISON, one of the largest trade unions in the UK. I have also documented a live performance for artist Shona McNaughton, and my photographs of this work are now included in the University of Edinburgh's collection.

As an artist, I am interested in producing moving portraits of workers with the aim of investigating labour and its role in maintaining the capitalist economy. Working across moving image, film photography and archival material, I seek to record both voices and images of workers. These moving portraits attempt to illuminate some of the cracks within the system, with an intent to identify current and future points of disruption.

 

In her most recent work, Rooney considers and documents the experiences of workers during the COVID 19 pandemic. In a series of interviews with workers who have provided vital jobs, such as cleaning, caring or working in the NHS, Rooney evaluates the hero narrative attached to essential workers. In the face of proposed public sector pay and benefit freezes, do these workers feel like heroes?
Do they feel valued, safe or protected?

 

Rooney’s practice also considers what collective resistance looks like under the ‘new normal’. In her current project, she seeks to document the ways workers have organised during the pandemic for safe working conditions and fair pay for the critical work they do. As the worker is devalued, we live with the ghosts of better days gone by.

By documenting the experience of workers today, Rooney seeks to remind us of our own histories, and supposes that our future timelines are not yet fixed.

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