Drawing Smyth draws upon subjects of taste, status and material consumption to create fictionalised narratives that challenge the hierarchical divisions between fine art, craft and design-based disciplines. Approaching installation as a method of disturbance, he combines aspects of ceramic, fibre, woodwork and drawing to investigate the countercultural relationships between the amateur maker and the decorated surface. Reimagining the marginalised histories of DIY, self-taught and hobbyist pursuits, Smyth is interested in exposing a range of haptic performances that can equally ridicule and revere the classed, gendered, and racial connotations of handmade objects.
Ronan Smyth is an interdisciplinary artist based in Belfast. In 2019 Smyth graduated from the Belfast School of Art, Ulster University with an MFA. The same year, he enrolled as practice-based PhD candidate at Ulster University, researching the socio-political role of domestic crafts within the gendered and working-class subjectivities of shame. He has contributed extensively to various creative projects, including gallery exhibitions, community workshops and educational seminars. Smyth has been the recipient of several funding awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, and Ulster University.