The Dowager Marchylove

The Dowager Marchylove uses her notoriety and flair for excess to bring attention to sonic ecology, the music of walking, the excavation of memory and the crossmediation of sound, text and image. Known for employing a wide variety of performative, compositional, aesthetic and theoretical approaches, the Dowager’s catholic tastes expose themselves in sound poetry, installations, fashion, photography, music, objects, dance and more confrontational practices such as engagements, situations and interventions. The Dowager has made her name bending rules and shattering expectations, working tirelessly to remind people that “the beauty is in the breaking.”

The Dowager Marchylove erupted full-grown from the forehead of Archbishop Jack Fox in 1997, blossoming into the world like a gleaming ivory flower and bringing with her a bad, bad love for all the dirty sounds. She got her start taking naughty pictures and has since progressed to naughty sounds. One of the most successful alter egos used by the multimedia performance artist Niall Quinlan, the Dowager opens up paradoxes of liminality and identity at the same time as she transgresses boundaries of time and space. Niall Quinlan was born in 1978 and graduated from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in 2000, with a degree in Visual Arts Practice. He began his career as an artist working in photography and performance art, most notably with transgressive radical lesbian artist Jilly Gee in the duo DUL AMACH, where the Dowager Marchylove first made her appearance known. Quinlan continues to explore image, identity and performance through a variety of “personalities” to this day.

The Dowager’s works have been performed at Soundeye Poetry Festival (Cork, Ireland), VOX Festival (Vancouver, Canada), Heritage Festival at the Sirius Arts Centre (Cobh, Ireland), Colourscape Music Festival (London, England) and elsewhere. Her photography, text, sound and sculptural installations have been exhibited at Tallaght Community Arts Centre (Tallaght, Ireland), Parochialkirche Klostertrasse (Berlin, Germany), Catalyst Arts (Belfast, Northern Ireland), Art/Not Art (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Roscommon Arts Centre (Roscommon, Ireland). She has held residencies at Cité des Artes (Paris, France) and the Mobile Academy (Warsaw, Poland), and won the “Best of Fringe Award” as DUL AMACH (with Jilly Gee) in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2002 and the “Media Poetry Prize” at the 2006 Biennale Internationale des Poètes en Val-de-Marne. She has also won “Best Handwriting” (2005), “Best Home-made Swiss Roll” (2003), “Best Child’s Matinee Jacket” (2002), “Best Photograph Featuring Water” (1999) and “Best Tweed Picture” (1999) at the Virginia Show (Cavan, Ireland).    

Some of the Dowager’s more notable works include Flâneur du Klang, A Child’s Album of Noise, It’s Not You—It’s Me, Oh! Tom Cruise!, I Want to Believe, Float, The Pale, Made LOVE Not WAR tuba, You May Wish To Linger and You Kiss Your Mother With Those Lips. The Dowager lives in Dublin with her many, many cats.