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Thais Muniz: Meet the artists showcasing at the Dean Art Studios

Thais Muniz: Meet the artists showcasing at the Dean Art Studios


by Thais Muniz
24th Aug 2022

Thais Muniz is an interdisciplinary artist and designer specialising in Afro-diasporic connections, identity, belonging and migration. Her art focuses on the need to shatter the status quo when it comes to the representation of Black bodies, to empower, rescue identities and histories, to build bridges and open conversations. Here she shares more about her process and the inspiration behind her art.

Did you always want to be an interdisciplinary artist?
No, I actually thought I would be a fashion designer but the fashion industry didn’t excite me enough when I tried.

In college, I studied… fashion design.

My most formative work experience was… around creativity, community and communication.

My first real job was… at a publishing house where we had a TV show, a website and a magazine.

The most invaluable thing I learned early on in my career was… that knowledge is both a blessing and a curse.

A common misconception about what I do is… that I work in the fashion industry and would like to do fashion shows.

My main responsibility at work is… to be loyal to my feelings and purpose, keep sharing narratives of change, and inspire people and communities with topics I work with.

Do you have a career mentor or someone you look up to/seek advice from?
I don’t have a career mentor, but I have a close network to access, and also friends. I have had some career coaching sessions as well.

The biggest risk I have taken in my career so far is… moving to Ireland eight years ago when my art format became very popular in Brazil.

I wake at… 7:25am and get up at 8am.

The first thing I do every morning is… think about the day ahead and go for a shower 12. My morning routine is breakfast after the shower, checking my messages and emails, organising some house demands, and heading to the studio.

I can’t go to work without… a shower and my computer.

I travel to work by… I walk.

I start my working day… between 11 am and 12.

The first thing I do at work is… answer emails and organise the order to get things done.

I usually spend the first portion of the day… on my computer.

I break for lunch at… 1:30pm and usually have an hour for my lunch break. I like to drink coffee after lunch.

The most useful business tool I use every day is… my phone.

I save time by… cooking food for the whole week at once, at least for lunch.

I rarely get through my working day without… listening to music and touching on textiles.

The best part of my day is… when I’m done with the admin work and start to make or plan on the practical and tactile parts.

I know it’s been a good day if… I got most of the things on my to do list done and I don’t feel anxious or under pressure.

I usually end my day at… 8pm or 9pm, sometimes 11pm.

I switch off from work by… meeting my friends, watching TV or reading.

Before I go to bed… I look at memes online and check the news.

I often prepare for tomorrow by… organising my calendar.

After a long work week, I destress by… meeting friends to eat and drink.

The accomplishment I’m most proud of is… being a pioneer in the research and connection of communities through turbans and headwraps.

If you want to get into my line of work, my advice is… to believe that every discipline you work in is valid and not feel afraid about experimenting with different mediums and narratives. Art is everything, and it can be done with anything.

Tell us about your work on display at the Dean Art Studios… for the opening at the DAS, I showed a textile sculpture, a print of an analogue collage and a video poem. These are all part of the same series of work, called Atlantica that I started in 2019. With Atlantica, I aim to approach a number of connections I have made between cultures that are bathed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, by walking my own way. These connections pass through places of great resistance, resilience, repulsion, pain and re-signification. Atlantica has brought me reflections about the movement of the waters, as the line that traces my own path, where I create my own displacement as an optional way, and I choose the diaspora as home. The crossing over this sea connects my artistic and intellectual production in Brazil, Europe and Africa. I speak of Africa, without necessarily treading on the soil of that continent, but because it is this (in)visible territory that I transit to arrive at the place of Atlantica.

The DAS is a new multi-disciplinary artistic hub located in Dublin City Centre which provides fully serviced and funded artist workspaces for residents. This is a project fully funded and run by the Press Up Hospitality Group as part of their long-term Cultural Strategy which commits to investing, uplifting, and supporting Irish artists, arts workers, arts organisations, makers, and creators in a meaningful and practical way. To explore the profiles and work of the residents of the Dean Art Studios, Dublin see deanartstudios.ie.