Curios About: Primitive Reflex by Grainne Tynan

Primitive Reflex By Grainne Tynan Thermoplastic splinting material, steel, ink, wood, electric splinting bath, table and water 700mm x 700mm x 1700mm

1. This work is about . . . the place of shared myths in today’s world, exploring boundaries between superstitious and scientific thought. Primitive Reflex investigates the human desire to heal another’s trauma and places this in direct relationship with shamanic tribal rituals.

2. I made this work because . . . I wanted to explore my experience of working as an occupational therapist with people who have suffered a trauma to the central nervous system, resulting in the return of their infantile (or primitive) reflexes.

3. I hope when people see this work they will . . . enter into a discussion about the principles and materials used by healthcare professionals, empowering them to question approaches used in the recovery from trauma.

4. In terms of art history, this work . . . references primitive art through the use of tribal motifs in the anatomical drawings.

5. You can see my work . . . in the Trauma exhibition in Science Gallery at Trinty College Dublin, which runs until 21 Feb 2016. My website is

Curios [sic] About is a series featuring works by Dublin artists, curated for us by our friends at the Square in the Circle blog, and hosted there as well as here.

Each artist is asked to submit an image of one work and answer a set of questions about it. We’d love it if you’d submit something you’ve made.

Filed under:


Square in the Circle: Square in the Circle is a blog featuring responses to contemporary art. You can find it at

Reader responses

Log in to write a response.

Understand your city

We do in-depth, original reporting about the issues that shape Dublin. We're not funded by advertisers. We're funded by readers like you.

You can read 3 more free articles this month. If you’re a subscriber, log in.

The work we do isn't possible without our subscribers. We're a reader-funded cooperative. We are not funded or influenced by advertising. For as little as the price of a pint every month, you can support local journalism in your city.