Elaine Byrne studied at the Frink School of Sculpture, Stoke on Trent, University College Dublin and completed a M.A. in Visual Arts Practices at the Institute of Art, Design and Technologhy, Dun Laoghaire, in 2009. A solo exhibition of her work entitled They Have Eyes took place at Leinster Gallery in Dublin in 2009 and her work has been shown in many exhibitions and festivals including Tulca Festival of Visual Arts in Galway, the Berlin Reading Room, Berlin and a solo show The Irish King of Mexico at Atrio Cultuarl Space in Mexico City. Her work is featured in private collections in Abu Dhabi, Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK.
Her research-based practice examines overlooked histories, historical texts and artworks as a platform to mobilize history as it relates to current political and social concerns. For example, she has leveraged Frederick Kiesler's 1925 architectural manifesto to interrogate the housing crisis in Ireland. Employing sculpture, video and photography she focuses on opening new questions for the viewer to highlight present day urgencies. Giving prominence to language her methodology often uses the interview as a way to confront difficult legal or civic issues, e.g., using James Joyce's Ulysses (1922), the 'Pure Codology' interviews address the anti-Semitism in Hungary through the local attitude to Bloomsday.
Based between Dublin and New York, Elaine has an MA in Visual Arts Practices (IADT) and was previously a fellow at the Whitney Independent study and the Art & Law Program Fellow, New York. She has had many solo shows including borderline (Dublin), Women in Boxes (NY), La Diritta Via (Rome), Ruam (Dublin) and Raumplan (Limerick). Group shows include The Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery (Dublin), Douglas Hyde Gallery (Dublin), Elizabeth Foundation (NY) the Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation (NY) and ISCP (NY). She won several prizes including the 8th Arte Laguna prize for sculpture, Venice, Italy and the T.I.N.A art prize, Milan. She was awarded residencies at ISCP, Art OMI and Soma Mexico. Her work in various collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rosenbach Museum and Library (Philadelphia) and the Office of Public Works Ireland and the Rubin Foundation. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Temple University, Philadelphia.