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The Telepaths


The Telepaths is an installation of sculpture, video, and photographic work that explores the ideas and imagery related to historical investigations of telepathy and extrasensory perception. The Telepaths draws parallels between the exploratory space of the researcher’s laboratory and that of the artist’s studio.


2019, Publication, 120pgs

The publication documents the survey exhibition Susan MacWilliam: MODERN EXPERIMENTS which toured four venues in Ireland in 2016–17. Published by F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio. Designed by Peter Maybury. Edited by Riann Coulter and Susan MacWilliam with essays and texts by Riann Coulter, Alice Corriea, Val Connor and Susan MacWilliam.


2017, Publication, 88 pgs

Illustrating MacWilliam’s body of work AN ANSWER IS EXPECTED
(2013–14) which explores the ESP and telepathy investigations of J B Rhine. The book features archive photographs and documents, alongside a transcript of MacWilliam’s film AN ANSWER IS EXPECTED (2013).

Modern Experiments

2016–2017, Solo Survey Exhibition

The largest and most comprehensive exhibition of Susan MacWilliam's work to date. Modern Experiments presents key pieces from the artist's career with a focus on works created since 1998 when the artist began working with video. Featuring 28 works, including 14 videos and video installations.

Repeal Sphere
2017, Sculpture

For Nasty Women Dublin.
More information soon.

2017, Poster

Located around city sites in Kratowice, Poland.

See e-flux announcement.
More information soon.

Pull Down

2016, B+W, Silent, 3mins 10secs

Conjuring up the dark spaces of the séance room, Pull Down intimately observes the collapsing and slumping of a girl through the focusing lens of a camera. Continuing the artist's explorations of the phenomena of spiritualism, Pull Down draws attention to the role of the camera as observer of the medium within historic psychical research studies.

Medium Wavelength

2016, Sculpture, Video, Installation

Installed in a window space and viewed from street level Medium Wavelength is developed from explorations and experiments with the objects, furniture and images from the artist's studio, from off-cuts and re-manipulated video sequences.

The Other Side

2015, Colour, Stereo, 21m

Against a backdrop of artifacts, books and expansive paintings, psychic, remote viewer and visionary artist Ingo Swann (1933-2013) reflects on his role in coining the term ‘Remote Viewing’, the use of co-ordinates in training, and his work as an artist. 


2015, Live Event

Silver clad participants swirl meteroic orbs as they wind the streets of
Askeaton to the tune of Joe Meek's Telstar as perfomed by The Tornadoes (1962). Produced for the 2016 St Patrick's Day Parade, Askeaton, Co. Limerick, IC ITE OID makes reference to the Limerick Meteroite Shower of 1813.

Commissioned by Askeaton Contemporary Arts.


2014, Sculpture, Installation

Images of experimental testing apparatus from the extrasensory perception laboratory of parapsychologist Dr JB Rhine (1895-1980) manifest as spherical globes teetering on a landscape of vinyl veneered plywood platforms. Apparatusphere makes allusion to the mechanical orrery.

Aldous's Eyes

2014, Colour, Silent, 4m 47s

Glass eyeballs rattle, rotate, slide and multiply. Reflecting on the narrative explorations of Aldous Huxley's 1942 book The Art of Seeing in which the writer discusses the Bates Method of improving eyesight, Aldous’s Eyes is a visual exploration of perceptual phenomena. ​

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

2014, Photographic Prints

Compositions combining archive photographs of hands from the records of parapsychologist Dr J.B. Rhine, with images of sculptural spheres from the studio of the artist.


2014, Live Work: Audio, Sculpture

Inducing a psychedelic cosmic sensation to Askeaton’s famous Franciscan friary ruins IC ITE OID interweaves Aldous Huxley’s seminal 1954 novel The Doors of Perception with newspaper accounts of the Limerick Meteorite Fall of 1813.


2014, B+W, Colour, Stereo, 33m

​A childhood accident, the death of a beloved pet and a library of books provide the formative experiences of the young Kathleen. KATHLEEN is an exploration of the existential and the melancholic, an observation of life and death. Born in Derry in 1886, Irish writer Kathleen Coyle died in Philadelphia in 1952.
Commission for Derry City of Culture, 2013.

Kathleen Coyle Book Collection

2014, Books, Bespoke Display Cabinets

An extensive collection of first edition copies of Derry born writer Kathleen Coyle’s books from the 1920s–40s and literary ephemera are presented in a series of bespoke display cabinets.


2013, Flashing Red Neon

A suspended red neon sign flashes on and off  with demanding urgency.


2013, Colour, Stereo, 65m

Reflecting on the historic ESP (extrasensory perception) and telepathy research of parapsychologist Dr J.B. Rhine (1895-1980), AN ANSWER IS EXPECTED considers the ways in which we think about our place within the world, our desire to read meaning in coincidence, and the belief that there is more to the universe than simply ‘matter in motion’.

Book Spheres

2013-14, Installation

Indulging in the visual aesthetic of parapsychology book covers, Book Spheres presents an expansive vista in which the artist imagines the book as telepathic device 'transmitting' information from writer (sender) to reader (receiver).


2013, Yellow Gold Neon

AN ANSWER IS EXPECTED considers human curiosity, and our quest for answers and proof.

Where Are The Dead?

2013, White Neon

Where Are The Dead?  reflects our constant quest for answers: in giving none, the question is thrown back at the viewer.

Thirty Years Amongst The Dead

2012, Poem

A poem written in verses and constructed from book titles from the Alex Tanous Library, Rhine Research Center, Durham, NC. Each of the three verses is constructed of four lines, each the title of a book.

Black Dough

2012, B+W, Stereo, 13mins

Matt black spheres of non specific scale roll around and interact in a non specific location.

Mind To Mind

2010, Video

A strobing edit featuring book covers from the Eileen J. Garret Library, Parapsychology Foundation, New York.

Some Ghosts

2009, Colour, Stereo, 38m

A portrait of 82 year old Atlanta based Danish American poltergeist investigator Dr William G. Roll (1926-2012). Roll demonstrates tricks with matches and recalls a table levitation he witnessed 40 years earlier.

Put Your Arms Around Me Honey

2009, Artist Pages, CIRCA

1. Amorous Caresses
2. Charlantry of Mediums
3. Some Serious Inquirers


2009, Publication, 144pgs

Published on occasion of Susan MacWilliam's solo exhibition REMOTE VIEWING, 53rd Venice Biennale. Edited by Karen Downey, with writers Ciaran Carson, Martha Langford, Slavka Sverakova, Brian Dillon, Marina Warner. Published by Black Dog, Designed by Pony Ltd.


2009, Colour, Stereo, 17m 13s

In 1931 a ‘teleplasm’ spelling out the name Flammarion appeared on the wall of a cabinet at a séance in Winnipeg. Poltergeist investigator Dr William G. Roll, poet and writer Ciaran Carson and medium's grandaughter Arla Marshall come together in F-L-A-M-M-A-R-I-O-N and respond to the image of the teleplasm.
Commissioned for solo exhibition at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

Séance Cabinet

2009, Sculpture

Reconstruction of the séance cabinet used by Thomas Glendenning Hamilton (1873-1935), Winnipeg. The cabinet was constructed in the artist's studio in Belfast for the 2009 video F-L-A-M-M-A-R-I-O-N, commissioned for the artist's solo show REMOTE VIEWING, representing Northern Ireland at the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009.

Can we explain the Poltergeist? | N to Z

2008 & 2009, Stereoscopes

Can we explain the Poltergeist?, stereoscopic portrait of Dr William G. Roll.
N to Z, stereoscopic portrait of Ciaran Carson.

Creating an intimate experience for the viewer, the stereoscope presents a 3D image observed through special viewing glasses.


2008, Plywood

In 1931 a ‘teleplasm’ spelling out the name Flammarion appeared on the wall of a cabinet at a séance in Winnipeg. In this work the teleplasmic manifestation is monumentalised in plywood.

The Only Way To Travel

The Irish trance medium Eileen Garrett (1893-1970) first travelled to New York in 1931 on invitation of the American Society
of Psychical Research. The Only Way To Travel reveals a world of 1930s high living, the cocktail hour, the rise of the New York skyscraper, and an era of glamorous travel, optimism and new horizons.


2008, Colour, Stereo, 14m 10s

The hum of an air conditioner provides the soundtrack as a camera moves between wide and close shots through darkness and light in the Eileen J. Garrett Library, Parapsychology Foundation, New York.


2008, DVD, Colour, Stereo, Triple Channel Installation, 29m 53s

Hailed as the world's greatest medium, Eileen J. Garrett (1893-1970) founded The Parapsychology Foundation in 1951. In a sequence of vignettes Garrett is conjured up through image and anecdote in the lived experiences of her daughter Eileen and granddaughter Lisette.

Psychic Edit

2008, Colour, Stereo, 14s looped

Psychic Edit presents a strobing edit of archival home movie footage of Irish medium Eileen J. Garrett from the Garrett-Coly personal archives.

Artist as Medium | Medium's Daughter

2008, Stereoscopes

Artist as Medium, stereoscopic portrait of Susan MacWilliam.
Medium's Daughter, stereoscopic portrait of Eileen Coly.

Creating an intimate experience for the viewer, the stereoscope presents a 3D image observed through special viewing glasses.

13 Roland Gardens

2007, Colour, Stereo, 22mins 30secs

Eileen Coly (1916-2013), daughter of famous Irish medium Eileen J. Garrett (1893-1970) describes Garrett's 'R101 Airship Séance' of 1930 and their time living at 13 Roland Gardens, London, site of Harry Price's Laboratory of Psychical Research.

Dermo Optics

2006, Colour, Stereo, 4mins 9secs

In an underground Parisian cellar 93 year old Madame Yvonne Duplessis (b.1912) and her colleagues demonstrate Dermo Optical Perception. The artist participates in the experiments with surprisingly good results.

Zastonj Sendviči

2006, Live Event

Free sandwiches are prepared dermo optically on the street outside the
Mestni kino Metropol, Celje. Staged as part of Vstop Prost Festival 2006.

Dermo Optical Cake

2006, Colour, Stereo, 2mins 24secs

A cake commissioned from Zvezda cake shop in Celje, Slovenia is cut dermo optically.

Explaining Magic to Mercer

2005, Installation with Video and Framed Images

The artist and her 5 year old nephew discuss the bizarre and extraordinary phenomena attributed to the historical figures that have been the subject of her work.


2006, Stereoscope

An early twentieth century postcard image is recreated in a garden setting and photographed as a stereoscopic image. Feelers proposes that without eyes, perhaps vision might be established through touch or some kind of psychic 'feeler' transmitted from the body. Creating an intimate experience for the viewer, the stereoscope presents a 3D image observed through special viewing glasses.

Feelers Poster Series

2005, Digital Collage, Photographic Prints

Blind man's buff, remote viewing, the fainting girl, Kuda Bux, Kathleen Goligher, Helen Duncan, Rosa Kuleshova and Mollie Fancher make appearances in this series of images originally designed as artist pages for publication in Visual Artists Ireland's journal 'Printed Project'.


2004, Installation of Objects and 3 Videos

The remarkable ability to read with her fingertips, made the young Rosa Kuleshova the subject of intense observation in Russia in the 1960s. Headbox considers the contraptions and devices employed by scientists to prevent Rosa from using her eyes during experimental testing.

Kuda Bux

2003, Installation with Video, B+W, Colour, Stereo, 10mins 40secs

Taking his act to variety shows and making appearances at Radio City Music Hall, the New York mystic Kuda Bux gained fame and notoriety in the 1930s and 40s for his dramatic demonstrations of eyeless sight. Viewed from a 1930s armchair Kuda Bux's acts are restaged and played through a 1950s television within a theatrical open set.

After Image

2002, B+W and Colour, Stereo, 4 mins 30 secs

Delving into the bizarre and the extraordinary, After Image explores the myth that the last image seen before death is retained on the retina of the eye.

On The Eye

2002, Installation of 3 Projected Videos

Projected images of a lightning storm, a ceiling fan and mountain mist flicker, strobe and stutter. Recorded during residencies in New York and Trinidad, On The Eye explores photography, visual perception, after image, and the ability of the eye to read depth and movement.

Garden Series

2001, Photographic Prints

Photographic prints featuring a girl in a blue dress in a garden setting. The work draws reference to an earlier work, Faint, 1999, which presents the repeated fainting of a girl.

Girl Standing | Girl on Ground | Dress Detail

2001, Stereoscopes

Photographic images of a girl in a blue dress in a garden setting. The work draws reference to an earlier work, Faint, 1999, which presents the repeated fainting of a girl. Creating an intimate experience for the viewer, the stereoscope presents a 3D image observed through special viewing glasses.

The Persistence of Vision

2000, B+W and Colour, Stereo, 7mins 40secs

Though bedridden for 50 years, exhibiting multiple personalities and technically blind, the 'vision' of 'The Brooklyn Enigma' Mollie Fancher persisted through her clairvoyant ability. Against a sountrack of thunder (said to have induced deep trances), imagery moves from interior to exterior, and through New York, Cape Cod, and Ohio.

PS1 illy Commission

2000 / 2001

One of six designs chosen by Illycaffè from artists on the PS1 International Studio Program, New York for a new illy collection. illy collections are numbered and signed editions in limited productions.

45 rpm

2000, B+W, Silent, 4mins 34secs

Inside a spinning zoetrope a young woman relentlessly rasies her hand to her forehead.  Recorded using varying shutter speeds, strobing effects are created as the camera reads the negative and positive spaces of the spinning drum.

Experiment M

1999, Installation with 2 Videos, B+W, Silent, 5mins 43secs

Between 1914 and 1920 Dr William Jackson Crawford researched the mediumistic phenomena occurring at the séances of the Goligher Circle, Belfast. Crawford's relationship to the table tilting medium Kathleen Goligher is explored, and the path of Crawford's inquistive eyes is traced as the camera leads the viewer through the séance room.


1999, Colour, Stereo, 3mins 40secs

Conjuring an image of both the romantic and the sinister, Faint presents images of a fainting girl (the artist) set against the sound of bird song. Faint draws on mesmerism, trance and hysteria.

Ectoplasm Series

Ectoplasm | Spirit Child | Spirit Trumpet
1999, Stereoscopes

Ectoplasmic forms photographed on black and white transparency film. Creating an intimate experience for the viewer, the stereoscope presents a 3D image observed through special viewing glasses.

The Last Person

1998, B+W, Silent, 10mins 30secs

A strange substance, ‘ectoplasm’, emerges from the medium’s mouth, hands appear and spirits are conjured up. The Last Person reflects on the case of Helen Duncan (1898-1956), a medium from Portsmouth who in 1944 was the last person to be tried and prosecuted under the British Witchcraft Act of 1735.


1997, Installation: Plasticine on Canvas

Continuing an interest in cinema, television, theatre and the notion of the spectacle, Curtains presents three large sculpted bas-relief Plasticine curtains.

Rabbit With Guts

1996, Sculpture: Fur Fabric, Plasticine, Torch

Illuminated by a torch, a white fur fabric rabbit lies in a darkened room in a derelict house; plasticine guts spill from its stomach.


1995, Installation with Painting: Oil, Canvas, Glitter, Velvet Curtains

DISCO takes the shoe spotted canvas of Liptych, 1994, and dresses it up to the vampish, setting it on the cabaret stage. DISCO references the cinematic space and the aesthetic of the dance hall. The blue curtains and red glitter shoes draw reference to films such as Blue Velvet and The Wizard of Oz.


1995, Installation: Shimmer Curtains, Canvas, Oil Paint, Glitter

Installed in a vacant shop window DISCO INFERNO makes a spectacle of peripheral sites. Blue shimmer curtains provide the backdrop to a polka dot pattern of red glitter balls and hollow headless blue bodies with red glitter innards. Lit from below with halogen lights the suspended elements rotate and sparkle.

Toilet Mat

1994, Site Specific Painting: Oil, String, Canvas

Toilet Mat is a painting of a toilet mat that also functions as a sculpture of a toilet mat. Toilet Mat is a subtle intervention, that elevates the toilet mat to high art and denigrates the painting to the base level of the toilet floor.


1994, Installation of Paintings: Oil, String, Canvas

An installation of paintings originating from studies of live skin. Canvases feature blemishes, protrusions and dimples; colours are synthetic and saturated, sweet and sickly, and the surfaces are infested with polka dot systems of spots and hairs.


1994, Installation of Paintings: Oil, Canvas

A series of eleven identical paintings made for the newspaper display windows of the Irish News building, North Street, Belfast.