Public feeling by Sarah Browne

31st October 2019

Rua Red based artist Sarah Browne has two live works that have been developed for Public Feeling, that take the shape of fitness classes:

RESILIENCE, an aquafit class with writing by Lynn Ruane, instructed by Eleanor Young, and FALLOUT, a circuit class with writing by Colm Keegan, coached by Gareth Francis.

The classes will happen every Sunday in November, and bookings to participate are live on

Tallaght Leisure Centre
3rd & 10th November
14:15 FALLOUT (Circuit), 16:30 RESILLENCE (Aqua)

Clondalkin Leisure Centre
17th & 24th November
14:15 FALLOUT (Circuit), 16:30 RESILLENCE (Aqua)


BREAKDOWN (Virtual spin class, available for download in November)

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Public feeling is an artwork about health and austerity shaped by fitness choreography. Each class (a circuit class, an aquafit class, and a virtual spin class) is delivered by a qualified fitness instructor: Gareth Francis (Kickstart Fitness); Eleanor Young (Aquafit), and Peter May (Cycle Studio). They will instruct the participants throughout the class, which are accompanied by a musical score and scripted soundtrack. Newly commissioned writing by Lynn Ruane and Colm Keegan is incorporated into the sound design throughout the performances.

Public feeling explores the health impacts of austerity on the individual and social body, the politics of ‘resilience’, and considers the gym or leisure centre as a space where these bodies are trained, transformed and cared for. Early research for the project included mapping the growth of independent and commercial gyms in the county, with names such as Macho Gym, Extreme Fitness, and Fit4Less. Many of these gyms are located in industrial estates, alongside new churches that have sprung up over the last decade, creating purposeful new patterns of desire, use and movement through the South Dublin landscape.

This participatory project explores ‘feelings’ – like joy, shame, anger and depression – not only as individual emotions, but as shared social realities, and asks how we can occupy the everyday space of the gym or leisure centre to re-imagine and re-work these collective experiences. Throughout the process of developing and rehearsing the project, the leisure centres have been used for reading and writing activities, such as a workshop with poet, and facilitator Colm Keegan, as well as physical movement.

PUBLIC FEELING by Sarah Browne has been commissioned by South Dublin County Council through IN CONTEXT 4 – IN OUR TIME and funded under the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government’s Per Cent for Art Scheme.