Anna Macleod | Meadhbh O'Connor Curated by Simon Fennessy Corcoran
Friday, 21st August - Sunday, 13th September Opening hours: 12 noon - 6 pm, Wednesday - Sunday
O’Connor and Macleod have developed a duo exhibition which looks at the planet and where we stand now on the precipice of ecological disaster with County Galway, on Ireland’s Atlantic West Coast, where we are uniquely impacted by our changing climates. This exhibition is part of the Meaningful / Encounters 2020 programme Macleod and O'Connor were brought together from an open call last year and worked to create recharge exhibition curated by Simon Fennessy Corcoran. The aim of this exhibition was to continue to perpetuate the imperative to converse and discuss issues of real importance, in this case, the ecology and environmental issues which e affect all aspects of human and animal lives. Both artists have created new work for this exhibition which continues to develop their artic practice.
The work by Anna Macleod in this exhibition follows a 6-week residency at Áras Éanna on Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, where the action of water is visible in the formation of the unique visible surface the Glacio - Karst limestone landscape. Here water is held as a wealth of fresh groundwater interlinking the islands beneath the sea in an invisible network of rivers.
For a number of years, Méadhbh O’Connor’s work has been driven by a deep interest in science and the environment. This was due to identifying with scientific thinking and a pantheistic perspective she holds that sees all of nature––all the universe––as one expression of a mystical and even divine materialisation. In her work, she collides the poetic and the analytic, the spiritual and the technological, the expressive and the restrained, the natural and the engineered; in an effort to find harmony amongst these different registers.
The exhibition will open to the public from 12 noon on Friday the 21st of August, there will be no public reception due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines while visiting the gallery. 126 has provided hand sanitisers at the entrance for our visitors to use.
For a number of years, Méadhbh O’Connor’s work has been driven by a deep interest in science and the environment. This was due to identifying with scientific thinking and a pantheistic perspective she holds that sees all of nature––all the universe––as one expression of a mystical and even divine materialisation. In her work she collides the poetic and the analytic, the spiritual and the technological, the expressive and the restrained, the natural and the engineered; in an effort to find harmony amongst these different registers.
O’Connor’s work is undoubtedly a product of the long tradition of connectedness to the landscape that persists in Irish culture, which she places in the context of 21st century scientific and environmental understanding. Her recent work has taken a new turn in which she is exploring and revealing the experiences that ferment this deep connection to the land. She has begun to experiment with prose poetry, using the written and spoken word as form.
In these written-word vignettes, psychological and spiritual encounters with the landscape are reenacted. All are situated in mountain settings, often in the company of companions, loved ones or ‘Others.’ Here she tries to reconcile the bodily rootedness at the heart of any connection to the land with the increasing presence of new technologies–and the potential birth of A.I. consciousness in the coming years–that are emerging as a significant medium through which we experience.
Nature, the artificial and the psychological are viewed in the work as not necessarily irreconcilable, but potentially part of the same spiritual existence.
Much of O’Connor’s work in this show was produced during the COVID-19 lockdown under conditions that enhanced the need to create an experience of landscape in new forms, such as virtual environments, audio soundscapes and written-word vignettes.
Recharge Anna Macleod
The work by Anna Macleod in this exhibition follows a 6 week residency at Áras Éanna on Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, where the action of water is visible in the formation of the unique visible surface the Glacio - Karst limestone landscape. Here water is held as a wealth of fresh groundwater interlinking the islands beneath the sea in an invisible network of rivers.
In her publication The Meaning of Water, (2004) the cultural anthropologist Veronica Strang uses an ethnography of water to show how the value of this essence of all life is encoded with our deepest held social, political, spiritual and environmental meanings and cultural practices. Water Conversations is an ongoing series of research projects and works by Anna Macleod that seek to tease out the interwoven meanings of water, its use and conservation solutions.
The people of Inis Oírr, divorced from the water security of the mainland infrastructure, have a historical practice of rainwater harvesting for domestic and farming needs. Despite having untapped fresh water aquifer reserves flowing under the island, changing weather patterns and increased tourism to the island has put pressure on the water sources currently available and during the tourist season, water is shipped in daily by tanker to meet the needs of the island.
In response to the historical legacy of water self sufficiency and conservation on the island, Macleod has developed a sculptural range of rainwater harvesting solutions that also act as pollination enhancers for the walled community garden in development by Comhar Caomhán Teo. (Inis Oírr Community Development Cooperative).
Based on the Flóra Feirme (Flowers of the Farm), catalogued in the ‘Census Catalogue of the Flora of Ireland’ 2nd edition (Scannell and Synott 1987) the sculptures are abstractions of the Brlúlán ( Burnet Rose), Dédhuilleog (Twayblade) Magairlín an loscáin (Frog orchid) Féar gortach (Quaking grass) and Slánlus (Ribwort plantain).
A flag emblem, hand made by Anna Macleod celebrating the historical and contemporary practices of water harvesting on Inis Oïrr will be gifted to the Island community at the end of this exhibition.
With sincere thanks to the Islanders of Inis Oïrr Dara McGee, Máire Ui Mhaoláin, Cormac Coyne, Mary Mc Carthy, Anna Legge, Paddy Murphy of the Irish Society of Diviners and, Dr. Eamon Doyle, Geologist, Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.
Athluchtú Anna Macleod
Eascraíonn obair Anna Macleod sa taispeántas seo as cónaitheacht 6 seachtaine in Áras Éanna in Inis Oírr, áit a bhfuil obair an uisce le feiceáil i leagan amach dhromchla Oighear-Charstach an tírdhreacha speisialta seo. Tá an t-uisce ina fhoinse shaibhir screamhuisce úr, ag rith ina shruthanna faoin bhfarraige agus ag nascadh na n-oileán le chéile.
Ina foilseachán ‘The Meaning of Water’, (2004) úsáideann an t-antaipeolaí cultúrtha Veronica Strang eitneagrafaíocht uisce lena thaispeáint go bhfuil tairbhe an riachtanais saoil seo do chuile ní beo fite lenár mínithe is doimhne sóisialta, polaitiúla, spioradálta agus comhshaoil agus fite lenár gcleachtais chultúrtha. Is sraith leanúnach d’oibreacha agus tionscnamh taighde de chuid Anna Macleod é ‘Water Conversations’ a fhéachann leis an meascán impleachtaí idir úsáid uisce agus réitigh ar chaomhnú uisce a chíoradh.
Tá seanchleachtadh ag muintir Inis Oírr a bheith ag bailiú uisce na báistí d’úsáid tí agus feilme, ó tharla gan cinnteacht fhoinse seasmhach na mórthíre faoina lámh acu. Tá an t-athrú sna pátrúin aimsire agus an t-ardú sa turasóireacht ag cur brú ar an bhfoinse reatha uisce agus tugann soitheach isteach uisce ón mórthír go laethúil le freastal ar riachtanais an oileáin sa séasúr turasóireachta cé go bhfuil cúltaiscí uiscíoch fíoruisce nár tarraingíodh astu fós ag rith faoin oileán.
Ag teacht le stair fhada an oileáin i sábháil agus i gcaomhnú uisce tá réimse dealbhóireachta a d’oibreodh do shábháil uisce báistí agus mar mhéadaitheoirí pailnithe sa ngairdín pobail atá á fhorbairt ag Comhar Caomhán Teo múnlaithe ag Macleod. (Comharchumann Forbartha Pobail Inis Oírr). Bunaithe ar an bhFlóra Feirme (Flowers of the Farm), atá catalógaithe sa 2ú heagrán de ‘Census Catalogue of the Flora of Ireland’ (Scannell and Synott 1987) is teibíocht atá sna dealbha ar an mBriúlán (Burnet Rose), Dédhuilleog (Twayblade) Magairlín an loscáin (Frog orchid) Féar Gortach (Quaking grass) agus Slánlus (Ribwort plantain).
Nuair a thiocfaidh críoch leis an taispeántas seo bronnfaidh Anna Macleod bratach lámhdhéanta dá cuid ar phobal Inis Oírr, mar chomóradh ar sheanchleachtais agus nuachleachtais sábhála uisce in Inis Oírr.
Míle buíochas le hoileánaigh Inis Oírr, le Dara McGee, Máire Uí Mhaoláin, Cormac Coyne, Mary McCarthy, Anna Legge, Paddy Murphy ó Chumann Aimsitheoirí Uisce na hÉireann agus An Dr. Eamon Doyle, Geolaí, Geopháirc Domhanda EOECNA Ailltreacha an Mhóthair agus na Boirne.