Waterford City & County Council's Arts resource site
Sinead McDonald’s solo exhibition ‘Archetype/ Uchronia’ and Debbie Godsell’s solo exhibition ‘The Infinite Whatever’ will open on the 31st of August at 7:30pm along with a live performance from Ricí Ní Chléirigh.
Artist: Sinead McDonald
Garter Lane Arts Centre is delighted to present Archetype/ Uchronia, a solo exhibition by artist Sinead McDonald. Archetype is a new site-specific installation exploring the complex relationship between motherhood and bereavement, and the often hyper-ridiculous media representations of female grief and ‘hysteria’. Accompanying Archetype is Uchronia, a series of real and alternate self-portraits examining life’s pivotal moments and how decisions, accidents and circumstances change us.
Both works invite questions on free will, fate and predestination. The Uchronia self portrait series looks at what would happen if these divergent paths had been taken. Arising from the death of the artist’s son in 2000 and the subsequent birth of a surviving child, themes of shame and regret are layered with unexpected paths. These images question what we could and would become if we could go back. Can we change who we were, or who we become? Do we really have the power to shift our own narratives?
Sinead McDonald is a Dublin based artist, photographer and digital media producer. A graduate of the Art in the Digital World Fine Art Masters at the National College of Art and Design, her research and practice focuses on implicit narratives in images of people, and the creation of identity. Her work incorporates new technologies; digital production, web based art and physical computing, alongside photography, video, and immersive theatre performance. Recent trajectories explore the sciences and collaborative practice, and how using different disciplines help navigate and illuminate difficult and taboo subjects. She is interested in how technologies and sciences old and new affect and challenge our perceptions, allow us to tell stories, and, ultimately, explore the most human of desires.
The Infinite Whatever
Artist: Debbie Godsell
Garter Lane Arts Centre is delighted to present The infinite whatever, a solo exhibition of screen prints, photography and photo-riston prints by Debbie Godsell. The ‘infinite whatever’ is a term coined by the New York Times travel writer Eric Werner who describes his experiences of ‘thin’ places as where ‘’the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we glimpse the divine, transcendent, or the infinite whatever’’.In these places, we may be ‘jolted out of old ways of seeing the world.’
This collection of new work by Debbie Godsell responds to Werner’s theory with imagery gathered from the west Cork landscape- documenting such places that resonate and offer a refuge. Places where a person may experience a rare sense of wellbeing or briefly connect with their essential self. Winifred Gallagher puts even more succinctly in her book ‘The power of place’ when she writes ‘’whatever the reason some places can inspire a sense of presence something perceived by the senses rather than seen…a momentary contact with some entity larger and greater than the mind’’. To emphasise the importance of our interaction with nature, Gallagher also writes in the ‘The Power of Place’ that ‘’nature provides symbols and values which we all rely. Its manifestations stand for life itself, growth, change, continuity, purity, freedom, mystery and the transcendent feeling of being a part of a larger unity’’.
Alongside the landscape, the image of the child in this work explores fragility, curiosity, vulnerability and the belief that children live close to these ‘thin’ places. Nan Goldin , in her series of photographs of children in ‘Eden and after’ suggests that children ‘are born with a consciousness of another existence and as they get older, they forget it.’ They, she suggests ‘are nothing to do with god or any other higher power, children are beyond that.’
Debbie Godsell studied in the Limerick college of Art and Design and the Crawford College of Art, where she graduated with a Masters in Fine Art Research in 2002. Since then Debbie has been working fulltime as an Artist and an Art educator. Debbie has been guest lecturer at the Art Departments of The Crawford College of Art, Galway Institute of Technology and the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology. Debbie currently lectures fulltime in the Art Department at C.S.N, Cork where she is the Course Director for level 6 Certificate in Art. Debbie is a full member of Cork Printmakers.
Sometimes undoing Something Changes Nothing
Artist: Ricí Ní Chléirigh
This performance, Sometimes undoing Something Changes Nothing, explores connection and separation within relationships through a collaborative performance art piece. Using knitting, the artist looks at the historical weight it carries for women and their role, and how much, or little that has changed over millennia. For Lucy Lippard ‘The impulse towards constant movement is one more confrontation of that tension, inherent in modern life and art, between the ephemeral and the permanent – or life and death’ (1983, p.122). That word tension is central to knitting, being a term used to determine the size of the stitch and therefore of the finished piece. Ultimately though it refers to the capacity of the finished garment to return to its original shape after it has been stretched. It is this flexibility that sees knitting used in so many unexpected ways. Tension, a word we associate with conflict, hostility and emotional strain, is in this case more about accommodation, about the capacity to bend and yield.
Ricí Ní Chléirigh’s practice explores this same duality both within our lives and our relationships and in how we engage with the world. The ways in which we bend and yield to situations over which we have no control. The ways in which we contort ourselves to survive the forces around us lead to inner tensions. In Sometimes Undoing Something Changes Nothing, the artist and her daughter each knit a whole jumper, using the yarn from the jumper the other wears. In the end we both put on the jumper we have just knit from the yarn of the jumper the other wore at the beginning. We knit furiously, each taking, pulling the yarn as we need it, both giving, bowing forward to allow the other take what they need. The performance tries to take apart, to examine, the dynamic between mother and child, between the artist and this other who came from her. As she knits, she still looks out for her, lifting her eyes to see she is ok, that she is not struggling. Yet as her hair hides her face as hers does hers, the piece speaks more of estrangement than love, never acknowledging each other and never speaking.
Guest speaker: Valerie Byrne, Director, Cork Printmakers and Aileen Drohan, South East Makerspace.
Exhibitions run until October 28th
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am- 5.30pm and during evening performances.
Admission is free and all are welcome.
Exhibition tours are available.
Venue: Garter Lane Arts Centre, O’Connell St, Waterford
Contact: http://www.garterlane.ie / +353 (0)51 855038