Waterford City & County Council's Arts resource site
GOMA, 6 Lombard Street, Waterford
Opening Wednesday 3rd May, 6.30-8.30pm
Continues Thursday 3rd – Sunday 6th May, 12.30-5.30pm daily
Róisín Power Hackett is a visual artist, writer and curator who graduated with a BA in History of Art and Fine Art Paint (2012) and an MA in Art in the Contemporary World (2013), an art writing Masters, both from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Recently, she launched her artist publication The Irish House: A Psychogeographical Map (2018) at Waterford City Library and the Friary, Callan, Co. Kilkenny. Her past solo exhibitions and performances include A Lifeless Rib (2016) at Central Arts, Waterford and as a Chinese jar (2015) at 12 Henrietta Street, Dublin. She has also participated in many group exhibitions and performances in Ireland. Róisín was awarded the Dublin City Council Community Development Grant (2018), the Artlinks Professional Development Bursary (2016&2017), the Kennedy Wilson NCAD Access Artist Studio Residency Award (2016) and the Arts + Disability Connect Training Grant (2015).
Don’t Spoil the Story, is a solo exhibition and audio drama by Róisín Power Hackett. The impetus behind this exhibition was the announcement of the Referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment to the Constitution. Don’t Spoil the Story aspires to be a tool for the repeal of the 8th and a Yes Vote on May 25th.
The ideas in this exhibition expand on Róisín’s previous performance A Lifeless Rib (2016). Róisín is intrigued by the Genesis Myth and how the ideas rooted in it have shaped Western society’s views on knowledge, imagination and women. The visual artworks and audio drama are the result of a series of influences. These include, as mentioned above, the Genesis Myth in the Bible, Paradise Lost (1667) by John Milton, Back to Methuselah (1922) by George Bernard Shaw and the Adam and Eve dialogue in Sean O’Casey’s autobiography Drums Under the Window (1945). The exhibition’s fulcrum is the audio drama Don’t Spoil the Story, which directly uses sections of O’Casey’s Adam and Eve dialogue. The artist has added to this dialogue by inserting her own original writing into it. O’Casey wrote this dialogue to express the moment he became disillusioned with religion ‘Sean went away with his secret that he dared to tell to no-one … that he had been in the Garden of Eden; had climbed the wall with much labour and heart-panting; had slid down with a bump on the other side, and had found the place far different from the yarns in newspaper, magazine, and religious manuals’*. His Eve is a feminist who questions all the information she is given by the time travelling male characters whose aims are to warp the truth and create the Genesis Myth. Adam responds to her, saying ‘Don’t Spoil the Story, Eve’. Róisín introduces a time travelling female from the 21st century, an Abortion Rights Campaigner. Don’t Spoil the Story aims to question perspectives and history, it proposes a herstory. The artworks in the exhibition echo objects from the domestic sphere. The objects conceal the truth of Genesis, the truth that it is simply a myth, whilst expressing decaying patriarchal ideals.
The creation of the Don’t Spoil the Story audio drama would not be possible without the voice actors Bryan Smith, Nathan Everett Patterson and Ruth Kerr who generously gave their time for free in support of this project. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.
GOMA Gallery, 6 Lombard Street, Waterford City.