Worlding Place: A relational Perspective
Dedicated to the memory of Doreen Massey
2016 Conference of Irish Geographers Art and Geography Exhibition,
5-7 May, Cregan Library, Ground Floor, DCU St. Patrick’s College
Curated by Karen E. Till
Proposition for a Reading Group: The Monument Game, Laura Donkers © 2014. Performance video of public artwork.
In Proposition for a reading group (2014) Participants are invited to engage, via an open, multi-layered and ever changing visual/verbal space in a game of specially designed cards. The players receive a set of Monument playing cards and instructions on how to play the child’s card game ‘Go Fish’. The Monument Game is a deep map that investigates the bio-cultural heritage of the Outer Hebrides through the riddle of how a Monkey Puzzle tree came to be planted on a small island in Loch an Eilean, Askernish, South Uist during the time of the Clearances. It is comprised of a 54-card set of images, and the text ‘Monument’. This collective public artwork provides a multimedial depiction of a place and all that exists within it by creating an open, multi-layered and ever changing visual space. Monument is a timely reflection on the need to cultivate our understanding of place. ‘The little island garden with its collection of distorted and varied specimens reveals two perspectives of thought: on the one hand it is a reminder of colonial dominance and the havoc that it created; and on the other hand it presents the bountiful and forgiving lessons that nature teaches about adaptation, assimilation, diversity and symbiosis. Both ultimately present in the here and now.’ Vimeo extract available at: https://vimeo.com/94789540.
Artist’s Statement: Laura Donkers is an environmental artist, and Doctoral candidate at University of Dundee. She lives and works in the Outer Hebrides. The interconnectedness of art, ecology, site and politics provides a rich framework for her artistic explorations. Through research and practice, she explores the ‘act of dwelling’, considering how art can expand reflection on the lived experience, and promote change. As our contemporary lives become increasingly encoded and distanced from the land, so there are fewer opportunities to directly connect with the places where we live. To address this concern she uses ‘field research’: drawing, fieldwalking, and digital recording, to collect primary observations that trigger understandings of connection, presenting experiences of living “first hand”, in touch with environment, community and self. w www.earth-hebrides.co.uk; e email@example.com
Walking/Drawing, Kathy Herbert and Dorothy Smith © 2014. 8m x 2.5m pencil on paper.
Walking/Drawing, a collaborative drawing and research project took place in the external spaces of Blanchardstown Town Centre, Dublin 15 and in the gallery space of Draiocht Arts Centre in July 2014. Its aims were to bring drawing out of the private space of studio into the public realm and to push the parameters of drawing; exploring its possibilities as a process of engaging with audience and place.
Artist’s Statements: Kathy Herbert. My practice is positioned in an Art and Ecology framework, addressing our attitudes and perceptions of how we live on Earth. I am particularly interested in how art can articulate this human / Earth relationship – how we affect our surroundings and how they affect us. I work with Sculpture and Drawing, and currently, my inquiry has been concerned with audience interaction with the work. I see part of my role as effecting attitudinal change through dialogue and experimentation; through engaging my audience in practical ways which enable me to communicate directly with them and to offer them something of value. With this in mind I have included in my methodology conversations with people, collecting facts, opinions, stories. Bourriaud (2002) spoke of Relational Aesthetics as “an art taking as its theoretical horizon the realm of human interaction and its social context, rather than the assertion of an independent and private symbolic space”. My own concerns and way of working has developed and grown from these ideas, from feeling that I want to be a useful artist, that I want to make meaningful interactions with audience and to make my work matter. For more see: kathyherbert.ie.
Dorothy Smith: My practice is concerned with built environment of public space. I consider the infrastructure and material fabric of public space, its impact on the quality and reach of everyday lives and on the effectiveness of our cities and neighbourhoods. ‘For Smith it’s not about a preoccupation with the exotic: more like a tenacious attention to working where you live, a highly local exploration of place’ (Vagabond Reviews 2014, http://dorothysmith.ie/text/). The language of drawing is the subject as well as the means of inquiry. I am interested in the possibilities of how such an analogue activity interacts with contemporary issues and places. What does drawing bring to the table? For me, it connects – in order to draw you have to explore, stop and look. Forthcoming: Solo exhibition Made and Considered, Darc (Dublin Architectural) Space, 26 Nth Gt Georges St, Dublin 1, 20 May-17 June. Current: RHA Annual Exhibition, until 11 June. For more see: dorothysmith.ie.
Glas Journal I, Silvia Loeffler © 2015. 12 hand-sized, hand-made artist’s books representing 14 sequential Dún Laoghaire harbour places between the West and East Pier bordering the sea. Glas Journal II: The Geographical Turn: Environment, Silvia Loeffler © 2016. Handmade artist’s book, with essays by Cian O’Callaghan and Ronan Foley.
In Irish, the word glas is reserved for the indefinite shades of green, blue and grey that are present in the sea. I take this chromatic generosity as a marker for this alternative mapping project that crosses art with geography and is called Glas Journal. Connecting arts and research, Glas Journal (2014-2016) is a collaborative, multidisciplinary cartography project that explores the layered emotional geographies of Dún Laoghaire Harbour, Dublin, Ireland. The project is held together by map fragments, temporary art installations in the harbour space and bespoke journals created with partners in the local community whose work and living spaces border the sea. Traversing the material and watery landscape of the harbour space, this project probes the attachments, fantasies and circuits of affect that forge performative textures in a maritime environment. The literary and visual practices that take place in Glas Journal performatively map the intimate rituals and everyday performances of those individuals who live and work in the harbour, whose quotidian activities structure the very fabric of the harbour space.
Artist’s Statement: Silvia Loeffler is an artist, researcher and educator in Visual Culture. Visual material and critical writing are her guides to establish a narrative of public intimacy. She is currently an IRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Maynooth University, Department of Geography, and has lectured in the National College of Art and Design and in the Dublin Institute of Technology/Art, Design & Print on the psychology and the deep-mapping of spaces. Silvia was awarded postdoctoral research funding from the Irish Research Council (2014-16) for ‘Glas Journal: A Deep Mapping of Dún Laoghaire Harbour’, a participatory mapping project based on concepts of belonging and the multiple meanings of ‘harbour’.
Studies in Stillness, EL Putnam © 2015 . Performance documentation, silent video.
Moving at the threshold of stillness as the body is abstracted into a swarm of light — an apparition on the fringe of site. For this performance, I am dressed completely in black, with face and body covered, and fitted with wearable LEDS and a motion sensor. I slowly pace the Grangegorman campus for two hours, with the lights triggered to illuminate when either I move or the wind moves me.
A Rule of Silence, EL Putnam, in collaboration with David Stalling © 2016. Sound installation.
The sound composition evokes the hidden histories of women held at the former site of the Grangegorman Penitentiary in Dublin (1836 to 1897), the first all female penal institution on the British Isles. Instead of replicating the sounds of the time, this work contain abstract sounds that allude to the stories and accounts that emerged from the site, inspired by the prison registers and prisoner records held of the National Archives of Ireland. Interwoven in the soundscapes are text excerpts from the Inspector General Reports, read by DIT senior management, including John O’Connor, Dean of Arts and Tourism.
Artist’s Statement: EL Putnam. Through my artistic practice, I am interested in exploring hidden histories and emotional experiences, testing the limits of their un-representability. I am drawn to gestures and the kinaesthetic; actions as interlocution, or the forces and relations that interconnect people with places, space, material objects, ideas, and each other. Treating art events as inherently participatory, my works function as intersubjective spaces that offer multiple conceptual and aesthetic points of entry for the audience. My influences draw from multiple themes and sources, including explorations of gender and sexuality, play, materialism, and the study of place, which I investigate through personal and cultural lenses. In addition to creating works that are rich in cultural and political meaning, I am interested in how aesthetic pleasure can be used as a critical strategy, or as a means of captivating audiences in order to expose them to provocative ideas.
auf Nostalgie, Beatrice Jarvis © 2015. Video of performance, multiple venues, Berlin.
Reflections on explorations of the city as studio. We are living in an age where the ground is shifting and the foundations are shaking. I canont answer for other times and places. Perhaps it has always been true. Not a dancer but a wrestler, waiting poised, and dug in for sudden assaults. We slowly going forwards to the end. and each idea that easily arises suggests the next idea.The pleasure of the familiar can guide us through any landscape, including the landscape of language. Reflections and annotations. With thanks to EGFK – European Society for Research and Art / Europäische Gesellschaft für Forschung und Kunst and Benjamin Bailey. Film available at: https://vimeo.com/92736421.
Artist’s statement: Beatrice Jarvis. An urban space creative facilitator, choreographer and researcher, and founder of the Urban Research Forum and The Living Collective, Beatrice works as an independent dance artist in Romania, Gaza, Berlin, Germany and Northern Ireland. She generates large-scale, site specific choreographic works to explore the social power and potential of embodied movement practices. Her socio-choreographic research has been profiled within Pina Bausch Symposium, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, dOCUMENTA (13), The National School of Art Bucharest, Galway Dance Festival, Goldsmiths CUCR Tate, and AAG 2013. Her commissions include GroundWorks Jerwood Space, Steven Lawrence Center and EGFK Berlin. For further information see http://beatricejarvis.net.
Carlow Dawn, Ollie Hennessy, composer. Live performeance by Ollie Hennessy and Aoife Kavanagh, Friday 6 May at CIG Session 6A, ‘Art and Geography 3: Deep Mapping’.
Carlow Dawn was commissioned by Carlow Tourism in 2000, as part of ‘Images of Carlow’, a compilation of music and imagery. The instrumental piece depicts a journey of discovery of and reflection on Carlow as a place, seeking to create a sense of expectation, discovery, wonder and curiosity for visitors, and to provide an opportunity to rediscover and appreciate place anew for those who might already feel that they know it. A short piece reminiscent of an Irish slow air, the intricacies of the rich string accompaniment in tandem with the flowing low whistle melody convey a journey much greater.
Artist’s statement: Ollie Hennessy. A Carlow native, Ollie is a renowned performer, composer, arranger and producer. Coming from a background steeped in music, he completed studies with Trinity College Dublin and U.C.L.A, and has held the position of chief instructor for Yamaha Music Schools Ireland. He has held various roles with RTE, including as musical director of the International Rose of Tralee broadcasts for the past twenty years. Ollie undertakes various local, national and international commissions as composer, arranger and performer, and is widely known and highly respected in music circles at home and abroad. He particularly values working in his home place, and provides important and valued support and mentorship to many emerging and professional musicians there.